From the first mentions of Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, Natalie Portman seemed a shoe-in for a nomination. Nothing has changed. Portman will get a nod for her captivating work as the former First Lady, despite any shortcoming the film may have. It’s a towering performance. Right behind her, almost a certainty herself, is Amy Adams for Arrival. Adams will get her Oscar eventually, I just don’t know if it’s this year, however deserving she may be for bringing honesty and soul to Deni Villeneuve’s alien invasion stunner.
Emma Stone will ride the wave of momentum for La La Land. She sings, she dances, and she gives Damien Chazelle’s musical its emotional center. After Stone we have another long-time nominee without a win in Annette Bening. She will get a nod for 20th Century Women, but will most likely wind up a bridesmaid for a fifth time.
This leaves a fifth spot and at least three deserving nominees. As tired as we may all be of Meryl Streep getting Oscar nominations just because (at least it seems sometimes) being Meryl Streep, she has a real shot here with Florence Foster Jenkins. Ruth Negga is also a deserving actress here for her brilliant work in Loving. But an outlier will sneak in this year: Isabelle Huppert. It’s terrific seeing any performance from a Paul Verhoeven picture get awards recognition, and she is absolutely deserving for her work in Elle.
BEST ACTRESS PREDICTIONS
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Amy Adams – Arrival
Emma Stone – La La Land
Annette Bening – 20th Century Women
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Up Next – Best Actor