by Jazz Tangcay

Will 2015’s Best Actress race be The Year of the Redhead? It’s only July and some might consider it a bit too early to be making any predictions about who’s going to win, but we can’t help ourselves.

Amy Adams is already generating buzz for her upcoming role in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes. Julianne Moore already has one award under her arm after winning Best Actress in Cannes for Map To The Stars, and Jessica Chastain has three films that are all hot contenders for the race.

Adams, Chastain and Moore are all redheads, and all three actresses have yet to win their first Oscar.

Our Contender Tracker (http://www.awardsdaily.com/contender-tracker/best-actress/) lists all our predictions, but for now let’s take a look at our top tier actresses and the race for Oscar Gold.

1. Amy Adams – Big Eyes

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The Weinstein Company have set this Tim Burton film for a Christmas Day release, and we all know what that means. It’s going to be in a prime spot for that Awards Season push. Adams stars in this biopic based on the life of artist Margaret Keane, famous for painting children with large eyes.

It’s worth noting that Adams has had five nominations, her most recent for American Hustle. But Adams has yet to taken home the Oscar’s Golden man.

2. Julianne Moore – Maps To The Stars

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Moore took home the award for Best Actress at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for her turn as Havana Segrand in this film that looks at the messed up side of show business and Hollywood. Segrand is a washed-up, faded Hollywood actress, self-obsessed and self-loathing.
Moore has yet to take home Oscar Gold after four nominations, but when this screened in Cannes, she won rave reviews.

3. Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year, Eleanor Rigby or Miss Julie

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It’s her role in the much anticipated The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby that sparked the most buzz at Cannes. But Chastain has a terrific year ahead of her with not just one film opening, but three. All three of Chastain’s films could create a sensation.

Rigby was showcased at Toronto last year and received rave reviews. It was re-edited and was shown to the audience at Cannes who had nothing but praise for Chastain. It’s also a Weinstein Picture, so the odds are this will be getting a strong push when the time comes.

A Most Violent Year is a gritty crime drama set in 1981. Chastain plays the wife of an immigrant (Oscar Issacs) and together they create opportunities for themselves during New York’s most violent and crime-ridden year.

Finally, Chastain and Colin Farrell play star-crossed lovers in the period drama Miss Julie. Chastain plays the daughter of a Count, Farrell plays a senior servant. They embark on a sexual relationship that ends in tragedy.

Chastain has three chances to garner an Oscar nomination, all three films are due out around Awards season which means Chastain will be on Oscar’s radar.

4. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl.

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Gone Girl opens later this year and is based on the New York Times Best Seller by Gillian Flynn. David Fincher’s body of work speaks for itself: Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons, House of Cards, Se7en and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. In Gone Girl, Pike plays Amy Flynn, the wife who mysteriously vanishes on her fifth wedding anniversary. Ben Affleck plays her husband, Nick, who’s accused of her “murder.”

Gone Girl is one of the most anticipated films of the year, and it opens in October. There’s every chance Pike will be getting a nomination.

5. Mia Wasikowska- Tracks

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Tracks is another biopic contender, based on Robyn Davidson’s memoir as she recalls her trek across the Australian desert on by camel. Wasikowska is said to give a determined and headstrong portrayal of the woman who spent nine months traveling.

What are her odds on being shortlisted and taking home an Oscar? We all know Oscar likes to get behind a good biopic.

6. Anna Kendrick – The Last Five Years

Anna Kendrick filming kissing Jeremy Jordan on the movie set call 'The Last Five Years' in New York City. Pictured: Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan Ref: SPL565017  200613   Picture by: Splash News Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles:	310-821-2666 New York:	212-619-2666 London:	870-934-2666 photodesk@splashnews.com

Pitch Perfect, Into The Woods and The Last Five Years, it seems Anna Kendrick has got the musical itch. Streep will probably get a Supporting nod as the Witch in Into The Woods, and there’s some buzz about Emily Blunt, possibly getting a lead nod for her role as the Baker’s Wife, but Kendrick will also star in this screen adaptation.
The story follows a couple whose love is doomed. Kendrick stars opposite Smash’s Jeremy Jordan, a young couple who are torn apart by jealousy, adultery and deception. Kendrick and Jordan appear in every scene.

7. Carey Mulligan – Suffragette

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Suffragette has an all star cast — Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter and Carey Mulligan all playing central characters in the story of the Women’s Suffragette movement. Mulligan plays Maud, a woman who stood alone as a soldier in the fight for equality. The press release for Maud says, ‘The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller. It is also heart-breaking and inspirational.’

Sounds like this has all the ingredients to make this a perfect contender for at least one of the leading ladies and we predict it’s going to be Mulligan.

8. Hilary Swank – The Homesman

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Swank returns to the screen later this year in the Tommy Lee Jones film, The Homesman. This is another film that won rave reviews and Swank’s performance made some critics sit up and take notice. This could be her comeback.

9. Reese Witherspoon – Wild

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Like Swank, Witherspoon returns with a true story. This is a one-woman show about Cheryl Strayed who decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail after her world falls apart. It’s an emotionally charged film that sees Strayed go through the emotions as she braves the wilderness alone.

Wild is Witherspoon’s show as she carries this film. Gaby Hoffman and Laura Dern also make appearances. Note, Wild is directed by Jean-Marc Vallee who is also responsible for Dallas Buyers Club.

These are my top predictions for who could take home Oscar Gold come February 22, 2015. It’s still early days and there are bound to be dark horses, but for now it looks like red is the new gold.

Who do you think will take home Oscar Gold? Vote in our poll: