Oscar experts: Best Actress battle between Cate Blanchett (‘Carol’) and Brie Larson (‘Room’)

Oscar predictions cate blanchett carol brie larson room 975386420

The Oscar race for Best Actress is shaping up as a battle between two-time champ Cate Blanchett ("Carol") and newcomer Brie Larson ("Room") according to the predictions of our experts from Yahoo, Variety, Rollling Stone, IMDB and other top media. See the individual predictions of all 18 Oscar Experts here.

Currently, 8 out of 18 Oscarologists making predictions at Gold Derby are backing Blanchett for her performance as a closeted lesbian in Todd Haynes' period drama. That support translates into odds of 3/1 for this Aussie import to win her third Oscar in 11 years. "Blanchett is the new Meryl Streep (who was the new Katharine Hepburn)," says veteran Hollywood journalist Jack Mathews. "She seems to be getting her pick of the best roles and she always finds ways into her characters to make them originals."

Six experts are betting on Larson for her breakout role as a kidnap victim in Lenny Abrahamson's thriller. That equals odds of 10/3 for a win on her first nomination. As Brian Truitt (USA Today) observes, "every award season has that one Cinderella — whether it's Julianne Moore, Anne Hathaway or Matthew McConaughey — who just seems destined to roll through with a shopping cart collecting trophies. And Larson is an early favorite picking up steam daily."

Below: Rankings for the top Best Actress contenders with odds to win and commentary from our experts.

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#1. Cate Blanchett, "Carol" (8 Experts; Odds to win: 3/1)
Director Haynes also adapted Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel “The Price of Salt” about a married woman (Blanchett) who falls in love with a shop clerk (Rooney Mara). Mara won Best Actress at Cannes, which does not distinguish between lead and featured performance, but will be campaigned in supporting for the Oscars.

Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post): "My real hope is that Blanchett lands nods for both 'Carol' and 'Truth.' Either way, it's hers to lose."

Other Experts: Edward Douglas (ComingSoon), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).

#2. Brie Larson, "Room" (6 Experts; Odds to win: 10/3)
The film, adapted by Emma Donoghue from her acclaimed 2010 novel of the same name, won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto film festival. Two years ago Larson earned BFCA and Indie Spirit bids for her performance in "Short Term 12"; she lost both those races to eventual Oscar champ Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"). 

Thelma Adams (Gold Derby): "Finally, we are getting  a strong field of actresses and Larson is the ingénue to beat even if I have a soft spot for the luminous Saoirse Ronan." 

Tim Gray (Variety): "Larson: The kid is flashy, but the movie really rests on her shoulders. Though she's young, industry people have admired her work for a long time, and everything clicks in this movie."

Other Experts: Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Jenelle Riley (Variety), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby) and Brian Truitt (USA Today). 

Oscar experts' predictions:
'Spotlight' now leads for Best Picture; '
Joy,' 'Steve Jobs,' 'The Revenant' tied for second

#3. Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy" (2 Experts; Odds to win: 11/2)
Lawrence has reunited with writer/director, David O. Russell for a third time with this biopic of Joy Mangano, the Long Island single mother of three who invented the Miracle Mop. She won this race for their first collaboration, "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012), and reaped a supporting nomination for their second film together "American Hustle" (2013). 

Experts: Tariq Khan (Fox News), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere)

#4. Saoirse Ronan, "Brooklyn" (Odds to win: 10/1)
 A 2007 Supporting Actress nominee for ("Atonement"), she shines as an Irish emigre in this charming period piece, directed by John Crowley ("Once") with Nick Hornby adapting Colm Toibin’s 2009 novel of the same name.

#5. Carey Mulligan, "Suffragette" (Odds to win:16/1)
This 2009 Best Actress nominee ("An Education") portrays a women's rights activist in Sarah Gavron's historical drama based on an original script by Emmy champ Abi Morgan ("The Hour"). 

Make your Oscar predictions beginning with Best Actress at the bottom of this post. You could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations).

Last year the Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby's Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)

Which group will be victorious this year?

Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

9 thoughts on “Oscar experts: Best Actress battle between Cate Blanchett (‘Carol’) and Brie Larson (‘Room’)

  1. At the end of the year or even January,we’ll see who gets nominated and who doesn’t get nominated for an Oscar.Right now every movie that comes out between October and early January of 2016,critics especially at Gold Derby will say this actor and actress will be nominated.Wait and see.It’s confusing.

  2. Slow down on the Streep/Blanchett comparisons….I have yet to see that much range/nominations from her. Yes, her career has hit a hot spot and then it will hit a backlash–and voters will not award her a third if they can christen the next “new” young thing with the better narrative. Narrative/Campaign usually wins over any actual performance.

    And Meryl’s Ricki is her best performance since Prada…. They just know she will be in award conversation next year for Florence.

  3. uh no. The meryl streep comparisons are absolutely accurate. There is no other actress besides Meryl who can perform with as much range as her. Can you think of anyone else who could portray Bob Dylan, Katherine Hepburn, Veronica Guerin and Queen Elizabeth? There won’t be a new thing for a while, at least of what i’ve seen so far.

  4. My predictions:
    Brie Larson – Room
    Cate Blanchett – Carol
    Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
    Lily Tomlin – Grandma
    Jennifer Lawrence – Joy

    Alicia Vikander could fit in depending on whether she’ll be submitted as a lead or supporting actress. I think she’ll be campaigned as a supporting actress.

  5. And Jennifer Lawrence is the new Jennifer Lawrence…My money is on her. She has a shot at beating Meryl’s record if she continues like this.

  6. Cate Blanchett would seem the perfect choice to get her third Oscar for Carol, but can you believe there are actually experts not even predicting she’ll get a nomination? (Nate R from Film Experience, my favorite GoTo outside of Goldderby). Rooney Mara, on the other hand, seems all primed and set to get a category fraud nod worse then Julia Roberts in August: Osage County (2013). I say Blanchett will get her 7th nod for Carol, but I don’t think she will win a third so soon. I think Brie Larson and Lily Tomlin will have better narratives. Jennifer Lawrence (sigh) will also probably be a close bet, but is Joy going to really fly with voters? Russell is prone to being all hype with his movies (look at how hard American Hustle fell with 0 wins out of 10 nods).

    I would like to see Blanchett win again, but I don’t know for sure if it will be this year.

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