Last year, “Lincoln” star Daniel Day-Lewis came tantalizing close to being the first performer since Helen Mirren (“The Queen,” 2006) to take home all the precursor prizes before collecting an Oscar. This year, Cate Blanchett tops almost all of our prediction charts for her performance in Woody Allen‘s “Blue Jasmine.” (Check out our overviews of the four critics groups under the movie camera icon in the main menu above.)
Indeed, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. could be the only speed bump she encounters on her way to the Dolby Theater. These LA-based critics are notorious for going their own way. Last year, Day-Lewis lost this race to Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”). This time around, Blanchett faces a fierce foe in French actress Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue is the Warmest Color“).
Should she be bested by this Gallic babe, Blanchett can take comfort in the knowledge that these West Coast journos have a lousy track record at predicting which women will win the Best Actress Oscar. Indeed, since they feted Mirren in 2006, they have gotten it right just twice more — with Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”) in 2007 and last year when eventual Oscar champ Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”) tied Emmanuelle Riva who headlined their pick for best pic “Amour.”
Since the introduction of the Screen Actors Guild kudos in 1994 and the Critics Choice Awards in 1995, Mirren is the only performer to prevail at all the precursor prizes, including the New York Film Critics Circle (established in 1935), the Golden Globes (1943), the National Board of Review (1945), the National Society of Film Critics (1966) and LAFCA (1975).
In 2005, Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote”) came close to running the board but was snubbed by the New York Film Critics Circle who went with Heath Ledger (“Brokeback Mountain”).
Back in 1995, Nicolas Cage (“Leaving Las Vegas”) was stymied by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. when they gave their first Critics Choice Award for Best Actor to Kevin Bacon (“Murder in the First”). Cage got his revenge when Bacon wasn’t even nominated for the Oscar.
From the time the LA critics began handing out awards in 1975 to 1993, five women won them over as well as the New York and national film critics, the National Board of Review and the Golden Globes before triumphing at the Oscars. They were:
Sally Field (“Norma Rae,” 1979);
Sissy Spacek (“Coal Miner’s Daughter,” 1980);
Meryl Streep (“Sophie’s Choice,” 1982);
Emma Thompson (“Howards End,” 1992); and
Holly Hunter (“The Piano,” 1993).
Will Blanchett pull off this same sweep?
Who do you think is going to win Best Actress from the LA film critics? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.