Reference: BFCA, “CC” (Broadcast Film Critics Association) – GG (Golden Globes) – SAG (Screen Actors Guild)
- 1 – Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu) – BFCA, GG
- 2 – Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) – BFCA, GG, SAG
- 3 – Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman (Focus Features) – BFCA, GG, SAG
- 4 – Frances McDormand in Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures) – BAFTA, BFCA, GG, SAG
- 5 – Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman (Netflix) – BAFTA, BFCA, GG, SAG
I… I… I don’t know! I am simply clueless. This category is wild and I can see any of these women, even Vanessa Kirby.
I guess the only way I can ration writing this article is to talk about each nominee individually.
It’s strange having Vanessa Kirby as my number five as she is one of two to get nominated at every ceremony. Reason I put her at the bottom is that she is the only one of these women not to have a single precursor win. It’s a great shame to me as I love her performance and it is by far and away my favourite out of the nominees in this category. Strangely though, I think she can win! This category has been so wild that I can see voting being very close and the winner will probably just win. The anonymous ballots have shown votes for Kirby which shows she still has momentum. If she wins it’ll be incredible as each nominee would have won at a ceremony each, now when did that last happen?
Next up is Frances McDormand. A very subtle performance in which she immersed herself into the role, living as an actual nomad for a number of months. A great performance indeed, and she does have the support of BAFTA, but my worry is that she is very much like Yalitza Aparicio in ‘Roma’, very withdrawn and quiet. The Academy have show to like a more out there performance which can be more obviously labelled as acting. McDormand has also not made a presence of herself at any awards ceremony, not even logging onto a Zoom call, classic McDormand! I also don’t know whether the Academy will want to give her three leading role wins, especially two quite close together, but then again I look at the anonymous ballots and none of the voters seem to be bothered by this and many flat out love her performance.
I know I’m not going to be liked for this, but Carey Mulligan is my number three. Like I’ve said, I think any of these women can win and with Mulligan at my number three, this can’t be all that bad of a thing. Many think she is going to win as she as the “give her an Oscar” incentive, as well as a CC win. What I don’t understand is why people think having a CC win alone is a big show of support. In other categories such as Costume and Production Design, Score and Visual Effects the association can be very helpful at predicting as they have a good track record, but in acting, a sole win here almost never leads onto a win at the Oscars. I think this is because CC appreciate a more subtle performance whilst the Oscars want something more ‘big’. Stats are meant to be broken, and Carey Mulligan’s performance feels like a performance that could break the stat, but I just don’t think it’s wise to have her at number one.
Moving right along, I think it’s 51/49 between my number two and one, but I’ve got to put them somewhere, so Viola Davis is here by a hair. Absolutely can she win, she has the SAG for goodness sakes, a very good thing to have going into the Oscars. I’m also going to talk about my number one (Andra Day) here as I want to discuss why she is above Davis and how the SAG win may not be enough. Viola Davis is incredible in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’, she also fits the criteria perfectly for a bait-y win; a transformative role playing a real life person, who is complete opposite of the real life actor. My worries for Davis is that she is more supporting then she is lead (though this didn’t matter for Olivia Colman in ‘The Favourite’), and ‘Ma Rainey at 1h 34mins is quite a short film so she doesn’t get a tonne of time to shine, but when she does get the time, she shines like the sun. Now, let’s talk about Andra Day. A complete newcomer to the acting scene, ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ marked her first performance, but man is she good. Nearly the whole movie follows just her, as she goes through the highs and lows of life, struggles abuse, alcoholism, drugs and deals with a society that a large amount of weigh down on her. She is complete bait, but in a good way. Some may sight her not getting nominated at SAG as a big barricade in her way, I’m not so sure it is. Time to time SAG do snub the Oscar winner, most likely reason for this is due to screeners. But the people who do see the eventual winner fall in love with the performance, take Regina King in ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ and Day herself, winning the GG. The elephant in the room here is that ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ has a poor Rotten Tomatoes score at 54% critics approval. However, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ only just squeezed a fresh at 60% and Rami Malek had no issues winning lead. Both films also have much more honourable audience scores, with ‘Billie Holiday having a score of 84%, only one percent lower then ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’! The Academy have shown to side more with audiences then critics so I’m not sure if I take this all that seriously. So, I’m going out on a slight limb here, but I’m gonna do it, I officially predict Andra Day as the Oscar winner.