THE 2016 NOMINEES: Best Actress

Photo: A24/Elevation Pictures

Photo: A24/Elevation Pictures

Chris Luckett

There are just three days left until the Oscars. Have you had trouble finding time to catch up on all the nominated movies? Still want to be able to join in the Oscar conversations at work? Look no further than this six-part guide to the major categories. Today, I look at the nominees for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.


CATE BLANCHETT

The Movie: Carol
The Role: The titular Carol Aird, a woman in 1952 (whose broken marriage camouflages her homosexuality) who embarks on a relationship with a woman nearly half her age

Prior Oscar Nominations: 6 — Best Actress (Elizabeth), Best Supporting Actress (The Aviator), Best Supporting Actress (Note on a Scandal), Best Actress (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Best Supporting Actress (I’m Not There), Best Actress (Blue Jasmine)
Prior Oscar Wins: 2 — Best Supporting Actress (The Aviator), Best Actress (Blue Jasmine)
Lead-Up Awards for Blanchett: SAG Award (N), Critics’ Choice Award (N), British Academy Film Award (N), Golden Globe Award (N)
Chances of Winning: Possible, but unlikely, particularly with Blanchett having won again just two years ago


BRIE LARSON

The Movie: Room
The Role: Joy Newsome, a young woman held captive with her five-year-old son in a garden shed for seven years

Prior Oscar Nominations: 0
Prior Oscar Wins: 0
Lead-Up Awards for Larson: SAG Award (W), Critics’ Choice Award (W), British Academy Film Award (W), National Board of Review Award (W), Golden Globe Award (W), Canadian Screen Award (Pending)
Chances of Winning: Pretty much a lock; she’s already won practically every Best Actress award for last year


JENNIFER LAWRENCE

The Movie: Joy
The Role: Joy Mangano, upstart entrepreneur and inventor of the self-wringing Miracle Mop

Prior Oscar Nominations: 3 — Best Actress (Winter’s Bone), Best Actress (Silver Linings Playbook), Best Supporting Actress (American Hustle)
Prior Oscar Wins: 1 — Best Actress (Silver Linings Playbook)
Lead-Up Awards for Lawrence: Golden Globe Award (W), Critics’ Choice Award (N)
Chances of Winning: Slim; her nomination this year seemed more in recognition of the Academy’s persistent love of Lawrence than of her performance


CHARLOTTE RAMPLING

The Movie: 45 Years
The Role: Kate Mercer, a woman six days away from celebrating her 45th anniversary, who discovers her husband has never gotten over his love before her

Prior Oscar Nominations: 0
Prior Oscar Wins: 0
Lead-Up Awards for Rampling: Critics’ Choice Award (N)
Chances of Winning: Better than Lawrence’s, but worse than everyone else’s


SAOIRSE RONAN

The Movie: Brooklyn
The Role: Eilis Lacey, a young Irish woman who immigrates to America only to find her heart torn between a love in New York and a love in Ireland

Prior Oscar Nominations: 1 — Best Supporting Actress (Atonement)
Prior Oscar Wins: 0
Lead-Up Awards for Ronan: SAG Award (N), Critics’ Choice Award (N), British Academy Film Award (N), Golden Globe Award (N)
Chances of Winning: Not bad; while Larson is likely, Ronan’s a dark horse that could prove to be a surprise upset


Part 1: Best Supporting Actor
Part 2: Best Supporting Actress
Part 3: Best Director
Part 4: Best Actor

(Cover photo: Twentieth Century Fox)

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