Today an interesting potential scenario popped into my head.
An early contender for Best Actress last year was Maggie Smith in Quartet. While I thought she gave a terrific performance, the film received tepid reviews at best. Smith was snubbed at Critics Choice/SAG/BAFTA and therefore did not factor into the Oscar race.
Now let’s take this hypothetical scenario: Maggie Smith gives a great performance (as she did) in Quartet. However, in this scenario, Quartet is an acclaimed film, receiving a mid-90’s score on Rotten Tomatoes and a mid-80’s score on Metacritic. Smith is nominated for every Best Actress award that year (I was unable to decide whether to eliminate Riva or Wallis for Smith, so I put them both in the same slot in the poll above, at other awards she bumps Marion Cotillard). My prediction is SAG’s love of veterans would win her that award. The season would have went down like this:
Critics Choice: Jessica Chastain
Drama Globe: Jessica Chastain
Comedy Globe: Jennifer Lawrence
SAG: Maggie Smith
BAFTA: Emanuelle Riva
While Jessica Chastain has the most precursor awards, her buzz will have peaked by Golden Globes, before nominations were even announced. Lawrence and Smith would probably battle it out until BAFTA, when the surge of Riva support began.
In this scenario, who wins the Oscar?
Lawrence still. It was her’s to lose.