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92nd Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2019 (for the 2020 Ceremony) - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

AUGUST 9TH PREDICTIONS

Tier 1 - Prediction

Breaking: we're staying way out on a limb to predict the first lineup in Best Actress since 1972 that features two black women. Erivo has a plum vehicle and Jodie Turner Smith is our current wildcard hunch for the newbie that Oscar gets excited about (there's usually at least one) but that no one saw coming. Unfortunately we are beginning to doubt that Alfre Woodard will get an Oscar comeback with Clemency given the very very late release date.

With Amy Adams out of the 2019 race (Woman in the Window) we've replaced that perennial Oscar darling with the Academy's most-beloved default nominee, Meryl Streep (The Laundromat). We were hesitant at first assuming it was more of an ensemble picture but the plot synopsis now firmly indicates that Meryl is leading the proceedings.

Cynthia Erivo
32 yrs old | never nominated
HARRIET
(Focus)
Nov 1st

The movie could be a frontrunner if its high quality given the subject. The question is whether Erivo can generate enough quick career momentum for a win.

Helen Mirren
73 yrs old | 4 noms | 1 win
THE GOOD LIAR
(Warner Bros)
Nov 15th

She's had automatic awards runs for most of her projects, whether or not the performance was noteworthy and early buzz on this is good. This could prove to be more of a showcase for Ian McKellen or merely a "fun" movie without awards buzz.

Meryl Streep
70 yrs old | 21 noms | 3 wins
THE LAUNDROMAT
(Netflix)
Release TBA

 No other actor finds it easier to snag nominations, even in the odd years when she doesn't campaign. She's controlling the story here as a widow investigating suspicious financial papers which lead to Panama City.

 

Renée Zellweger
50 yrs old
3 noms | 1 win
JUDY
(Roadside)
Sept 27th

 Voters love famous actors playing famous people. RZ will have easy "comeback" narrative if she's strong but Garland is one of the most imitated performers of all time. We've seen it a lot already.

 

Jodie Turner Smith
32 yrs old | never nominated
QUEEN & SLIM
(Universal)
Nov 27th

 Hollywood will be paying attention given the director's buzz and Kaluuya as co-star. Could be the year's breakout if the film isnt too divisive.

 

 
Tier 2 - Or Maybe It'll Be These Five

Charlize Theron
43 yrs old | 2 noms | 1 win
UNTITLED ROGER AILES FILM
(Lionsgate)
Dec 20th

Voters love famous actors playing famous people. The story is timely and Lithgow as co-star but she's been passed over for brilliant work in the past so...

Saoirse Ronan
25 yrs old | 3 noms
LITTLE WOMEN
(Columbia)
Dec 25th

 We already know that Oscar loves this role (see Winona Ryder in 1994) and its a classic for a reason. It's also a remake or a remake. A fourth nomination by 25? Only one person (JLaw) has ever done that.

 

Scarlett Johansson
34 yrs old | never nominated
MARRIAGE STORY
(Neon)
Release TBA

 Noah Baumbach is very skilled with actors and Scarlett has now become so underrated that she might even qualify as a "I didn't know she had that in her" surprise despite delivering lots of strong work outside of superhero movies. We'll see.

 

Alfre Woodard
66 yrs old | 1 nomination
CLEMENCY
(Neon)
Dec 27th

 

She's an enduring actor's actor that people love. 36 years since her first nom (!) so she'd get a lot of welcome back media love but post Christmas releases generally have trouble stirring up enough heat, so Neon may have killed her chances with that date.

Awkwafina
29 yrs old | never nominated
THE FAREWELL
(A24)
July 12th

 Oscar loves it when "funny" actors get serious and the film is a breakout arthouse hit. But Oscar has always resisted Asian actors (sigh). We'll see.

 

 
Tier 3 - We might be underestimating...

Lupita Nyong'o
36 yrs old | 1 nom | 1 win
US
(Universal)
March 22nd

She's brilliant in the film and, more importantly given the early release, super memorable. Can Universal revive interest for a leading Oscar bid?

Rosamund Pike
40 yrs old | 1 nomination
RADIOACTIVE
(Amazon)
Release TBA

Oscar loves no genre more than the biopic. She's playing Marie Curie and that worked for Greer Garson. Still, the film's pedigree doesn't scream "Oscar!" and Pike hasn't had traction since Gone Girl.

Felicity Jones
35 yrs old | 1 nomination
THE AERONAUTS
(Amazon)
Dec 6th

Initially the buzz seemed promising for this oddly retro gamble -- a hot air balloon survival drama --but Amazon appears to have gotten cold feet pulling back on release plans . A lack of studio confidence is rarely a good Oscar omen (even if the movie actually does deliver)

Natalie Portman
38 yrs old | 3 noms | 1 win
LUCY IN THE SKY
(Fox Searchlight)
Oct 4th

 

 

She's been stretching her gift of late and looked intriguing with her choices (performance and film) in this trailer. Will it deliver?

Kristen Stewart
29 yrs old | never nominated
SEBERG
(Amazon)
Release TBA

   Oscar loves actors playing other icons (Jean Seberg here) and Kristen Stewart has, by now, thoroughly reinvented herself and it might be the exact right time for Oscar to sit up and take notice. 

 

 

Admired performances but early in the year and the films weren't big hits so unless the Globes surprise by honoring them...

Emma Thompson - Late Night, Elisabeth Moss - Her Smell, Julianne Moore - Gloria Bell, Honor Swinton Byrne - The Souvenir, 

Other Female Leads of Possible Note
Gemma Arterton
- Summerland, Jillian Bell - Brittany Runs a Marathon, Juliette Binoche -The Truth, Cate Blanchett - Where'd You Go Bernadette?, Michelle Dockery - Downton Abbey,Linda Hamilton - Terminator Dark Fate, Riley Keough - The Lodge, Lesley Manville - Normal People, Sienna Miller - American Woman,  Taylor Paige - Zola, Mary Kay Place - Diane, Florence Pugh -Midsommar

 Are They Still Arriving in 2019? It's Looking Doubtful.

Frances McDormand - Nomadland,  Anne Hathaway -The Last Thing He Wanted

Definitely Moved to 2020
Amy Adams - Woman in the Window