With several potentially pivotal roles left to be seen — Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks and Amy Adams in American Hustle, two names seem like they might dominate the category when the critics start handing out their awards. Those awards will then influence the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice, the Screen Actors Guild and ultimately, the Oscars.  The Golden Globes often reflect the early part of the race, not the late breaking changes that can sometimes occur.  The New York Film Critics and the National Board of Review both announce early and also tend to reflect the early part of the race.

Here is a poll for you to respond to whom you think is in the lead.  I make my own list after the jump.

[polldaddy poll=7448143]

If the race goes as expected, it will end up turning out this way:

1. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
2. Sandra Bullock, Gravity*
3. Judi Dench, Philomena
4. Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks*
5. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County*
6. Amy Adams, American Hustle
7. Kate Winslet, Labor Day*
8. Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Colour
9. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
10. Julie Delpy, Before Midnight

*previously won an Oscar for Lead Actress

What surprised me most about my second viewing of Gravity last night was Sandra Bullock’s performance. I suppose the first time through I was more dazzled by the visual effects and didn’t notice what she goes through emotionally, what a transformative performance it is.   It is not to be underestimated, despite her having won for The Blind Side fairly recently. Right now, she seems to be Blanchett’s biggest challenger because the reviews for Gravity are setting that film up to be a critics’ darling. If it makes a shitload of money at the box office, at least $100 million, it will not only be a strong contender for Best Picture, but an even stronger contender for Best Actress, if voters want to reward a film that has made such a strong impact this year.

Bullock carries Gravity entirely.  She has some help from George Clooney and even more from the visual effects, but this movie belongs to her. Were it not for her previous Oscar, there wouldn’t even be a discussion as to who’s in the lead in the race. But with that recent win, there might be a greater sense of urgency to award an actress who hasn’t won.

On the other hand, Gravity’s success seems to be surpassing expectations. It’s just this side of becoming a phenomenon.  The same could have been said last year with Jessica Chastain and Zero Dark Thirty but the difference here is the life-affirming message of Gravity, and Bullock’s heroism.  There’s a big difference between the two characters — Bullock’s “Oscar Story” will be her coming back from winning for The Blind Side, which many figured was the best she had in her, and doing an even more impressive job.  There is a narrative built in to seeing her succeed that none of the other actresses have; Bullock has proved herself more than worthy.

Blanchett, though, is at the moment, heads and shoulders above the rest. But that doesn’t necessarily amount to a win.  We’ve all watched in horror over the years as the most memorable, heart-wrenching performances lose the prize to the more popular contender.  Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream vs. Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich, for instance. But Blanchett is young enough and beautiful enough and charming enough to perhaps pull in a win.

Complicating matters is the Mia Farrow’s expose that’s about to hit Vanity Fair in November. In it, Woody’s daughter Dylan is interviewed for the first time.  How much will the press make of it? Are there still old wounds that haven’t healed?  Will the newly opened controversy disappear once Woody receives the Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes? Perhaps no one will care, and the film will continue its success — on the other hand, voters tend to shy away from controversy. Add to that, Jasmine not being a likable character — as opposed to the extremely likable Ryan Stone (Gravity).  All of this adds to a potential shift.

Much is riding on the performances that haven’t been seen yet.  Saving Mr. Banks is a story that revolves around Emma Thompson’s character, and those kinds of films are so rare now.  The early buzz is good so far.  Amy Adams is such a versatile actress, and she was one of the best things about The Fighter.  As yet, there is no way to know how big or how important these performances will be.


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  • Tye-Grr

    I feel like, as great as Blanchett is, and even though she’s yet to win in lead and could very well be seen as overdue, Bullock is going to prevail.

    Bullock IS ‘Gravity’. Her character is what takes you on an emotional journey, and her performance is what pulls you in and makes you feel like you’re there (and Cuaron’s direction even puts you in the suit with her). Bullock is a revelation in the role, and I think many members will really connect to her character and her plight. Blanchett is great, there’s no denying that, and she may very well win (they will be the closest race, no doubt in my mind), but her Jasmine is a hard character to love or even relate to for some. With Bullock’s Dr. Ryan Stone, she’s a woman doing everything she can to survive and make it back home while going through the gamut of emotions; who can’t relate to that?

    I may be wrong, and Blanchett may pull it out after all, but I’m sticking with Bullock on this one.

  • Tony

    The great Cate Blanchett has only a Supp. Actress win. She’ll win unless Judi Dench (also only a Supp. Actress win) is great in “Philomena.” Bullock’s problem is that the lead actress win for “The Blind Side” could be seen as a premature award for “Gravity.”

  • That Mia Farrow is the definition of vindictive. What a horrible woman. And think about poor Barbara Sinatra. Having her life dragged through the mud like this. Awful. Farrow could keep it to herself all these years but not when Woody’s got a popular film headed into Oscar season? Convenient timing. And she’s making herself look really bad in the process. Someone needs to call Maury and get any money Woody spent on the kid back and look and see if she ever lied in court during that custody battle back in the day. If she knew he was Frank’s and let all the court drama go on, that’s gotta be illegal.

    I love Sandra Bullock and was one of those cheering for her during THE BLIND SIDE season, but I’m all in for Cate Blanchett this year. I haven’t seen GRAVITY yet but I will, but Cate’s Jasmine was so amazing, even if Sandra was just as amazing (can’t see how) Cate still should get the edge because she’s overdue for Best Actress.

  • Rod

    I believe that Kate Winslet has a great chance of winning the Oscar. I watched Labor Day at TIFF and she is fantastic in it, even better than Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine.

  • bd74

    The last two Best Actress winners were from Weinstein films. Weinstein himself must know that he’s not likely to get a winner in the Best Actor category, so I suspect he’ll throw his campaigning weight behind the Best Actress category. One should never underestimate the Big Dog.

    Gravity’s gonna do well at the box office primarily because of the space/sci-fi nature of it (which will be available for viewing in both IMAX and 3-D), but also because it has no competition whatsoever this weekend. I would actually be shocked if it earns less than $40 million over the weekend.

  • John

    I also watched labor day and I think the same. Kate Winslet is fabulous.

  • Gautam

    Though I madly loved Gravity, I can’t say the same about Bullock’s performance. She is good but I felt, any other more versatile actress could have made more out of it. I think the film is so great that it also makes her look great. No doubt physically she must have had to go through a lot and she is flawless in the scenes requiring her to be physically agile. But at other places, [even though those are few and far between], she isn’t able to take the scenes to next level of emotional connection. And though, the film is phenomenal, and will do at least 150 million dollars of business, I won’t be surprised if she misses the nomination, specially if both Amy Adams and Thompson are great in their respective films.

    I think someone like Naomi Watts or even Natalie Portman would have been a better choice than Bullock.

  • Jordan

    Still think Adams has the best shot since she’d the only one who has yet to win.

  • rufussondheim

    Julia Roberts stole her Oscar from Bjork, not Ellen Burstyn. At least Bjork gets the last laugh and her dress was the most memorable moment from that Oscar season.

    I trust Chris Price on this and think Emma Thompson has the best shot. I think if all five slots are filled with previous winners, I think it will come down to more of a career option and who is deserving of another win the most. Bullock’s previous win was her career award, not sure they will think she deserves another, especially in an FX movie.

    Meanwhile Thompson will be front and center with the ACTING as the attention-getter not the flying space debris.

  • superkk

    sandra bullock is a huge box office draw. the blind side just in the US alone made 255 million. her lackluster movie the proposal made about 160 million. the heat about 160 million. gravity will definitely be #1 this weekend and with the holiday weekend next week it will draw in even more cash so breaking 100 million with excellent reviews wont be a problem for her.

    i cant comment on the performances just yet as i plan to see gravity on sunday…. either way ive always liked her and thought she was very humble so im happy shes getting a lot of buzz

  • david

    So where already coronating Blanchett as the winner and where also saying there are 5 ‘Locks’ well I disagree I think the only person that will beat cate blanchett is someone that when I bring up her name everybody says “she has no chance to get nominated” remember Demian Bechair also had no chance to get nominated look how that turned out so that bein said Brie Larson will not only get nominated but will have the best chance to beat Blanchett

  • Joey

    Can’t steal something that Bjork wasn’t even up for.

  • david

    Also bullock isn’t a lock because I think Oscar voters are going to have a hard time voting for her because its a sci-fi movie look at Zoe Saladana for Avatar

  • superkk

    FYI the Hollywood Film Awards have announced their winners

    best actor went to matthew
    best actress went to bullock
    supporting actress went to julia roberts
    supporting actor went to jake gyllenhaal
    and the breakthrough performance went to jared leto

    obviously these awards dont have a huge impact but its always interesting to see what the general public thinks early on in the race

  • Steven Kaye

    I agree. Farrow has really done herself a huge disservice with this “revelation”, true or not. I don’t think it’ll have the slightest impact on the Oscar race.

  • rufussondheim

    Oh, she stole the nomination too!

  • seren

    You can’t compare Zoe Saldana in “Avatar” with Sandra Bullock in “Gravity.” Saldana wasn’t very known at that time, fully motion-captured, “Avatar” is a completely new thing, and they didn’t really campaign for her while Bullock is one of the biggest stars in US, live-action (with CGI but her face is all live), Cuaron is giving her a huge praise, and “Gravity” is being mostly considered as achievement of combination of VFX and emotions.

    I’m not saying Bullock is a lock as I haven’t seen any of other contenders. I’m just saying Saldana in 2009 and Bullock in 2013 are totally different thing.

  • seren

    I don’t think this award has any impact on the actual award race as they tend to choose the most popular star among the contenders, but I’m interested that Julia Roberts in supporting actress. That means Roberts is running in supporting, right? She wouldn’t have accepted that “honor” unless she agreed to be in the supporting race.

  • DameMelissaLeo

    Who cares who wins?

    As a feminist Sasha you should know, Best Actress isn’t about who is the best. It’s about who they want to f*ck.

    And that’s why Bullock will win.

  • steve50

    “Breakthrough” for Leto? Have these people been hiding in a pod in the basement somewhere? Or perhaps they were too young when Requiem was released? Add to that he’s been acting since the late 90s, I would guess.

  • Bob Burns

    much will depend on the campaign…. will Blanchett show up? she has so many opportunities stage and film I can’t imagine why she would submit to an Oscar campaign. If she does, she’ll win, IMO, although her character cuts pretty close to the bone for Hollywood. Jasmine is them, after all

    Bullock has an advantage in Warner. The studio over-performs Oscar night, year after year.

  • I said this two months ago and I’ll say it again: I’m clinging to Julie Delpy until my dying breath.

  • Jorge

    Bullock will win

    Blanchett character isn’t likeable at all

    I have a feeling that Amy Adams will get snubbed after an undeserved nomination for the master and barely did nothing in the fighter

    Lets wait to see saving mr banks looks like a big flop but We need to see the reactions

  • steve50

    Blanchett, Thompson, Streep, Dench and Winslet are probably the best in the biz, but I’ll wager that only three of them make the top five, along with Bullock plus a curve ball (Adams? Larson or Exarchopoulos if the critics go that way?)

    At this moment, it’s Blanchett/Thompson/Bullock. The rest is dressing.

  • seren

    In terms of emotional aspects, Naomi Watts could be better, but I feel Watts looks too feminie for this role. Natalie Portman is too tiny. After all, I guess only Angelina Jolie would have been interesting if not Bullock. The film would have been very different as Jolie doesn’t usually make us feel as sympathetic as Bullock usually does, but as a different take, it would have been interesting.

  • Steven Kaye

    The “unlikeable” argument is a non-starter precisely because Blanchett is so good in the role that she allows the audience to feel for Jasmine.

    Better learn to accept the inevitable.

  • I really rooted for Jasmine. I know she was bad but still.

  • Manuel

    Agree! Bjork was the best that year so Julia stole the nomination and the win

    Hurray for the swan dress!

  • unlikely hood

    Let me summarize 1000 comments on 100 Best Actress threads over 10 years for you:

    To win Best Actress, a Best Picture nom matters. No it’s not deal-breaky, but there are more Roberts-over-Burstyn wins than Streep-over-Davises. (More often, pre-2009, *none* of the 5 BAs were in a BP nom’d film, but that’s hardly relevant lately now is it?) The cold reality is that most Oscar voters try to see most of the BP noms, and they’re iffy on the others. You don’t have to cite the exceptions. This is just the general curve. And after they see it, they like it.

    Now moving on to this year:

    If Vegas was giving odds now, it would have to favor Bullock, because Gravity is a BP nom slam-dunk, and none of the others are. Oh, I’m sure some of them will get in, but…if Blue Jasmine, August: Osage County or American Hustle somehow don’t make it, watch on nomination day as predictors for (respectively) Blanchett, Streep, and Adams fade away like windshield mist after you hit the defroster. Frankly – and I *loved loved loved* Blanchett in the film – if I were Vegas I’d put Thompson at #2, because Saving Mr. Banks, right this minute, is the likeliest to make BP of the other possibilities, with Philomena (and Dench at #3) not far behind.

  • You really think people won’t see BLUE JASMINE if it doesn’t make BP? I’m willing to bet a good number of them have seen it already.

  • Jay

    I’ve no doubt Sandra Bullock is extraordinary in _Gravity_, but I’m rooting for Cate Blanchett this time around. This is the toughest year for Best Actress and Best Actor I’ve ever seen. So intense!

  • rufussondheim

    His first major role that I can recall was for TV, he played Jordan Catalano, Claire Danes’s crush/boyfriend on the stunningly perfect My So-Called Life. (which also featured Scandal’s Jeff Perry, who played an older support person for a troubled gay teen. It was breathtaking television. I’m so happy the show lives on and can be readily seen.

    Now if only I’ll Fly Away can somehow make it back into the public consciousness. I don’t think there’s been a TV show that’s ever discussed race in America with such complexity and nuance. If you can find it, I highly recommend it. I can’t believe that it’s not considered a classic.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    Cuarón has delivered the best movie of the year. I remain open minded, but I don’t believe anything will surpass it this year. Highly emotional with new cinematically iconic images. Sandra Bullock must win Best Actress. ★★★★★

  • rufussondheim

    because of my job, I won’t get to see it until next Monday or Tuesday, and it will be the first contender I will see for this year. And then maybe I can make unlikelyhood happy and discuss something other than the gargantuanly important epic that is 12 Years a Slave (yay yay)

  • Watermelons

    Sandra Bullock’s win for The Blind Side, just by the basic math of it being so recent makes me hesitant to say she needs the Oscar for Gravity. Honestly – it’s the 2013/14 Oscar Season, and the ’09/10 Oscar Season is barely a wink and a half ago. We live in the age of hasty reinvention, but let’s try to spread things out a bit!

    On an unrelated note, I voted for Oscar-winner Kate Winslet (Little Children, Revolutionary Road) to win the Best Actress for Labor Day.


  • Bryce Forestieri

    To keep it spoiler free: The first time I saw 2001: A SPACE ODDYSSEY when the films cuts for the first time to Dr. Frank Poole jogging in the circular interior of Discover 1 and doing complete rotations, my heart started pumping fast and my eyes filled with tears, this happened to me several times at different parts in the film during that first viewing. Let’s say my experience with GRAVITY wasn’t all that different.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    I’m dreading not being able to see 12 YEARS A SLAVE until mid November. My city hasn’t been added to the list. It’s the only times I wish I didn’t live in The South

  • Zentropa

    No matter how good she was, Bullock never winning for this SCI-FI movie. Just nomination deserved.

    Except for Bullock, I think anyone can win, even Meryl.

  • Jonathan

    The Help was a BP nominee. The Iron Lady wasn’t. Whether Thatcher was more likeable than Davis’s character is debatable. Didn’t stop Streep from winning a third over Davis’s first.

    All these theories are good until they’re not. There were a million reasons why Argo couldn’t win. Until it did.

    The past matters little.

  • Christophe

    Your analysis holds true for most films of lesser pedigree, but not for those that have such a renowned director or stellar cast, this is necessary viewing. That is why they watched The Iron Lady, not for the movie itself, but to see Streep’s performance. And they will watch August to catch the Streep-Roberts bitch fight even if the reviews are just so-so. The Academy has already watched Blue Jasmine in droves btw (the response was overwhelmingly positive) and Cate is having customary luncheons, cocktails and meet and greets with voters all over the place. It doesn’t mean Blanchet will win for sur, but if she doesn’t, I doubt it’ll have anything to do with Blue Jasmine’s status as a BP contender or not, and I actually believe it will be a BP contender.

  • Devon

    Isn’t part of the equation that Sandra Bullock will literally throw anyone under the bus to win? She did it to Meryl Streep so don’t think for a second that she will not do it to Cate Blanchett (who BTW does not play games).

  • Brantoconnell

    The entire time I watched Gravity I was thinking this is what Viola Davis should have won her oscar for.

  • Brantoconnell

    Gravity should have starred Viola Davis.

  • PJ

    LOL @ Sandra Bullock. Naomi Watts did it better in the Impossible.

    If that is the 2nd best seen performance then Blanchett will win with her eyes closed and both hands tied behind her back while walking backwards on a New York street.

  • Watermelons

    Every moment of this race is five thousand roller coasters

  • Etchie

    I have seen August: Osage County @ TIFF last Sept 10. Once people have seen Meryl Streep’s performance and all the hype & reaction that will be up for her then she will be the front runner for a win regardless of her winning 2 years ago. Following arguments will support her as well:

    1) Recency of the release + hype-reaction of the film on Dec. 25 to the awards voting;
    2) Complexity of her role & Variety of acting techniques displayed in the film. One will be amazed by the seamless shift in the acting-emotion shown by Meryl in the film;
    3) Apart from the popular viewers reaction, the Testimonials coming from her ensemble co-stars will build a case that Meryl is indeed the best and will need to be rewarded for this performance. There are already various YouTube clips raving on Meryl’s performance from co-stars and I presume these will be exploited and more will be released over the Dec-Jan campaign period;
    4) Meryl will be the lone lead actress candidate for a film with so many built-in academy supporters which will ensure as well a Best Picture nomination. TWC have bigger equity-stake on A:OC and will prioritize Meryl’s bid & win as it will help sell & merchandise A:OC not just in US-Canada but beyond. Other built-in supporters would be the biggest CAA agency (who has a stake in the project as well), George Clooney-Grant Heslov as producers, Co-stars who are Academy members like Julia-Chris-Margo-Juliette-Abigail-Sam-etc. I presume all these A:OC supporters will go with the Meryl + Julia/Margo ballot for the Best Actress + Supporting Actress win.

    Overall, I am confident that Meryl will seize the front runner status & win upon the release of August:Osage County.

  • blizzards14

    Kate Winslet for the win!

  • ScottD

    I just got home from seeing Gravity, so I’ll let the film settle in my mind for a few days before ultimately deciding… but I have to agree that Sandra did a fabulous job, though I can see other actresses in that role easily – Halle, Angelina, Nicole… and my benchmark for an Oscar win is whether or not I could envision anyone else doing that they did.

    A nomination seems more than fair, but if she wins it will be because of the narrative of Bullock’s career, not because she did better than her fellow nominees.

  • ScottD

    My tombstone will read “Bjork should have won the Oscar”.

  • ScottD

    If I may piggy-back on to this.. Lately the Best Actress winners were the only major winners for their respective movie.

    Lawrence, Streep, Portman, Bullock, Winslet, Cotillard, Mirren, Witherspoon….

    The one common trait is that they were the “best thing” about their film, and most of those women felt like “locks” early on in the race.

    So regardless of Blue Jasmine sweeping the noms, or coming away with just a couple, Blanchett’s chances are the the same

  • ScottD

    Let me throw this out there:

    Watching Meryl win her Oscar after YEARS of not winning was one of the most memorable, fun, historic, inspiring moments.

    How many voters will choose her, simply to see her look of shock to win again so soon? If any Actress deserves relatively back to back wins, it’s her. Especially if all the nominees are past winners.

  • Glenn UK

    Unfortunately, in the UK we are a little behind when it comes to Oscar season. With the exception of the excellent Prisoners, nothing much has hit the UK so far. BUT from reading on here it certainly feels right now like a two horse race in BP and BA. I get the feeling that BP is coming down to Gravity and 12 Years. Actress is between Blanchett and Bullock. The only thing that I can see interfering is Saving Mr Banks …. that could have the syrupy, sickly sweet flavour that the Academy appear to love.

  • dinasztie

    Cate and Sandy are both so great and deserving that I’ll be happy for whoever takes home the gold. And I’m glad Meryl won the last time, because she won’t threaten these two (I know you hate her win).

    I don’t have any faith in Emma. I love her as much as anyone else, but that film will be this year’s Hitchcock (or even Hyde Park on Hudson) IMO.

  • Steven Kaye

    Not gonna happen. She’s already been blasted for being too hammy and over-the-top.

  • Koleś

    A couple of fun facts about the last 30 years of the Best Lead Actress race:

    There were 150 parts nominated over the last 30 years
    – 11 of them came from a BP winner
    – 38 of them came from a BP nominee
    – 101 of them came from a movie not nominated for BP

    Out of the 30 winning performances:
    – 5 came from a BP winner
    – 14 came from a BP nominee
    – 11 of them came from a movie not nominated for BP

    Out of the 30 Best Actress winners:
    – 17 were the movie’s only win, and out of that 4 were the movie’s only nomination and win.

    And here’s the real kicker:

    Only 3 times did a performance from a BP nominated picture won with a performance from a BP winner.

    Only ONCE did a performance from a movie not nominated for BP won with a performance from a BP winner (Hilary Swank over Anette Benning)

    Out of the 4 times when the movie’s only nomination and win was in the Best Actress category, only ONCE did the performance won over performances that came from BP nominees (Jodie Foster over Glenn Close and Melanie Griffith), and NEVER over a performance that came from a BP winner.

    The simple fact behind these numbers is that if Blanchett is going to be the soul nominee for “Blue Jasmine”, she doesn’t stand a chance to win.

  • Miles Ridding

    Cate Blanchett is amazing in Blue Jasmine. Her lead oscar is overdue and this one should be hers. Since her disgraceful loss to the so-so performance of Gwyneth Paltrow in The over rated Shakespeare in Love. Cate has only been compensated with a well deserved win in support for her Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.
    Other undeserved oscar wins since 1998 in Lead Actress are:

    Halle Berry in 2001 for Monster’s Ball
    Reese Witherspoon in 2005 for Walk The Line
    Sandra Bullock in 2009 for The Blind side
    Jennifer Lawrence in 2012 for Silver Linings Playbook

    Many others in this period have won for the wrong roles, but were still somewhat deserving like:-

    Nicole Kidman in The Hours (over Julianne Moore?)
    Kate Winslet in The Reader

    Let’s hope they get it right this year.

  • phantom

    Being fully aware that it is still remarkably early, I would be SHOCKED if the final five wasn’t Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson.

    With the Nicole Kidman/Marion Cotillard duo pushed to next year and the Julia Roberts/Felicity Jones duo placed in supporting, I think the most viable surprises are OTHER Academy darlings Kate Winslet and Amy Adams – 10 nominations between them, both still in their thirties – who may emerge stronger than expected but they will need unanimous praise (and preferably a BP nod) to have a shot at making a serious dent in the race. The one dark horse I can see surprising in the end is Brie Larson since the Academy almost always has a first time nominee in Best Actress (last time they didn’t ? around two decades ago) but she will need strong support from the critics groups to stay in the conversation. I know I should consider Adele Exarchopoulos more seriously, and I would love to, she is one of the most stunning revelations of recent years (LOVED her performance), but I think we shouldn’t forget that she is the unknown lead of a young-skewing, controversial foreign language film…the Academy every now and then – though RARELY – embraces one of those factors in Best Actress, but all four in one ? Based on precedent, unlikely.

    Who will win ? Now THAT is where it gets interesting, especially because if my predicted top5 happens, ALL will be previous winners so the usually crucial ‘due’ car will play less prominently and I think we’ll be looking at a four-way race :

    Cate Blanchett – She has been due for a LEAD Oscar for 16 years and as early frontrunner she does have unanimous praise and seemingly strong support BUT her role is not as likable as her strongest competitors’ (Bullock, Dench, Thompson), so she would probably need broad Academy support (BP nod) to seal the deal…especially because that will be a plus those three can probably count on in the end.

    Sandra Bullock – If the Academy gets over its scifilitis, her film could EASILY emerge as the one to beat and if that happens, suddenly she will be the lead of the Best Picture frontrunner…and if the Academy gives Best Picture to a one-(wo-)man show, they can’t really get around giving it to Bullock, either. Very serious Swank deja vu here and for a reason…a second lead Oscar so soon usually only happens if you are in a damn strong BP contender.

    Judi Dench – Like Blanchett, she is widely considered as one who should have won lead before the Academy made her settle with a supporting Oscar. Her role is immensely likable, she also has a powerful narrative (going blind, forced to retire, probably last chance to take the lead race etc.) AND her biggest Ace…she is the lead of British crowdpleaser backed by Harvey Weinstein. He can make a strong case for a career Oscar in this case, he will probably pull off a BP nod for Philomena, as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised AT ALL if at-the-moment-seriously-underestimated acting legend Judi Dench went all the way.

    Emma Thompson – Though still somewhat of a blind guess, her early word is extremely strong AND if her film indeed emerges as a remarkably strong Best Picture contender, this category will be suddenly anyone’s to lose. Being absent from the Oscar game for almost two decades,campaign strategists will probably play the ‘glorious comeback’ card…which though potentially effective, won’t be really accurate…she didn’t go anywhere, she has been doing excellent work in the last two decades,too…only the Academy failed to take notice.

  • phantom

    Also there are two reasons why I don’t see Amy Adams making the cut in Best Actress even if the film turns out ot be a strong BP contender :

    1. It is a BIG ensemble so her film won’t be all about her…the others’s ARE all about them (Blue Jasmine, Gravity, Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks).

    2. I have a hunch she will not only get a supporting nod for Her, she may even win therefore giving the Academy an easy way out of recognizing this remarkable leading lady in the lead category for once. Though we needn’t worry, I have a feeling she WILL win soon AND it will be in lead (next year’s Big Eyes directed by Tim Burton, backed by Harvey Weinsein).

    In Winslet’s case, it’s more like she doesn’t seem to have the passionate support the others do. Sure she can still pick up steam, but for now it doesn’t seem likely. We’ll see!

  • Andre

    Let’s talk about whishful thinking. Sandra Bullock will never win for this role. Even Tom Hanks lost for this kind of role. Sigourney Weaver. Come on gurl!

  • Etchie

    Those that commented OTT and hammy performance seems one-note on their assessment. And these minority opinion will not be voters so you can discard their opinion. Her other supposed OTT performance in Doubt won her a SAG Lead Actress and nearly her 3rd Oscar. The Complexity & Variety of Meryl’s performance as attested (in YouTube clips) to by her mostly voting academy member co-stars Julia, Chris, Ewan, Dermot, Juliette & Margo will come at the forefront at time of voting. The Acting Branch of the Academy will enjoy & appreciate Meryl’s performance in August: Osage County as another masterclass.

  • seren

    Naomi Watts in “The Impossible” is wonderful. And Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” is equally great. You don’t have to diss one to praise the other.

  • seren

    I haven’t seen the film but I feel this is Cate Blanchett’s year. Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” is far more challenging than her in “The Blind Side,” and I’m glad to see her proving herself. And I hope she’ll get a nomination. But that’s probably good enough.

    About Meryl Streep, I’m sure she’s great as she’s always great, but for the past few years, I have a hard time not thinking about “Meryl being great” whenever I see her in a film. And I just wonder, since the film has been seen since Toronto, it doesn’t seem that Meryl has got reactions as huge as she should be… Also, she’ll be having more films coming next few years, so maybe the Academy feels they can wait this time.

  • ScottD

    I’m following what you’re saying here… but let’s assume Blue Jasmine gets one other nomination – now the odds are that she WILL win, since most winners come from a non-BP winning movie, and are the sole winner for that film.

    Weird, eh?

  • Koleś

    That’s right, it’s a bit weird. You have the best chances to win Best Actress when your picture is nominated for BP, but doesn’t stand a chance win BP.

    The best scenario for Blanchett is for “Blue Jasmine” to get a surprise BP nod. Then no matter how many oscars “Gravity” might get, in the end Blanchett wins. A more likely screenplay nod increases her chances and shows that there’s some love for the movie, not just the performance. I see no other scenario how this might play out. Woody is fresh of his Oscar and a director nod, so he might get some love, but no way will he get nominated for director. The Best Picture nod doesn’t seem likely either, but weirder things have happened.

    There’s still a lot of room in the BP race.

    – 12 Years a Slave
    – Gravity
    – American Hustle (based on the buzz)

    these three are the only sho-ins for BP nods. The rest are shaky.

    – Butler
    – Nebraska
    – Captain Phillips

    Just might make it, but I wouldn’t bet my money on it, not yet anyway.

    So that leaves 3-4 places for, yes, a shitload of movies, but Jasmine up for grabs in that group.

    I still hope that “Inside Llewyn Davis” will get the Coens another screenplay/director/picture combo, but I’m not ready to bet my money on it either. OT – I wonder if ILD be in the Comedy/Musical line-up at the Globes :). If so, it should win.

    Coming back to Best Actress, I still don’t see a clear frontrunner and an undisputable candidate for the win, and that reminds me of Jeff Bridgess winning. He came into the race very late in the game for Best Actor, just because there weren’t any serious contenders. Clooney was the best choice for the win before Bridges came in the race, but he won recently (just as Bullock this year). Freeman was a nobrainer for the nod, but never did he stand a chance to win (Streep this year?), Colin Firth was truly the best that year, but the movie itself didn’t get too much traction (Blanchett this year), Renner was the oscar newbie on an uprise with a solid acting record and playing in a BP favorite (don’t know which lady plays that role this year, probably none). In my opinion there is still room for a likable candidate in this year’s Best Actress race, someone a little overdue for a win/nod, not necessary giving her career’s best performance, but a solid one, someone who has been in the game for a very long time and everyone is still wandering how the hell she still didn’t get nominated for anything. Out of the top of my head I would say Delpy and I’d love to se her win for something that gives closure to one of the most wonderful and underapreciated film trilogies. She needs to campaign it right and stay under the radar for at least the next month, because the next couple of weeks is going to be all about “Gravity”.

  • Christophe

    Even if you dismiss Blue Jasmine for Best Picture (I wouldn’t), it is still a major player for Best Original Screenplay: Woody is the record holder in this category (14 noms, 2 wins) and Blue Jasmine is on par with most of his previously nominated scripts. Also, I sure hope Sally Hawkins can sneak in for Best Supporting Actress, given the relative lack of competition in this category so far.

  • Bob Burns

    of note, Gravity’s metacritic score rose rather than fell as more reviews came in yesterday. 97 now with 26 100’s. unusual.

    it will be interesting to see a week and two weeks from now if it shows word of mouth box office – low drops in attendance from week to week. Monday to Monday numbers (not Friday) usually establish the trend for the following 7 days.

    Opening numbers only tell us how well the studio has marketed their film, not nuthin, but small week-to-week drops in box office, tell us that a film is being recommended by viewers.

    Chicago, the Kings Speech, Argo, Slumdog, Fellowship of the Ring, A Beautiful Mind, Avatar, Titanic. Box office float is unusual – and telling.

    We’re the Millers (Warner) and The Heat have both had good WOM…. small drops

  • Koleś

    You are right, I forgot about Hawkins, especially that she was robbed when not nominated for “Happy Go Lucky”.

  • Mike

    I disagree.. Julia Roberts deserved every critics award, SAG, Golden Globe, and ultimately, Oscar that she won for Erin Brockovich. She carried that film all the way.

  • Zooey

    I can’t believe there are people supporting another Bullock victory. Bullock is as mediocre as ever. The performance doesn’t really hold against Blanchett. And if she takes another overdue actress (as she did with Streep, because Bullock’s campaigning is again a force!), it’ll be a joke.

  • Kai Lor

    I agree but the film has really divided the critics mostly by gender. I really loved the film but most males who saw it seems to think it nothing more than a feminine fantasty tale.

  • Kai Lor

    Though I thought Winslet was fantastic, I do not think she was better than Blanchett just because I felt Blanchett had more of an emotional arc and role also had more complexity and she executed it in a way that is extremely unexpected. Blanchett’s performance for me is the epitome of a masterclass lesson in acting.

  • SallyinChicago

    Anyone who saw The Heat….Melissa got the glory, but Sandra was great as straightman….I always think of her as this generation’s Rosalind Russell, a great comic actor and a great drama queen….watch her in Gypsy….and I do believe if Sandra was a singer, she could do Gypsy.

    Offtopic: Can someone explain what’s with Ben Affleck? He won best dir last year and now has a movie out, Runner Runner, that’s being slammed by the critics.

  • Jorge

    Yes but they weren’t that big as Sandra is now

  • Sonja

    Well, personally I am glad Meryl won hear third two years ago. It was the right (true lead) role, maybe not the right movie, but the right time.
    Oscar’s more about the right time than anything else. Even a raved performance can fell short. Just think of Tilda Swinton the last years…

    Still, Harvey Weinstein produced A:OC and it’s somehow head scratching because the first test screenings went well, suddenly TIFF changed the game. But still then “Leatherface” Meryl ranked #6 in the lead performance poll of TIFF and A:OC ensemble’s even at #2 after 12YAS. So people must have liked the movie after all.
    And it’s still coming out in Dec and Harvey’s campaign machine will steamroll.
    Not saying A:OC will get any wins, but lead actress, screenplay are the two likeliest noms, supporting actress (Julia or Margo?) a good and a BP nod is not entirely impossible either.
    Well, that’s what I feel atm in point of A:OC. Of course it can fail, but I’d laugh my a** off if a movie about Thatcher directed by the MM! director will be Meryl’s last success with the Academy.
    (and I’m in the huge minority who liked TIL as a whole)

    Regarding Gravity and SaBu vs. Blanchett, it could turn out to be a nail biter in the end, if Blanchett wins the C/M and Bullock the Drama Globe. BAFTA is very likely to go to Dench (Brits love their Brits), SAG might embrace Blanchett, since she did not win in Lead there while Bullock did. Critic’s Choice now also have a comedy section, so it could turn out like the Globes.
    Though really, awards season has not yet started, but it sounds exciting already.

  • Sanna

    I would be a huge mistake if the academy won´t give Best Actress Oscar to Mrs. Blanchett!

    And I agree with Kai Lor, “Blanchett’s performance for me is the epitome of a masterclass lesson in acting.”

    I think that Cate Blanchett is the Best Actress of our time (wait.. Liv Ullmann lives, so rule her out). Blanchett´s lead Oscar is definitely overdue!
    I hate that Academy awards is all about box office, popular contender, likability of the character… What about the contenders ability to act?!?

  • I don’t think testimonials count for anything. They didn’t help Naomi Watts.

  • You make a really strong case for Judi Dench. Hmm…

  • Christophe

    They did help her get nominated. The win was always a long shot. I actually believe it’s a similar situation for Meryl: likely nom, unlikely win.

  • Gage Creed

    As much as I personally root for Cate Blanchett, I’m running out of reasons why to believe Sandra Bullock won’t win.

    Think Swank in 2004. Seriously, it’s not that hard to compare both scenarios. Swank wasn’t even that well-acclaimed and loved as Sandra, and she did it. Why can’t Sandra? Oh, because some other best actress contender has huge raves? But didn’t Imelda Staunton have those raves for Vera Drake??

  • Gage Creed

    I’m also glad Meryl Streep is already a three-time winner. I rooted for her in 2011 and I’m really happy she won. It means no more headaches and pointless arguing about her being overdue.

  • HAL

    New chapter of the Awards Daily campaign for Sandra Bullock’s win. Yes, very likely she will be one of the nominees, but I don’t think she is a lock… In fact I think she is also one of the most likely to drop out. And I am sorry, but I would be happy if it means that other actress (e.g. Julie Delpy; I am dreaming…) gets in.

    I also disagree with this: “We’ve all watched in horror over the years as the most memorable, heart-wrenching performances lose the prize to the more popular contender. Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream vs. Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich, for instance.” There are so many aspects that can be discussed about that Burstyn vs Roberts contention, but i would never say that Burstyn’s performance is more memorable than Julia’s… Precisely because Erin Brockovich is one of the most memorable characters and performances of the past decade (it’s a fact; EVERYBODY knows and remember that film). If you want an example of a non-memorable Oscar-winning performance… Well, Sandra Bullock is perfect.



  • Logan69


  • Patrick C

    It’s been a while since I posted anything on the site and I am happy to see that there is a discussion about the Best Actress category. I am 35 years old and I have seen a lot of movies. Simply put, Cate Blanchetts performance in Blue Jasmine is the best acting performance I have ever seen from a woman on screen. I have seen the movie twice now and in both cases no one left the theater when the movie was over. Her performance ranks up there with Joanne Woodward with The Three Faces of Eve as one of the all time greats.

    I just went to the U.S. opening last night of Gravity. My expectations were extremely high considering the posts I have read on here and the 98% Rotten Tomatoes gave it. Although I think the movie was well done, there is nothing that Sandra Bullock does in that film that makes me believe she derserves another Oscar over Cate. Do I think she should be nominated? Absolutely. And depending on if Blue Jasmine is seen as a comedy (which would be extremely weird but possible considering it was Woody Allen who wrote it) then it is likely that the two will split the Best Actress Awards at the Globes.

    I can not speak for the majority of the other actresses named in this article because most of their movies haven’t been released in the states yet. And like a few of the readers who posted their displeasure of naming a winner before they come out, I would have agreed in the past that we need to wait to see what they have to offer. But when you see a character like Jasmine breaking down right before your eyes on the level that Blanchett gives, it would be hard to imagine someone topping her for the Award.

  • keifer

    In my opinion, Ellen Burstyn gave the best performance by an actress in the past two decades for “Requiem for a Dream”.

    It’s an amazing tour de force.

    Actually, I think AMPAS (again) awarded Burstyn for the wrong movie (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”), because Faye Dunaway or Gena Rowlands deserved it in 1974.

    Burstyn should have two Oscars. One for “The Exorcist” (which she inexplicably lost to Glenda Jackson’s mediocre performance in the horridly bad “A Touch of Class”) and the other for “Requiem for a Dream”.

    I stand by those statements.

  • keifer

    I just can’t believe they wanted to fuck Geraldine Page, Jessica Tandy, Katharine Hepburn or Louise Fletcher.

  • Tim

    I’m just shocked that Sandra Bullock put out something so seemingly different. Her Blind Side win was a career win for her and a testament to her likability more than the performance. That she came back with something that is apparently so strong is surprising. I’m happy for her. However, I really, really want Cate Blanchett to get a Lead Actress win. Character likability (I think) plays a large part in who wins. As horrible as Cate Blanchett’s person is, I didn’t dislike her. I pitied her. Anyway, I’m very anxious to see Gravity, even though it looks kind of boring. I don’t really even know what it is going to be about. (Shame on me.)

  • keifer

    Yes, that’s what makes the character so interesting. As much as you detest Jasmine’s haughty judgmental attitude, you realize she’s just floundering emotionally because she’s lost everything she’s ever been accustomed to: security, wealth, material objects, travel, society friends, fabulous clothes.

    It’s the fact that we sympathize with her while she’s drowning in self-pity and has very little grasp of reality that makes Blanchett’s performance so memorable. I can’t think of another actress who could have pulled off this feat.

  • keifer

    The AMPAS writer’s branch just loves Woody Allen. So I’m sure that he will win a screenplay nomination, deservedly, for penning “Blue Jasmine”. The screenplay is smart, sophisticated, emotional and contains complex characters. What more could you want?

  • keifer

    If Sigourney Weaver couldn’t win for the best performance by an actress in a science fiction movie EVER (“Aliens”), then, I’m sorry, Ms. Bullock, you don’t stand a chance in winning a second Oscar for a sci-fi film. Bullock may have upset the Oscar apple cart once (winning over Meryl Streep), but I’ll be damned if she could do it twice (besting Sigourney Weaver with a win).

  • Christophe

    Plus, The Academy membership is closer to Jasmine’s social status and lifestyle than the average American, so it’ll be much easier for them to empathize with her.

  • Kane

    Flawed argument. Just because Weaver couldn’t win doesn’t mean Bullock can’t too. They’re going up against different nominees. If you pit them in the same year, okay maybe. But you’re talking about 2 performances maybe 26 years apart. Plus there are a whole new breed of Academy members just in the last decade alone who would’ve gone for Aliens. It’s all about who’s voting, not that someone should lose because your favorite couldn’t win.

  • Tye-Grr

    He didn’t win the Best Director Oscar though (he wasn’t even nominated), but he did win Best Picture for ‘Argo’.

    As for ‘Runner Runner’, he’s only starring in it in a supporting role. He didn’t write or direct it. Though, for what it’s worth, many say that he’s the best thing about it

  • Joseph

    Bullock’s movie isn’t a “sci-fi” film in the genre sense. There’s no aliens. No outlandish creatures. She’s playing an astronaut. That argument doesn’t fly I don’t think. It’s a film very much grounded in life and reality.

  • Mirko

    John Lee Hancock is director of The Blind Side and Saving Mr Banks. Thanks to him Sandra Bullock as win an Oscar. I believe in nomination Emma Thompson. I you remind her talent: Howards End (Oscar best actress 1992), The Remain of the Day and In the Name of the Father (double nomination 1993), Sense and Sensibility (Oscar screenplay adaptation 1995), Love Actually, Nanny McPhee and Last Chance Harvey. Mrs Thompson is an good role this year. She plays P. L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins. I want Emma Thompson in nomination, please.

  • brian

    Blanchett could have played the part in Gravity easily and memorably…
    but could Bullock have played Jasmine?

  • josi

    IMO, this Oscar belongs to Cate Blanchett. If she loses, it wouldn’t perhaps be as ridiculous as Gwyneth Paltrow winning in 1999, because this year the competition seems to be one of the toughest it’s ever been with several big names coming up with big performances, but still, I think it would be a great injustice. Cate’s performance in Blue Jasmine is simply that amazing (except that amazing seems too bland a word even to describe it). The layers and the range of her performance is something you don’t see every year.

    And, though I don’t know how much this would be a factor, having Sandra Bullock win a second Oscar for a leading role when Blanchett, who by many estimations would be considered the superior actress of the two, still hasn’t even one, would not make the Academy look very good.

    If there is another actress who, like Cate, is long overdue a leading role statue, that would be Judi Dench. Personally, I’d most like to see the main competition to be between these two.

  • brantoconnell

    Halle Berry was more deserving than all those others you mentioned. She at least gave a grounded and raw performance. She did much more emotionally than Jennifer Lawerence Sandra Bullock and Resse Witherspoon combined.

    I don’t get all the hate for Berry. She actually moved me several times in that film and I never doubted her in the role.

  • brantoconnell

    Lets be honest. Cate Blanchett would have elevated Gravity. Sandra Bullock would have won a razzie for Blue Jasmine. I loved Gravity and thought Bullock was great but when you are comparing actresses… forget about it. Blanchett for the win!

  • Unlikely hood

    Jonathan you just said exactly what I predicted someone would say. I mentioned Streep and Davis. Thanks for making me look so prescient – that will help me later around here.

    If we’re going by anecdotal evidence, I don’t believe a majority has seen or will see blue jasmine. I hope I’m wrong because I’d love to see Cate win. I have a friend in the editors branch (we’ve been friends since 7th grade), and he tells me that he and the editors he knows are way too busy to go to screenings; they wait for the pile of DVDs to arrive, and they make their way through the pile, prioritizing BP noms first (or films they worked on or have some connection to; allen’s films are kinda in their own world, outside the casts.) Cate’s best chances lie with Blue Jasmine winning the comedy golden globe (irrespective of woody’s presence at the event); that will help it get the BP nod that I think she needs to edge Bullock and Thompson and Dench.

  • Unlikely hood

    Your argument favors Bullock, because Gravity, like SLP, won’t win anything else (except techs) and the feeling will be let’s make sure it doesn’t go home empty handed. Woody Allen films go home empty handed all the time

  • Aragorn

    I just saw Gravity this morning at 9.30 at IMAX 3D…All I can say about the movie is “Waw”…It is a great movie..Very very well-made.Visuals are amazing, beyond this world (literally!)…However, in my opinion it is also a director’s movie. His vision, his craft, his skill. Visual effects are just great. Also, Score is very good.
    When it comes to Sandra Bullock, I know i will be in minority here and many people would disagree with me (as they are already conditioned that she is great!), but I dont understand what is soooo special about Sandra Bullock’s performance. In most of the movie, she is in her costume wearing that mask. Yes it is a very physically challenging role, but her so-called “emotional” moments are less than 10 minutes in total. Oh yes, she screams and hyperventilates during the movie, so much so that in some parts there was a laughter in the theater. She may get nomination because of many reasons, but for win. That would be her second undeserving win in my opinion!
    Cate Blanchett is in a different league for me. By the way, Blue Jasmine is also all about Jasmine. You love her, you hate her, you feel sorry for her and you feel for her….And Cate Blanchett gives an amazing performance.
    On a different note, if the quintet mentioned above will in fact get the nods, it will be 2 American vs. 2 British vs. 1 Aussie actresses…I wonder if that is the case who would “British voting bloc” support???

  • Taylor

    I think Kate Winslet is better because her role is much more complex and difficult. By the way her performance is heartbreaking.

  • Kane

    Very good point. Never for a moment did I think, “That can’t happen physics-wise.” The odds would be against Bullock much more than they were but it’s as real as a documentary.

  • Kane

    But this isn’t about “What happens when the actresses switch parts”. It’s about the role that was written and the acting done for the role. I haven’t seen Blue Jasmine yet and I’m sure Blanchett could win the Oscar. But let’s not pretend she deserves the Oscar because she could (hypothetically) do a better job in Gravity or Bullock would (hypothetically) suck ass in Blue Jasmine.

  • Rick

    For me, Bullock won her Oscar for Gravity when she won for the horrible Blindside…

  • Me34

    While Burstyn was great in “Requiem for a dream” (it’s my favorite performance nominee in the best actress category since that year until today) and I still think she was better than Björk (who should’ve been nominated… but I’m still picking Linney), it was actually a supporting performance. So, I think both Björk and Burstyn should’ve won Oscars that year (I think we all can stop fighting?). And to be honest, I don’t see Roberts’ Oscar different than most of the Oscars given recently (not bad-bad, just solid and boring), but geez, how she managed to get it over many truly great performances nominated (Linney, Burstyn, Allen) and not nominated (Björk, Michelle Yeoh, Gillian Anderson, etc) is confusing.

  • PJ

    If Bullock gets nominated then LaBouef should have been nominated for Transformers…No no no no no no!

  • seren

    Nobody could have played the role of Dr. Ryan Stone in “Gravity” easily. Just because Cate Blanchett is a great actor, it doesn’t mean she could play anything. Each actor has different strength.

  • Big G

    I suspect Dench will win.

    It’s a Harvey movie right?
    Only won one Oscar and it was in Supporting for a measly 8 minute role.
    Old and eyesight is going bad and may never have another shot while Blanchett is young and will have more chances in the future.

  • Big G

    Now that I think about it a moment longer, she could actually be this year’s Emmanuelle Riva. Never mind.

  • wwe films

    What are you doing on awards daily you should be filming See No Evil 2

  • Eric P.

    It’s not that “she won’t get nominated”, it’s that you won’t shut up about her. Yes, I’m sure the performance is fantastic, but you bring Larson’s name up in posts that don’t even have anything to do with her category (this one excluded). I’m very glad that you’ve found your favorite performance of the year, but everyone from here to China knows about it. Let it go already. Please and thank you. Eric P.

  • Eric P.

    3 previous wins and 15 nominations

  • Eric P.

    in O. Screenplay of course

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Someone definitely stole Björk’s nomination, as I think it’s the most impressive performance in a musical EVER. I’d say that Juliette Binoche stole it more than Julia Roberts did.

    This is one of the WTF moments in Academy history.

  • unlikely hood

    Thanks Koles, for doing the work I was too lazy to do

  • unlikely hood

    You made this case before, but it’s still solid, for all the reasons you say. Well reasoned.

  • Akumax

    Sandra Bullock in Gravity gives a performance that deserves 10 Oscars… so, is it ok to give her just one?

  • JP

    I think Sandra Bullock would never have landed the role from Gravity if she hadn’t been in The Blind Side.

  • Give it to Cate. I think it’s a done deal.

  • BTW, Amy Adams is not for this year…but she’ll be up at the top, and soon.

  • GoOnNow

    Blanchett’s career is a masterclass in acting and that woman is so endlessly eloquent in interviews. It can’t get any better than this.

    Sandra is not winning an Oscar for “Gravity”;

    Critics will be (for the most part) looking at Blanchett and more indie things like Delpy, Larson etc.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    I kind of feel that way, too.

    Bullock did something that undeserving actors and actresses almost never do. She has now shown people that she can be taken seriously as an actress. After she won the trophy.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Voted for Cate. It will be a tough race and it almost always goes down to just two contenders in the end in lead categories, but maybe now we will have three equal candidates for the win.

    Let’s see what Thompson really has, and more importantly what the film is like. Saving Mr. Banks might change everything.

    I’m just repeating comments/opinions everybody’s already said, haha.

    Gonna go back to my Hitchcock Blu-ray marathon.

  • GoOnNow

    are you seriously trying to compare Cate Blanchett’s star power to Imelda’s? I think I broke a hip from laughing.

    IMDb made a “Top 20 actresses of the past 20 years” chart some 3 years ago. Blanchett came at Number 3, only behind Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. Blanchett has 5 Oscar nominations + 1 win; Blanchett has been in 7 Best Picture Nominated Films. She is a star and the collection of directors under her belt for the last 15 years literally trashes every other actress’ career.

    Also, do you honestly believe Blanchett will not get the directors, screenwriters and actors’ vote in the end?

    When it comes to Sandra it needs to be said that her first win is IN NO EFFIN WAY relatable to Swank’s! One is quantity, the other is quality.

  • Andrea

    I saw Gravity today and really enjoyed. Visually stunning and entertaining and Bullock was a nice emotional center.

    But there is really no comparison between her and Blanchett. But as we see the best doesn’t always win. They can still give it to Sandy simply because they like her and the movie is so good. But many actresses could float in space, dodge CGI debris, and look scared.

  • Ace

    With all due respect, what the FRICK is going on?!

    For one, I did not like Gravity: from the cliched plot line, to the obvious religious symbolism, to the stale dialogue, to the “inspirational” moments–all these elements were so distracting and tried to give gravitas to what was a standard story. I DID love the visuals, of course, and Cuaron is a brilliant director. But this movie was not good.

    And Bullock was surprisingly good. But that’s it. She does NOTHING spectacular. Nothing. She is merely very good. Cate Blachett on the other hand hits it out of the ballpark, one of the best performances I have ever seen (up there w Meryl in Sophie’s Choice or Theron in Monster). If Oscar voters can’t see the difference, then the Academy can f— itself.

  • Tony

    ***Please stop over-hyping movies before they are released to the general public. I just saw “Gravity” today, and it did not live up to it.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    GRAVITY IMAX 3D, day 2

  • Aaron

    Streep makes Blanchett’s pill popper look like she was popping tictacs. Streep is totally off the chain in August, just like Liz Taylor in VIRGINIA WOLF, but more of a human side. She will be nominated and a threat to the win. I just don’t see Blanchett winning for BJ. I don’t think she is “loved” by the entire Academy as most assume. Just watched GRAVITY and Bullock gives her best performance, but that isn’t saying much. Dench is too too lightweight in PHILOMENA. Streep vs Thompson maybe?

  • Watermelons


  • Alan of Montreal

    I think the answer’s pretty simple–it’s because she was JULIA ROBERTS, MEGASTAR! (I’m not saying she deserved to win, just that that’s why she did win).

  • Alan of Montreal

    So I guess the question, then is: Is it the actress or the role?

  • Alan of Montreal

    I’m on Team Amy Adams. I don’t think she’s made a wrong move with any of her films (though I haven’t seen Trouble with the Curve).

  • Alper

    Who will win? Cate Blanchett or Sandra Bullock ? I love both 🙂

    This time I think Cate Blanchett will win because she’s overdue and it’s her time.

  • unlikely hood

    Koles – if you really want to make an authoritative list (hint, hint), you should cross-check your findings with “bio-pic.”

    I’m guessing that BA (BP nod + bio-pic) has never lost to BA (no BP nod + made-up story).

    Also note that Swank’s shocker over Bening was a bio-pic beating a non-bio-pic. Ditto Streep over Davis. And Cotillard over Ellen Page, and others…

    These stats speak for Thompson and Dench…

  • unlikely hood

    Oddly, if the final 5 really is Phantom’s guess, and if Cate wins, this site will host all the usual Monday morning grumbling about they always give it to the HOT one, the babe, the most fuckable (Sasha LOVES to say fuckable)…and in this case that’ll be the 44 year old Cate! Good times coming

  • I thought that movie was unfairly overlooked because of Clint Eastwood’s sudden unpopularity at the time. I thought it was a nice father/daughter movie. Hers wasn’t a very challenging role but she was totally believable in it.

  • ScottD

    Good point, I’ve always defaulted to the “they’ll want to award all of their favorites somehow” mind set when picking my winners/trying to get in the heads of the voters.

    I’m 27, so have no first hand insight into Woody’s relationship with Oscar (obviously just the stats and insights from pundits) though I feel like Blue Jasmine is more of Cate’s film, not so much Woody’s, if that makes sense… I know his reputation is a little iffy at times, but I think the good will towards Cate trumps any Woody-related backlash.

    Regarding Gravity, it’s a shoo-in for Actress, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Score, Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Picture and very possibly Director nominations. That’s at least 9, maybe 10 out of the gate. And it will win Visual Effects, and I’d say at least three other techs (I’ll reserve predictions for a BP win since it has the heat now, but who knows what will happen over the next few months). So, because of that, my interpretation is that Academy voters will feel that’s a reasonable reward for the film. Compared to Blue Jasmine where Cate is it’s only shot at a win.

  • Devon

    Etchie: Your comments are really cogent and well-written amid a sea of people reaching in the dark. Thank you.

  • ScottD

    Kind of off topic:

    On the topic of Blue Jasmine’s nomination chances, I’d love if the Costume branch picked it.

    Maybe I’m on my own here, but her clothes were a character themselves in the movie: her sad little chanel sweater and gold shoes she wore everywhere, the flash back sequences with her effortlessly chic outfits, plus the supporting cast’s uniquely “meh” outfits. I adored how her clothing contrasted the second hand store vibe of her sister’s, and how they both repeated outfits during the film but for wildly different reasons.

    I know that contemporary films rarely make the cut, but *fingers crossed*

  • Joshua

    And stop shoving your “it does not live up to the hype” opinion in our faces since majority of us also saw it and are in awe with it!!! State your opinion and do not ditate what we should and should not state in this site…

  • Joshua

    +1 on that…

  • Casey

    Here’s my guesses:

    1- Amy Adams
    2- Cate Blanchett
    3- Judi Dench
    4- Sandra Bullock
    5- Emma Thompson

  • Andy

    Woodys films go home empty all the time? Eh? No… just… no…. especially considering actresses. He directed 11 actress nominations, including 5 wins. That’s nearly half win, half lost .. and in one case (Bullets over Broadways), two of the nominees were for the same category (so only one could have won btw. had won) That’s not quite bad, in my opinion

  • Andy

    Sorry, but these statistic talks are beyond stupid. Yes, you can analyse something like trends – but you can’t predict a winner with this. Look at the Argo-case: It was crystal clear, that it would win – but some guys & girls tried to push the statistic-argument so hard, like a blind man who tries to argue that the blue color MUST BE red.

    Or do you really think, that ANY academy member will sit before his ballot and think: “Oh my… I can’t vote for Blanchett, because she es the ONLY nomination for her film…”?

    No – the only valid argument, I can understand, is: The movie might be less seen because of the lack of other nominations. But in the case of Woody Allen, who pushed quite a lot of actresses into an oscar win (if you look BEYOND the leading and into the supporting category), I doubt that the film will be unseen by most of the academy members right before oscar night.

  • phantom

    If that quintet actually happens, it will be a mixed bag. On one had, not only all previous nominees but also previous winners, couldn’t the Academy look OUTSIDE their elite little fold ?


    Wouldn’t the Academy (and the industry in general) deserve serious praise if that quintet happens considering the YOUNGEST would be Blanchett (44), and the oldest Dench (75)…could that really just happen ? The industry FINALLY providing great material for actresses of a certain age ? One of the main reasons I would LOVE that quintet in Best Actress this season.

  • phantom

    Typo, Dench is 79 in December.

  • John

    I see:

    Streep, unless it gets “Evening”-like reviews.
    Thompson, based on buzz

    Then ….
    Adams, but is it more supporting?
    Winslet, actors love her
    Larson/Exarchopolous, newcomers

  • Bondisteve

    Finally got to see Gravity last night in all its 3D glory and whilst the I loved the technical achievement of the film and thought Sandy did a very fine job, I can’t see how anyone could put her performance on par (or even close) to Cate’s performance in Blue Jasmine. Cate for the sweep!

  • Samesies.

  • Gage Creed

    I hope you’re right.

  • Etchie

    Thanks Devon for noticing and recognizing my “Merit-based Advocacy” in behalf of Meryl’s bid for Best Actress. Compelled to account those given all the one-note & knee-jerk critical reactions to August: Osage County since TIFF. Although it is fun to assess this race early on (end Sept), what would be critical are the circumstances closest to the voting period. Meryl is already prominent despite her film release & hype by end of Dec still. Blanchett & Bullock need to sustain their buzz by then and who knows they might cancel each other out in a pool of 5 nominees. For Dench, losing Venice Best Actress bid (in quite a small pool of contenders) could be seen as negative. The remaining nominee (Thompson possibly) need to have a really compelling argument to edge out Meryl Streep in A:OC. Recall that Emma’s Saving Mr. Banks role was originally for Meryl but in conflict with A:OC shooting sked.

  • Kai Lor

    She easily was the best part about that film. Granted it was a forgettable film but it was a good film for what it was.

  • LillyB45

    I think people have become so fixated on the race between Blanchett and Bullock that Dench may sneak in for the win.

    Judi is respected and adored. Cate will be seen as having many more chances for a win in the lead category.

  • Rob Y

    I am getting a Jodie Foster feeling when I think about Sandra Bullock. Jodie Foster wins for a mediocre flashy performance and then nails one of the best roles and wins 3 years later for The Silence of the Lambs.

    Sandra Bullock wins for a mediocre flashy performance in The Blind Side, and then—4 years later—nails one of the best roles for a woman in years.

    So those saying that it’s too soon, it’s happened before.

  • joshua

    oh so that’s why you didnt like gravity… that explains it…

  • Joe

    Saw Gravity this evening & i found it was just a technical achievement. Ridiculous how people talked about how good Sandra was. I found both her & George not convincing at all as astronauts. She did nothing special and she was annoying at certain points like she was in Speed & Speed 2.

  • Excuse me, Joshua. I didn’t like GRAVITY because I didn’t like it. I gave it a 7/10. But the fact that I’m not allowed to not like it around here is beginning to make me hate it. Keep it up GRAVITY fans. Keep trying to bully those of us who aren’t afraid to have our own opinions. See how that works out for you.

  • GoOnNow

    are we sure that “Gravity” is one of the best roles for a woman in years?

    what exactly in terms of the quality of the role makes “Blue Jasmine” not one of the best roles for a woman in years?

  • TOM

    Mia Farrow didn’t have time for this Vanity Fair article in July 2012, right when Woody’s (god-awful) To Rome, With Love was being released? Funny that all of the sudden she comes out both-barrels right while Blue Jasmine is riding the critic’s wave.

  • Sam

    The hell are you talking about? Sandra sang Meryl’s praises again and again during that awards season and behaved very, very humbly and gratefully whenever she won something. Any competition between the two was definitely playful jesting (such as Meryl sending dead flowers with a message that said “die, bitch” and Sandra sending Meryl liquor and telling her to toast to white trash). They both respect each other.

  • Steven Kaye

    Yes. She’s good within the context of her limited range, but there’s just no comparison between her and Blanchett.

  • Steven Kaye

    Yes. By all means, give Cuaron the Best Director Oscar and shower the film with technical awards. But acting awards? Nope.

  • Steven Kaye

    Well, apparently Sony Pictures Classics will be pushing for a Costumes nomination.

  • belle

    Funny how “Streepers” are campaigning to vote for Meryl in this poll. Seems to be working, but what’s the point? I don’t think she’ll be a contender this year. She might get nominated on account of being Meryl Streep, but that’s all.

  • Mattoc

    Joshua, i’ve read enough of Antoinette’s comments to know she says what she means.
    I know this is the type of movie that people are really passionate about it, but let’s give peeps the benefit of the doubt.

  • “Keep trying to bully those of us who aren’t afraid to have our own opinions. See how that works out for you.”

    How is it bullying if I disagree with you, but it’s “just expressing my opinion” if you disagree with me?

    Please don’t confuse “being outnumbered” with “being bullied,” ok?

    For the record, I don’t expect anything “to work out for me” by disagreeing with silly critiques like “Wut?! She Can’t Drive a Chinese Space Pod? Grossly Misogynistic!”

    We can’t all be Trinity.

  • Sonja


    Well, I’m a “Streeper”, but yeah, that much support for her in this poll surprises me as well. I think she gets the nom, because Violet Weston sounds like such a slam dunk role it would be bizarre if she misses for that. But we’ll see. August is still yet to be released and Harvey still produced the movie. He’ll do enough to make it at least a decent BO success and the more “bitchfight” stories between Meryl and Julia, the free commercials they are.
    I voted for Cate, but it could also be SaBu again. I secretly root for Amy Adams.
    Wouldn’t that be great if she could win in lead after 4 supporting noms?
    One can dream….

  • julian the emperor


  • belle

    I like Meryl too (indeed, who doesn’t?). I’ve just noticed on Twitter that there seems to have been something of a campaign among the hardcore fans to vote for her in this poll, which defeats the purpose a bit because it distorts the results in a way that doesn’t reflect the general public opinion.

    I think at the moment it’s a race between Cate and Sandra, with Judi Dench as a possible dark horse, and maybe Emma Thompson too. Meryl will proabably be the 5th to be nominated, but she won so recently I don’t think she’d be a player in this even with a more outstanding role than what she has in AOC. I don’t think the going back and forth between leading and supporting has helped either when there are so many remarkable leading female performances this year.

  • Nic V

    I think this comment is one of the best I’ve ever seen on this sight. Great response.

  • Pablo

    The only problem I see with Sandra Bullock winning this year is that it is too soon after her win for “The Blind Side”. Though there are precedents for someone winning a 2nd Best Actress Oscar within four years of their first win – Luise Rainer, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Glenda Jackson and Jodie Foster. Added to that if she wins, she will join Luise Rainer, Vivien Leigh, Helen Hayes, Hilary Swank and Kevin Spacey as 2/2 in Oscar nominations and wins.

    I still want Cate to prevail – Jasmine is one of Woody’s greatest creations.

  • Jerrie

    I lurk on here & am a MASSIVE Streep & Winslet fan who typically can’t STAND Blanchett in films (too technical for me) BUT… I have to admit Cate knocks this one out of the park! One of the very few CB performances I’ve thoroughly enjoyed onscreen & I’m having a hard time coming to terms with voting for her over Streep )lol) but guys, Cate deserves this one. I also just came back from seeing Gravity & I’m sorry but that performance is nowhere NEAR the complexity of CB’s! The film was great (beautifully shot) but as someone mentioned before there’s only 10 minutes of decent material & bullock was okay. I’ve read the reviews & it just doesn’t feel like Streep’s year… Sadly to say I was expecting more gushing on Meryl’s behalf. :/ Meryl’s got plenty of great roles ahead of her so don’t lose hope Streepers. It just feels like Cate’s year & this particular role is deserving of an Oscar rather than her crappy OTT Hepburn impersonation.

  • Chris

    I know Weinstein’s campaigning Meryl Streep as lead and Julia Roberts as supporting, but I wonder if Meryl Streel is a true lead in August Osage County? 😛
    Can’t believe how those Streepers are trying to manipulate the poll results here. Really, what’s the point? Their aggressiveness is super annoying to say the least. It seems the race’s going to be between Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett.

  • Akumax

    7/10 is good, I mean, you are allowed to like it 7/10… in a couple of months you will allow yourself to like Gravity 11/10, keep moving and thinking, see how that works out for you

  • Rob Y

    “what exactly in terms of the quality of the role makes “Blue Jasmine” not one of the best roles for a woman in years?”

    I did not mention BJ nor its merits.

    My point is that it is not “too soon” for Bullock. Oscar history has shown that it does reward actors and actresses a second Oscar in a relatively short time after awarding the first Oscar.

    And yes, it is one of the best roles for a woman in years. (Note: I did not say it was the best role)

  • kookee

    That’s only your opinion that her Hepburn was OTT and crappy. I thought she captured the spirit of a woman who was always larger than life very well. Besides, I rather take the opinion of those who actually know Hepburn and were her friends and think highly of Blanchett’s performance a bit more seriously than from someone who doesn’t even know her.

  • kookee

    yep totally agree, Halle Berry’s win was well deserved. Kidman’s win however was a total joke – Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep both had more screen time in The Hours than Kidman but was somehow relegated to supporting actress (Moore) or ignored (instead Streep was nominated for Adaptation). Kidman even won the lead actress Oscar over Julianne’s genuine lead performance in Far From Heaven! ditto Rachel Griffiths for Hilary and Jackie – she was co-lead but was relegated to supporting and lost out (along with Kathy Bates, Brenda Blethyn and Lynn Redgrave) to Judi Dench’s 8 minute appearance in Shakespeare in Love! I really like Dench but that was not deserved – they tried making up to her for screwing her over a more deserving lead Oscar for Mrs Brown, and in doing so, screwed someone else over. There’s probably other similar instances of category fraud if you delve back a bit further.

  • Tânia

    Sandra Bullock melhor atriz, espero que seja reconhecida!

  • I was talking about all the GRAVITY fans online acting in a herd. I hadn’t thought you were acting like that. Thanks for the heads up.

  • AnthonyP

    Cate Blanchett will win. Nuff said.
    Freaking out in a spacesuit does not an Oscar winner make.
    Just kidding, Sandra was good in Gravity, but I felt like I was watching Sandra Bullock be Sandra Bullock. Funny quips and such.
    I felt more for how I would handle the situation than care for her character.
    Cate was phenomenal!

  • Henry

    Will Blanchett face another bitter loss after Paltrow got into her way? (we all know who was better.) Well, being putting in the “one of the greatest in our generation who hasn’t won an Oscar for a leading role” situation for years(hello Julianne Moore), Cate absolutely deserves a win. But then the problem is – she might be just too good to be recognized, and Bullock really, really delivered all she could this time – in a film that will be written into film making textbook. For us, it would be really fun to see another year with a tight competition – let the race begin!

  • Mirko

    I agree about Emma Thompson in nomination.

  • Louissi

    Sorry, but have you ever seen Streep in drama movie? She is worth it! And did you see this movie, August:Osage County? If yes, then you probably must hate her and if not, don’t judge…
    And I am not Streeper or how you call them

  • David

    hey guys,
    I gotta give this one to Bullock.
    I watched last night Gravity and I believe that Bullock’s is one of the most challenging & best performance of this year. I am afraid that Sandra B won’t win the oscar since she won for a less deserved role in The Blind Side.
    I also watched B. Jasmine, I adored Blanchette’s performance, she makes the complicated character of Jasmine easy to connect with and the way she shows her emotions is outstanding. She’s definitely very versatile and overdue.

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