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Oscar Contest: Category Highlight: Best Actress

February 13th, 2011

With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out who the favorites are and which nominees should just feel honored to be nominated. This weekend we will look at the four acting categories, ending with Best Lead Actress, which is, while not exactly competitive, at least has a long shot with a shot.

(Note: All previous awards listed are only for acting and not other categories. However, they are for supporting and lead acting.)

Best Actress in Lead Role

Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right
Tomatometer Score: 95% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: One Independent Spirit Award, Two SAGs, and One Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: One Golden Globe (One pending)
Actress's Previous Major Nominations: Three SAGs, Five Golden Globes, and Three Oscars
Actress's Previous Major Wins: Two SAGs and One Golden Globe
Notes: Annette Bening is due for an Oscar win after missing out three times previously. These Lifetime Achievement wins do happen from time to time, but she is still a long shot, as The Kids Are All Right was more of a comedy and Natalie Portman has been winning everything. On the other hand, if there is going to be an upset in this category, Annette Bening is the only one with a real shot here.

Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole
Tomatometer Score: 87% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: One Independent Spirit Award, One SAG, and One Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None (One pending)
Actress's Previous Major Nominations: Four SAGs, Seven Golden Globes, and Two Oscars
Actress's Previous Major Wins: Three Golden Globe and One Oscar
Notes: Nicole Kidman is a huge long shot here. Rabbit Hole's reviews were weaker than its main competition, it was a smaller film and has yet to crack $2 million at the box office, which means more Oscar voters have never seen it and the studio is less likely to push it. Had Nicole Kidman earned more nominations and no previous Oscars, one could argue a Lifetime Achievement win was a possibility, but even that's not the case.

Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone
Tomatometer Score: 95% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: One Independent Spirit Award, One SAG, and One Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None (One pending)
Actress's Previous Major Nominations: None
Actress's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Jennifer Lawrence has almost no chance of winning. Not only is Natalie Portman an overwhelming favorite, but Jennifer Lawrence is an unknown commodity and Winter’s Bone was not a huge hit at the box office. Also, I think most voters will think the 20-year old will have plenty of chances to win in the future, so her chances of winning this year are remote.

Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Tomatometer Score: 88% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: One Independent Spirit Award, One SAG, and One Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: One SAG and One Golden Globe (One pending)
Actress's Previous Major Nominations: Two Golden Globes and One Oscar
Actress's Previous Major Wins: One Golden Globe
Notes: Natalie Portman is on a massive winning streak and that will likely continue on Oscar night. My only concern is that's she's young, she'll obviously have many more chances to win, while you could argue Annette Bening has been robbed in the past and Oscar voters might try and correct that mistake this year.

Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine
Tomatometer Score: 89% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: One Independent Spirit Award and One Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None (One pending)
Actress's Previous Major Nominations: Four Independent Spirit Awards, Three SAGs, One Golden Globe and One Oscar
Actress's Previous Major Wins: One Independent Spirit Awards
Notes: After a huge amount of controversy surrounding this film's initial NC-17 rating, the buzz seems to have died down. Granted, the film's reviews are good, but it didn't even pick up a SAG and it hasn't won a major awards yet. Given the amount of nominations Michelle Williams has earned in her short career so far, I'm sure she'll have more chances to win an Oscar in the future.

Conclusion: This is likely Natalie Portman's year. The only obstacle is Annette Bening winning a Lifetime Achievement award, but the odds of that are slim.


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Filed under: The Kids Are All Right, Winter's Bone, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, Rabbit Hole