OSCAR PREDICTIONS 2017: The female acting awards

(Image: hypable.com)

On February 26th, Jimmy Kimmel will host the 89th Academy Awards and its time to make predictions. On this website, I've been tabulating all of the minor and lead-up award winners in all of the Oscar categories since last November on my 2017 Awards Tracker.  Those results have been my data trends to predict these winners.  In this fifth post, we look at the races for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.  Stick with me and I will win you your Oscar pool!


The nominees:  Viola Davis for "Fences," Naomie Harris for "Moonlight," Nicole Kidman for "Lion," Octavia Spencer for "Hidden Figures," Ruth Negga for “Loving,” Michelle Williams for "Manchester by the Sea"

AWARDS TRACKER DATA:  29- Davis, 10- Williams, 5- Harris, 4- Lily Gladstone for "Certain Women,” and four others with one win

Who was snubbed:  In my opinion, the right five nominees are here.  These were the five Golden Globe nominees and the five SAG nominees.  Diving deeper for dark horse suggestions, many love Lily Gladstone from “Certain Women,” a film too few saw or stayed awake for.  Greta Gerwig is another indie treasure, but her roles in “20th Century Women” and “Jackie” weren’t showy enough by her standards.  Nominees Octavia Spencer and Naomie Harris overshadowed the crossover discovery that is Janelle Monae in “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight.”  My personal pick would have been Rachel Weisz and the personal agony she showed in “The Light Between Oceans.”

Happy to be there:  Of these five women, the two who have previously won Oscars, Spencer and Kidman, have no realistic shot of winning.  These nominations simply pad the resume while someone new is anointed.  

Who should win and will win:  Honestly, this category is a little unfair.  As a “supporting” actress, Viola has tremendously more screen time in “Fences” than her fellow nominees in their films.  Everyone else, from Michelle Williams to Naomie Harris, have “that one really good scene” and not much more.  Viola Davis of "Fences" is a force the entire 139 minutes of Denzel Washington’s film.  She should be competing in the lead actress category.  She wins here with ease and, the best part is, she deserves to.  This was a cornerstone performance in a career that should have been crowned five years ago with “The Help” when she was robbed by Meryl Streep (sound familiar).  


The nominees:  Natalie Portman for “Jackie,” Emma Stone for “La La Land,” Ruth Negga for "Loving,” Meryl Streep for “Florence Foster Jenkins,” and Isabelle Huppert for “Elle”

AWARDS TRACKER DATA:  17- Huppert, 15- Portman, 7- Stone, 5- Amy Adams for "Arrival,” 3- Negga, 2- Rebecca Hall for "Christine,” 2- Sandra Huller for "Toni Erdmann,” and three others with one win

Who was snubbed:  Amy Adams is the most high profile snub of any Oscar category.  She opened the awards season on top as the National Board of Review winner.  It’s been mostly misses and second place finishes since.  I’ve called her the American Kate Winslet and, as coincidence would have it, she’s older than Winslet by a year.  She has never won in five nominations.  “Arrival” or “Nocturnal Animals” should have been her sixth or even her seventh.  Someday, it will be the right time to honor one of the best actresses working today.  Outside of Adams, a fun name for this field would have been Hailee Steinfeld for "The Edge of Seventeen."  She's proof comedy is still underappreciated.

Happy to be there:  Two of the nominees fit this description for opposite reasons.  Ruth Negga is the surprise nominee and virtually unknown who was wonderful in “Loving.”  She’s along for the ride with more qualified and credentialed nominees.  The other is the saturation that is Meryl Streep, the greatest living actress of several erasl.  Many complain gets nominated for everything every time because she is who she is.  Take her inclusion as either misguided respect or a semi-annual message that other ladies simply aren’t at her level.

Who should win:  Without question, this is has been the most competitive major category during the entire Oscar race.  “Elle” star Isabelle Huppert represents this year’s Charlotte Rampling as the revered foreign actress with clout.  She and Natalie Portman for “Jackie” have been trading the majority of minor wins since November.  My vote would be Portman.  Her work was powerful and transcendent as the former First Lady and societal icon.  She is likely knocked a little as a full contender because she won an Academy Award so recently for “Black Swan.”  I don’t care if you’ve won already.  If you were the best, you get to win again and everyone else has to raise their game.

Who will win:  It’s Emma Stone for “La La Land” who has been surging late and looking unstoppable.  She has nowhere near the total number of precursor wins as either Huppert or Portman, but she won the ones that carried favor, the Golden Globe, the SAG, and the BAFTA, in the homestretch.  Expect her star to be fully born this Sunday as the eventual winner.