At tomorrow night’s Golden Globe ceremony you will see two competing Best Actress contenders likely win: Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence, who are in two different categories. These award shows can sometimes build momentum in one actress’ favor propelled by how well they do in front of a crowd accepting the award. Speeches can sometimes make a difference, though not always. Both are beautiful young women with very bright futures ahead of them. But we will likely end the night still not knowing who will win Best Actress and that’s because the state of the Best Actress race has suddenly shifted.
When Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild were nominated in the Best Director and Best Screenplays categories, the chances for Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhane Wallis to win skyrocketed. The frontrunners are still the two bigger stars, Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty and Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. The fifth contender is another potential dark horse, Naomi Watts for the Impossible.
My first instinct when I heard the nominations was to say that Emmanuelle Riva, the oldest ever Oscar nominee, is the biggest threat. But Wallis and Beasts is hard to resist. If you loved that movie you will love her in it. And if she won she would also make history as only the second African American actress to win Lead. In 85 years.