Now that I’ve watched all the films with this year’s Best Actress nominees, it’s time to throw down some bets on who will win. In this case, Cate Blanchett is a sure lock down. In the past ten years we’ve witnessed a surge in fantastic female roles on the big screen. There have been some knockout performances but a core group of women have consistently been nominated for an Osacr, and have provided us with so much variety that it’s safe to say the women are shinning brightly right now. Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Helen Mirren, are just some of the notable recent Oscar winners that have brought us to tears, laughter, and joy at the movies. 2013 was no different.
I have no doubts that Cate Blanchett will walk home with her second Academy Award on Oscar Sunday. She previously won for her performance in The Aviator, however this was in the Supporting Actress category. It is time that she take her crown in the Leading Actress category. I honestly believe that her performance back in 2007 in Notes on a Scandal has been her strongest to date. (She lost to Jennifer Hudson’s breakout performance in Dreamgirls.) However, In my humble opinion Amy Adams delivered the standout performance this year. Partly because her role as Sydney Prosser in American Hustle has been a big departure from her usual roles. The actress has been nominated 5 times for an Oscar, and has always walked home empty handed. This performance has provided a turning point in her career, where I believe we will start to see more range and variety in the characters she will start to play. Had Blue Jasmine come out on a different year, this would have been the year for Amy Adams.
Meryl Streep is always a difficult person to deal with in terms of predictions. She is such a gifted actress, and incredibly consistent, it’s difficult to say when she is likely to win an Oscar. She could easily be handed the golden statue every performance she delivers, but that simply wouldn’t be fair. She has thankfully created a body of work that will go down as the strongest by a female actor, ever. Seeing that she recently won for The Iron Lady, the Academy will probably wait a few years to crown her again; most likely on a year where there is less competition against her.
After winning her first Oscar in 2010 for her touching portrayal as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side, Bullock has started to shift her career into a new direction of serious roles. She is usually known for being one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, that was even before her Oscar win, and respected for that. Her performance in The Blind Side simply validated her into the leagues of Streep, Dench, and Mirren. This is only her second nomination by the Academy, and certainly not her last. Her performance stranded in space in Gravity was no doubt challenging from a physical standpoint, but not Oscar-winning I’m afraid.
Finally the great Dame Judi Dench. Dench provides a breath a fresh air and comedy next to her colleagues in this category. Her performance in Philomena is one of dignity and grace. The well-seasoned actress knows how to balance comedy and drama and does this so eloquently in this film. Believe it or not, she’s only received one Oscar, and that was for her short and powerful performance as Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love. Not to insinuate that Dench is showing any signs of slowing down, but she is reaching the age of 80 at the end of this year, and she is due an Oscar in the Leading Actress category. After Adams, she is my runner-up for best performance in 2013.
Will Win: Cate Blanchett
Should Win: Cate Blanchett
Outside Chance: Amy Adams