2020 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress - US NEWS

2020 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress

Oscar season is officially underway. The 2020 Oscars will cap off an abbreviated awards season — this year’s telecast is scheduled for Feb. 9, weeks earlier than usual — and ET will keep you up-to-date with our latest predictions the entire time. Up until Jan. 13, when the Academy officially announces their nominations, keep checking back to this post to see who is in the running for Best Actress.

This year’s Best Actress race is Renée Zellweger’s to lose. Her razzling, dazzling and completely transformative comeback performance in Judy cemented Zellweger as the early frontrunner — but in a year with fewer potential spoilers than normal, who poses the biggest threat: An Academy favorite like Charlize Theron — who delivers quite the transformative performance of her own — or Saoirse Ronan? Or perhaps newly-minted Indie darling Awkwafina?

THE PREDICTIONS

The Top 5:

Awkwafina, The Farewell
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy

The Challengers:

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Lupita Nyong’o, Us
Alfre Woodard, Clemency


Also check out: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor


THE SCORECARD

Awkwafina, The Farewell

The Role: Billi, the granddaughter of Shuzhen Zhao’s character, who is conflicted about keeping her Nai Nai’s cancer diagnosis a secret.

Oscar History: This would be Awkwafina’s first nomination.

Awards season scorecard:

Critics Choice Awards – Best Actress (Nominee)
Golden Globes – Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Nominee)
Gotham Awards – Best Actress (Winner)


Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

The Role: Harriet Tubman, who escapes slavery and becomes an abolitionist and conductor on the Underground Railroad.

Oscar History: This would be Erivo’s first nomination.

Awards season scorecard:

Critics Choice Awards – Best Actress (Nominee)
Golden Globes – Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Nominee)


Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

The Role: Nicole, a working actress navigating her divorce and single motherhood after splitting from Adam Driver’s character.

Oscar History: This would be Johansson’s first nomination.

Awards season scorecard:

Critics Choice Awards – Best Actress (Nominee)
Golden Globes – Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Nominee)
Santa Barbara International Film Festival – Performer of the Year Award (Winner)


Lupita Nyong’o, Us

The Role: Adelaide Wilson, a wife and mother whose family vacation is terrorized by her Tethered, Red (also played by Nyong’o).

Oscar History: One win, for Best Supporting Actress in 12 Years a Slave (2014).

Awards season scorecard:

Critics Choice Awards – Best Actress (Nominee)
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards – Best Actress (Runner-up)
New York Film Critics Circle – Best Actress (Winner)


Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

The Role: Jo, the headstrong middle March sister who wants to spurn society’s expectations of female domesticity and become a famous writer.

Oscar History: Three nominations, for Best Supporting Actress in Atonement (2008), Best Actress in Brooklyn (2016) and Lady Bird (2018).

Awards season scorecard:

Critics Choice Awards – Best Actress (Nominee)
Golden Globes – Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Nominee)


Charlize Theron, Bombshell

The Role: Megyn Kelly, the controversial Fox News host of The Kelly File who spoke out against Roger Ailes’ misconduct.

Oscar History: One win, for Best Actress in Monster (2004), with another nomination for Best Actress in North Country (2006).

Awards season scorecard:

Critics Choice Awards – Best Actress (Nominee)
Golden Globes – Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Nominee)
Palm Springs International Film Festival – International Star Award (Winner)


Alfre Woodard, Clemency

The Role: Bernadine Williams, the warden of a death row prison who is struggling with the impending execution of an inmate.

Oscar History: One nomination, for Best Supporting Actress for Cross Creek (1984).

Awards season scorecard:

Film Independent Spirit Awards – Best Female Lead (Nominee)
Gotham Awards – Best Actress (Nominee)


Renée Zellweger, Judy

The Role: Judy Garland, the legendary entertainer, as she sets out to perform a string of London concerts in the late ’60s.

Oscar History: One win, for Best Supporting Actress in Cold Mountain (2004), with two additional nominations for Best Actress in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2002) and Chicago (2003).

Awards season scorecard:

Critics Choice Awards – Best Actress (Nominee)
Film Independent Spirit Awards – Best Female Lead (Nominee)
Golden Globes – Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Nominee)
Hollywood Film Awards – Hollywood Actress Award (Winner)
National Board of Review – Best Actress (Winner)
Palm Springs International Film Festival – Desert Palm Achievement Award (Winner)


RELATED CONTENT:

Oscar Predictions: 25 Movies You Need to See Before the 2020 Academy Awards

Awards Season 2020: Key Dates to Know for the Oscars, Golden Globes and More

Renée Zellweger Talks Possibly Winning an Oscar 16 Years After ‘Cold Mountain’ (Exclusive)

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