Academy Awards Preview — Actresses

In this preview post, I will look at the race for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett for Carol
Brie Larson for Room
Jennifer Lawrence for Joy
Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn
About: This is a strong field of talented women who gave diverse and wonderful performances. It's a field that includes two previous winners in Blanchett and Lawrence. But the favorite in the race is a first-time nominee. I think this is a two-horse race between Brie Larson, who was devastating in "Room," and Saoirse Ronan for "Brooklyn." Blanchett was good in "Carol" but seems to be a long-shot. In part, to me, that's because I think Rooney Mara — a nominee in the supporting category — might have been the best actress in the film. Ronan, a previous nominee for "Atonement," did a beautiful job in "Brooklyn," a fascinating slice of life film also nominated for Best Picture. But to me, no one can touch Larson for "Room." It's a tough movie to watch at times due to the story, but Larson carries a bulk of the film and is fantastic. She's the front-runner and should take home the award.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara for Carol
Rachel McAdams for Spotlight
Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs
About: This is another tough field full of great performances. And there's a number of first time nominees here, and only one previous winner (Winslet). Any of them could be worthy, and you could make a case for all five, but it feels like a two-horse race coming down to the finish. Winslet is a multiple time nominee who was fantastic in "Steve Jobs," one of the most over looked films of the year. She won the Golden Globe and is an Academy favorite. But the one with the most momentum seems to be Vikander, who was nominated for Best Actress at the Globes but correctly nominated for Best Supporting Actress by the Screen Actor's Guild Awards, where she was the winner. She's devastating in "The Danish Girl," delivering a great performance alongside fellow nominee Eddie Redmayne. I think Vikander has the edge and, to me, should be the winner on February 28.


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