Oscar 2019: Best Actress–Predictions (Year of Fresh Faces?)


It’s been a banner year for women, in both leading and supporting roles.  For the first time in decades, there are many more worthy female than male contenders.

If you want to know more about the Oscars, please consult my book, All About Oscar: History and Politics of the Academy Awards (hardcover and paperback).

FRONTRUNNERS (in alphabetical order)

Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Glenn Close, The Wife

The Wife – Production & Publicity Stills

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back



Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (foreign language film, Spanish)

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

Nicole Kidman, Destroyer

Joanna Kulig, Cold War (foreign language film, Polish)


Toni Collette, Hereditary

Viola Davis, Widows

Kathryn Hahn, Private Life

KiKi Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk

Rosamund Pike, A Private War



The gates of the Best Actress league this year are open to newcomers, making it the most democratic (and desirable) league.

My list of frontrunners contains superlative performances by four first-timers in that category: British Olivia Colman (The Favourite), who has never been nominated before.

Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) has never been nominated, and has limited screen acting experience on TV.

This is a big year for would be first-time Academy nominee Emily Blunt, with two strong performances, Best Actress in Mary Poppins Returns, and Best Supporting Actress in A Quiet Place (directed by her actor-husband, John Kraskinski).

Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive me?), cast against type, and previously nominated for the Best Supporting Actress for a comedy (Bridemaids).

If nominated, this will be the seventh Oscar nod for vet Glenn Close, 72, who has been recognized (and snubbed) in both the lead and supporting categories.  Close is quickly becoming “the new Geraldine Page,” who finally won Oscar gold at her eighth nomination, for Trip to Bountiful, in 1985.

This will be Julia Roberts‘ fifth Oscar nomination, and if she wins, her second Oscar. She has earned the Best Actress Oscar for Soderbergh’s 2000 biopic, Erin Brockovich.







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