Saturday, March 2, 2024

Unraveling The Scenarios For Who Will Win Best Actress At The Oscars

We’re continuing to look at hypothetical scenarios for this year’s Academy Awards, next up with the Best Actress category. One of the tightest races this season, the nominees are Annette Bening (“Nyad“), Lily Gladstone (“Killers Of The Flower Moon“), Sandra Hüller (“Anatomy Of A Fall“), Carey Mulligan (“Maestro“), and Emma Stone (“Poor Things“). Voters will have a tough decision on their hands this year. Will they give a second Oscar to Emma Stone for what many feel is a career-best performance from her in a movie they all love? Will they want to make history by rewarding the first indigenous woman in Oscar history with Best Actress? Will the strength for “Anatomy Of A Fall” push Sandra Hüller to a surprise win? There are more than a few possibilities, even if it only comes down to Lily Gladstone and Emma Stone since both were winners at the Golden Globes. With SAG and BAFTA still set to announce, here are the possible scenarios leading up to Oscar night for who could win Best Actress…

1. Emma Stone Sweeps
Emma Stone shines as Bella Baxter in “Poor Things” in one of her best performances, if not her overall best. It would be her second BAFTA and SAG win in a leading role following her wins for “La La Land” in 2016. Her rise as a stand-alone actress has been nothing short of amazing to witness. She has gone from starring in teen comedies to being Ryan Gosling’s screen partner to a stand-alone actress who now has producing power. Winning both SAG and BAFTA would guarantee her a second Oscar win to accompany her Critics Choice and Golden Globe wins, effectively giving her a sweep of the season and ushering in this new level within her career.

2. Emma Stone Wins BAFTA & Lily Gladstone Wins SAG
Although both ladies won at the Golden Globes in different categories, this would confirm Best Actress is a two-person race between Emma Stone and Lily Gladstone. The two have only faced off so far at Critics Choice, where Emma Stone prevailed, but that wasn’t with a voting block that contains any overlap with the Academy. SAG will be Gladstone’s only opportunity to prove she has industry support because BAFTA unfairly overlooked her. Lily Gladstone held her own with acting giants Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro and had to carry a significant level of dignity throughout “Killers Of The Flower Moon,” effectively becoming the film’s beating heart. This would be a close call, but Gladstone could still win the Oscar with this scenario.

3. Sandra Hüller Wins BAFTA & Emma Stone Wins SAG
Since Gladstone was not nominated for BAFTA, the next logical winner would be Sandra Hüller for “Anatomy Of A Fall.” Hüller getting a win at BAFTA would increase her chances of winning an Oscar, but would it be enough to win? The honest answer is probably no, but it would put her second behind Stone. The SAG and the Oscar winner have matched in the Best Actress category 10 out of 13 times since 2010. Gladstone’s chances at winning the Oscar would be over, and Stone would likely win the Oscar in this scenario with an outside chance of Hüller if her film’s popularity continues to surge.

4. Sandra Hüller Wins BAFTA & Lily Gladstone Wins SAG
Any scenario where Gladstone wins SAG improves her chances of winning at the Oscars. The same is also true for Hüller at BAFTA. Hüller getting a late push would put her in the mix with Stone and Gladstone, but in this scenario, this is the one that benefits Gladstone most of all. Stone will have lost both industry awards, and Gladstone will have won over her in a category with only five nominees; they went head-to-head and would occur right before voting closes for the Oscars. More than likely, this is what gets Gladstone her first Oscar.

5. Carey Mulligan Wins BAFTA & Either Lily Gladstone or Emma Stone Wins SAG
It would take a massive push from Netflix for this to happen. But Mulligan has received more praise for her performance in “Maestro” than Bradley Cooper and she still does not have an Oscar to her name. Her winning would raise some eyebrows, but it wouldn’t be a complete shock. While it might not be enough to take the Oscar away from whoever wins at SAG between Gladstone and Stone, it would be a unique wrench thrown into the race at the last minute that would cast some doubt about what would ultimately happen on Oscar night.

6. Carey Mulligan Sweeps
It’s highly unlikely, but like Best Actor, we’re looking at all scenarios here. A Mulligan sweep would be shocking at this stage in the Oscar race, but it would also likely snag her an Oscar win. Just like in the previous scenario, it would take a significant push from Netflix to make this last-minute switch in momentum happen, but that’s why it’s near the bottom of our list of scenarios.

7. Annette Bening Wins SAG
Why? There’s no corresponding Best Picture nomination. The film lost considerable momentum after its world premiere at Telluride. She wasn’t even a sure thing to be nominated even though she proved the doubters wrong in the end, getting in alongside her co-star Jodie Foster in Best Supporting Actress. While Bening is overdue for an Oscar victory and should’ve won before for one of her other nominations, there’s no reason to believe that even with a SAG win, it would be enough to give her the Oscar against whoever wins at BAFTA, especially if it’s Stone.

Which one of these scenarios do you think is most likely to happen? Who do you think will win the Oscar for Best Actor this year? Please let us know in the comments section below or on Next Best Picture’s Twitter account. Also, please check out their latest Oscar winner predictions here and the 2023 precursor awards tally here.

You can follow Monique and hear more of her thoughts on the Oscars & Film on Twitter at @MoCJones

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