The sky is blue, water is wet and Meryl Streep is nominated for best actress again. This nomination (her 14th in the category and 17th overall) is for her portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. But believe it or not, despite all those nominations, Streep hasn’t actually won the award since 1982 for Sophie’s Choice. Still, her recent Kennedy Center Honors and BAFTA, New York Film Critics, and Golden Globe wins, plus the fact that The Iron Lady is still in theaters, has kept Streep fresh in everyone’s mind and helped make her the frontrunner in this category.
Rooney Mara’s chances for her performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo could suffer due to comparisons with Noomi Rapace, who played the same role in the original (and better received) Swedish version of this film three years ago. Mara’s chances will also be diminished because the Academy will likely feel she has yet to pay her dues, and because the competition in this category is so strong (each of the other nominees already has at least one prior Oscar nomination.)
Like Julie Andrews in Victor Victoria, Glenn Close is nominated for playing a woman posing as a man. But even after a second run in theaters (which began just after the Oscar nominations were announced) few people have seen Albert Nobbs. Sorry, but there’s just no buzz about this movie, and Close’s stellar performance as the titular character is sure to be overlooked.
Many thought Viola Davis a shoe-in for a Supporting Actress award four years ago for her performance in Doubt, but inexplicably Penelope Cruz got the win for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. This year Davis is nominated for Best Actress for what some would consider a supporting role in The Help. Davis earned a surprising win at the SAG Awards last month. That, combined with The Help’s strong showing at the box office and on DVD (of all the Best Picture nominees, it’s by far had the most commercial success) could give Davis the extra momentum she needs to gain an upset win at the Oscars.
But speaking of momentum, My Week with Marilyn is somehow still playing in art houses a good five months after its release last October. Though the veracity of the story the film is based on is questionable, Michelle Williams is tremendous as Marilyn Monroe just as she was nearing the peak of her career. By now, everyone knows Williams is the real deal. With highly praised performances in Brokeback Mountain, along with Blue Valentine, Wendy and Lucy, and other indies, she may only take a back seat to Kate Winslet when listing Hollywood’s most talented actresses under 40. Like Marilyn in this movie, Williams is right on the cusp of becoming a huge star and the Academy might want to show it’s ahead of the curve by awarding her the Oscar.
Should win: Williams
Will win: Streep
More Oscar Predictions:
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress