Remember 2006? Because it seems we are reliving that year in this category. Back in ’06, everyone was falling head over heels for Helen Mirren’s performance in The Queen. She won virtually every single award that was given out that year in an awards path not too different from what Cate Blanchett’s turn in Blue Jasmine is looking like today. But even if Blanchett so far seems like the obvious winner come Oscar night (and not unjustly, since hers is a great performance) , the rest of the category looks as predictable.
The four other nominees in this category are more than likely going to be Sandra Bullock in Gravity, Judi Dench in Philomena, Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks and Meryl Streep in August: Osage County. And even if those ladies are all giving pretty good performances in their respective movies, they are all fairly close to the kind of roles that usually get nominated in this category. I wouldn’t outright object to any of them being nominated, but it also means that we are stuck with a “good” set of nominees in a year with the most amazing set of female performances in a long time. The fantastic performances that probably won’t be singled out on Nominations Morning include Julie Delpy in Before Midnight, Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Enough Said, Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha, Adele Exarchopoulus in Blue is the Warmest Color, and what I would call the best performance of the year: Brie Larson in Short Term 12.
If there is anyone in that assumed list of nominees that could possibly be left out the list on Thursday, it’s, as crazy as it might sound, Meryl Streep. Statistically, there is no doubt she is Oscar’s favorite actress, but August: Osage County has been losing buzz ever since it was first screened and the table seems set for the movie to not do very well when nominations are announced. If Meryl misses, then who would take her spot? All signs point out to Amy Adams, who is a perennial bridesmaids having been nominated four times already, who is benefiting not only from being very well liked, but from the popularity of American Hustle, which is looking more and more like one of the biggest threats to win Best Picture.
Will Be Nominated: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Should Be Nominated: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha), Brie Larson (Short Term 12), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said)