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Oscars 2019 predictions: our tips on the Best Actress contenders


Awards season is officially upon us and we're counting down the days until the Oscars on 24th February 2019. Here are our tips for the Best Actress contenders...

Will Olivia Colman win the Oscar for The Favourite?

Director Yorgos Lanthimos' wickedly entertaining new period black comedy revolves around a trio of performers, all of whom are strong contenders for Best Actress. It seems, however, that out of the three, ubiquitous British star Olivia Colman is emerging as the frontrunner for her splendidly decadent, acid-tongued portrayal of Queen Anne, who is locked in a tussle with court favourites (Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone).

Colman has received worldwide acclaim for her portrayal of the British monarch, which, critics agree, is a compelling mixture of the pitiable and sympathetic. She's long been a small-screen favourite, hoovering up the awards in the likes of crime drama Broadchurch, so this could be Colman's time to shine on the Oscars stage.

Is Lady Gaga going to win the Best Actress Oscar?

Consider Lady Gaga's sensational performance in A Star is Born the greatest rival for Olivia Colman's crown. The transformative pop sensation delivers a superb performance as reluctant singer-songwriter Ally, who is schooled in the art of fame by Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper, who also directs). 

In addition to sketching out Ally's emotional journey with subtlety and conviction, Gaga brings added layers of commentary to the movie. Her own struggles with bullying and industry exposure are well documented, and the character can therefore be seen as something of an extension of her own persona. Of course, what really matters is the chemistry she shares with Cooper: sensitive, soulful and, ultimately, heart-wrenching.

Will Viola Davis get her second Oscar for Widows?

The brilliant Viola Davis recently won the 2016 Best Supporting Actress for her powerful performance in Fences, in which she co-starred alongside Denzel Washington (who also directed) as a devoted wife suffering with infidelity and family trauma.

Critics have unanimously agreed that Davis is the tough heart of Steve McQueen's new heist thriller, in which four widowed women continue the criminal activities of their deceased husbands. So will she win a second time? One might imagine the Academy Awards voters will be satisfied with her prior Fences win and instead stack the deck in favour of someone like Olivia Colman who hasn't lifted the trophy.

However, complicating the issue is the fact that Davis hasn't actually won Best Actress yet – so she may still have a chance...

Is Glenn Close an Oscar contender for The Wife?

The Academy loves to honour a veteran, and they don't come more accomplished than Glenn Close. She's been delivering memorable, attention-grabbing roles since the likes of Fatal Attraction back in 1987, and critics have said her captivating latest role in The Wife is the sum total of an extraordinary career.

This could well tip the odds in her favour. The Wife casts Close as the devoted spouse of a vain writer (Jonathan Pryce), a Nobel Prize winner in whose shadow she has lingered for too long. The topicality of the performance in the era of Me Too and Time's Up give both the role and movie added punch. But it's Close's piercing gaze, saying more than reams of dialogue ever could, that singles her out as a magnificent performer.

Will Carey Mulligan win for Wildlife?

Here's one you may not have heard of. Paul Dano's sensitive directorial debut is adapted from Richard Ford's novel, charting the collapse of a 1960s couple's marriage as seen through the eyes of their teenage son.

It features strong performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Ex Oxenbould as father and son, respectively. However, the real plaudits are reserved for Carey Mulligan as the imploding wife/mother, who comes to resist the expectations society places on her. As with Glenn Close's turn in The Wife, Mulligan's intense performance is full of coiled fury, adding to a fine repertoire of like-minded performances in An Education and Never Let Me Go.

Mulligan has been nominated before but has never won, despite acclaim for her breadth and diversity of characters. Could this be her year?

What about Saoirse Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots?

Chalk up another versatile and acclaimed performer who has been Oscar-nominated before, but never won. Similar to The Favourite, sweeping period drama Mary Queen of Scots pits strong women characters against each other, depicting the fierce and ultimately tragic battle between Elizabeth I of England and her Scottish cousin, Mary.

Atonement and Brooklyn star Saoirse Ronan is the eponymous Mary, who is set to deliver acting fireworks when paired opposite Margot Robbie as Elizabeth. Of the two, Ronan is perhaps more of a critical and awards darling, and, as Mary, she also bears the tragic weight of history on her shoulders. The Oscars may well see this as the more impressively difficult acting achievement and, therefore, more worthy of the Best Actress prize.

Who are you tipping for Best Actress at the Oscars? Send us your frontrunners @Cineworld.

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