Scott Menzel’s 2018 Academy Award Predictions for Best Actress
It’s officially Award Season and that means it’s time to predict who will be nominated for the 90th Annual Academy Awards. Over the next few weeks, We Live Entertainment staff members will be making their own predictions as to who will be nominated and who they believe will win.
2017 was the year that women took control of the film industry. While there were several great performances by men this year, it is the female performances that have repeatedly stood out throughout the year. There were so many great performances that I find it particularly difficult this year to predict the winners in both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actresses because there are so many powerful and amazing performances this year but I figured I would give this a try and see how I do.
Francis McDormand – Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
Francis McDormand delivers a powerhouse performance in Three Billboards. The film has a perfect mix of dark comedy and drama. It is very funny but will make you think as well. It seems like even those who don’t adore the film as much as I do, agree that McDormand’s performance is worthy of all the praise and the hype that has been surrounding it since the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival back in September. I think McDormand is the front-runner to win the Academy Award.
Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
Hawkins, who I think has always been incredibly underrated, is finally getting a ton of praise for her role as Elisa Esposito in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water. Hawkins is incredibly in the role and her performance is nothing short of remarkable. She plays a mute and falls in love with a creature that is being held prisoner at Occam Aerospace Research Center where she works as a janitor. Hawkins’ performance is very nuanced and she really is the main reason why the film works as well as it does. Hawkins could possibly take the Award from McDormand but at this time, still feel that McDormand’s performance is a little bit more emotional and powerful but I can see it going, either way, to be honest.
Margot Robbie – I, Tonya
I, Tonya is a terrific film and Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding is perfection. This is hands down Margot Robbie’s best performance to date which is why I think she is a lock to receive a nomination. The problem, however, is that I doubt she will win considering those in this category but honestly, you never really know. I would love if Robbie surprises everyone and wins the Award but I won’t be holding my breath.
Soairse Ronan – Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird premiered at Telluride and has quickly become one of the most talked about films of 2017. Gerwig’s film is terrific and is the best Coming-of-Age film since The Perks of Being a Wallflower. While I think Lady Bird works for several reasons, there is no denying that the weight of the story lies on the shoulders of Soairse Ronan performance. Ronan is terrific in the film and completely embraces the role. Ronan has already gotten a lot of love for the performance and was nominated two years ago for her role in Fox Searchlight’s Brooklyn. I think she will get nominated for sure but it is highly unlikely that she will win considering the three above mentioned performances.
Meryl Streep – The Post
Steven Spielberg’s the Post is a great historical drama that perfectly fits the political climate of today. Meryl Streep’s performance as Katharine “Kay” Graham is another solid role for the talented actress and has generated a lot of early award season chatter. While I don’t think this is her finest role to date, I do believe that it is incredibly relevant and Streep does have two scenes that are pretty remarkable and show off why she is considered one of the best actresses working today. I would say that she will be nominated and won’t win but we all know how much the Academy loves her so anything goes. I will say that out of the five solid bet nominees that I Streep is the least worthy of the bunch. Again, it’s not saying that the performance wasn’t great but it simply isn’t anything that we haven’t already seen from Streep before.
Could Possibly Steal a Spot:
Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game
I feel like there was a ton of buzz surrounding Molly’s Game during the Toronto International Film Festival but somehow that hype train has sort of died down despite the film being well-reviewed by a ton of critics. I personally loved the film and think it is one of the year’s best. I think Chastain perfectly fits into the world that Sorkin has created as she delivers another incredibly powerful performance as a strong female lead. I love the way that Chastain speaks Sorkin’s dialogue as though she was born to say his words. The role of Molly Bloom is just another reason why I think Chastain is one of the most electrifying and talented actresses working today.
Emma Stone – Battle of the Sexes
I love Emma Stone and year after year she continues to pick amazing roles. Her performance as Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes is terrific and when I saw the film at Telluride, I really thought she would’ve been nominated. However, she has become the underdog this year because there have been so many remarkable female performances that I think everyone has sort of forgotten about Battle of the Sexes in general. It probably doesn’t help that the two frontrunners for Best Actress are also in films that were released by Fox Searchlight. I don’t think Stone will get much love this award season but if she does sneak in anywhere, I would think it will be for a Golden Globe nomination but not an Oscar.
Judi Dench – Victoria and Abdul
I like Judi Dench a lot and she was great in Victoria and Abdul but just like Meryl Streep in the Post, her performance was something that we have all seen her do several times before. Dench’s speech in Victoria and Abdul is just as powerful, if not, even more, so than Streep’s speech in the Post, but Streep lucked out since the government vs. journalism plotline is a lot more relevant than anything in Victoria and Abdul. Let’s not forget to mention that Speilberg and Hanks are also involved with The Post. Just like Emma Stone, Dench may see a Golden Globe nomination but I highly doubt she will see any love from the Academy this year despite delivering another fine performance.
Annette Bening – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool wasn’t loved by critics at Telluride but everyone did admit that Annette Bening and Jaime Bell were terrific in their roles. I liked the film enough but don’t think it is award worthy. The performances, on the other hand, are terrific and are far superior to the storytelling. If it wasn’t for the wide-array of strong performances, Bening would have possibly seen a nomination but I think her chances are slim to none especially since no one seems to be even discussing the film. I didn’t even know the film was slated to be released which considering I see movie daily and talk about them several times throughout the day, that isn’t exactly a good sign for what is an already smaller released film.
Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman
I love me some Gal Gadot. I think she’s a great role model and totally kicked as Diana Prince in Wonder Woman and Justice League. Gadot has great confidence as an actress and even though she is playing a superhero, I felt her performance had depth and emotion to it. She could get a Golden Globe nomination since she is a fan favorite among critics and audiences alike but sadly, the Academy won’t be showing any love towards her amazing superhero performance.
Diane Kruger – In the Fade
Talk about a haunting performance. Kruger has finally found another role where she shines incredibly bright. In the Fade isn’t a very easy film to watch but Kruger holds it together. She is absolutely fantastic and her performance will stick with you for days after seeing it. What hurts Kruger from getting a nomination is honestly the fact that the film is a foreign release. I don’t think many actors or actresses have been nominated for Foreign Films in these categories. It’s a shame because she does truly deliver one of the best performances of 2017.
You can find all of our 2018 Oscar predictions right here: We Live Entertainment’s 2018 Acamedy Awards Predictions