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Thursday, January 4, 2018

AWARDS SEASON 2018: BEST ACTRESS
Pros And Breakouts Will Vie For Oscar Gold



Annette Bening as famed actress Gloria Gresham in "Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool". 
Sony Classics
       

by
Omar P.L. Moore/PopcornReel.com        Follow popcornreel on Twitter FOLLOW                                           
Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Best Actress field will have an intriguing group of contenders ahead of the January 23 Oscar nominations annoncement.  The Academy will likely consider at least nine lead performances: Annette Bening, Jessica Chastain, Salma Hayek, Sally Hawkins, Frances McDormand, Brooklynn Prince, Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan and Meryl Streep. 

All of the actors stand out in their respective films but Best Actress will be determined from these five: Ms. Chastain, Ms. Hawkins, Ms. Robbie, Ms. Ronan and Ms. Streep.  Look for these to be the Oscar nominees in just under three weeks' time.  Arguably these prospective final five do the best work of their career in these films ("Molly's Game", "The Shape Of Water", "I, Tonya", "Lady Bird" and "The Post".) 

The Academy are fans of Ms. Streep, who is in line for her fourth Oscar.  No actor has been nominated more in 89 years of Oscars history.  In "The Post" Ms. Streep is resonant in ways large and small, particularly subtle in quiet moments.  I believe the Academy will put Ms. Streep at the top of its consideration for her role as Katherine Graham, the once-owner of The Washington Post.  The Academy is fond of making statements and I expect them to crown Ms. Streep once again, not only because of her performance but in part because of what "The Post " has to say. 

I once interviewed a president of the Academy who insisted that politics played no role in Oscars voting.  The world knows that that is not true.  I believe the times in which we live will accentuate Ms. Streep's chances.  They certainly won't hurt.

Margot Robbie had the most energetic and multi-ranging performance in "I, Tonya".  One thing the Academy loves is women who strip away vanity on screen (Hilary Swank, "Boys Don't Cry" and "Million Dollar Baby"; Charlize Theron, "Monster".)  Ms. Robbie does that and more in "I, Tonya" and as a "relative" newcomer to Hollywood may be the Academy favorite.  In recent Oscars younger actresses have triumphed (Emma Stone, "La La Land", Brie Larson, "Room".)  Sometimes in this category -- or at least over the last 20 years, the Best Actress winner is the lone winner for the film.

Sally Hawkins has been nominated previously and if anyone can pull off an Oscar triumph it is she.  Playing a mute in "The Shape Of Water" she utilizes physicality, grace and movement that recalls Chaplin in many ways.  Marlee Matlin, who won for "Children Of A Lesser God", is the last actor in to win Best Actress for playing a character who has disabilities.  Ms. Matlin is deaf.  Jessica Chastain has great balance and confidence as Molly Bloom in "Molly's Game" and I think the Academy will like her, though I expect her time will come again when she is nominated in the future.

Saoirse Ronan illuminates and is great in "Lady Bird" but ultimately I think Oscar will call Meryl Streep's name in March.


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