Four-time Oscars bridesmaid Julianne Moore entered the Best Actress race in a big way when Sony Pictures Classics bought “Still Alice” after its first screening at the Toronto film festival earlier this month. In this tearjerker, she plays a college professor dealing with a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease. The film is schedule for a one-week qualifying run in late December before opening on Jan. 15 (the day after Oscar nominations are announced).
Take a look at the chart below to trace the dramatic rise of Moore with 10 of our 19 Experts now predicting her to finally win an Academy Award. (See the predictions of our individual Experts here.)
Moore, who holds a big fat Oscar IOU, hasn’t been nominated since 2002 when she became the ninth thespian in Academy Awards history to reap two bids in one year: she was nominated in lead for “Far From Heaven” and in supporting for “The Hours.” However, she lost both awards that night, making her one of only four double nominees to be shut out.
Amy Adams, another perennial Oscars also-ran, held first place at the kick-off of the derby for her role as her role as painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton‘s still-unseen “Big Eyes.” However, she soon fell to second behind Oscar champ Reese Witherspoon with “Wild” screening well at Telluride and then Toronto. Now she is in third, with just three Experts predicting her to prevail on her sixth nomination in nine years.
And Witherspoon — who won this award in 2005 for playing real-life singer June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line” — has slid to second for her portrayal of Cheryl Strayed, a woman who loses herself on a 1000-mile hike in the wildnerness and ends up finding herself.
Note the uptick in support for Rosamund Pike who is likely to earn her first Oscar nomination for her starring role in “Gone Girl.” This highly anticipated film from critical darling David Fincher just screened for the first time last week.
Beside myself, those of us Experts on Team Moore are: Scott Feinberg (THR), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Michael Musto (Out.com), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Steve Pond (The Wrap), Christoper Rosen (HuffPo), Nicole Sperling (EW), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).
Those backing Witherspoon are: Ed Douglas (ComingSoon.net), Thom Geier (EW), Keith Simanton (IMDB) and Jeff Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere).
And those three sticking with Adams are: Thelma Adams (Yahoo!), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair) and Kevin Polowy (Yahoo!).
Click on the graph to see more stats and then make your own predictions at the bottom of this post using our easy drag-and-drop menu.