As predicted by 23 of our 30 movie Experts, Emma Stone (“La La Land”) won Best Actress at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Stone plays Mia, an aspiring Los Angeles actress who falls in love with a down-on-his-luck jazz musician (Ryan Gosling). This is Stone’s second Oscar nom following a supporting bid for “Birdman” (2014). For the splashy, awards-dominating musical “La La Land” she had already won the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and SAG Award.
With her victory, Stone became only the seventh woman in history to win Best Actress for a musical performance. The others were Julie Andrews for “Mary Poppins” (1964), Liza Minnelli for “Cabaret” (1972), Sissy Spacek for “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1980), Reese Witherspoon for “Walk the Line” (2005), and Marion Cotillard for “La Vie en Rose” (2007). While Luis Rainer did win her first of two lead actress trophies for the musical “The Great Ziegfeld” (1936), she neither sang nor danced in her brief 30 minutes of screen time.
Twenty-three of our 30 Experts predicted a Stone victory, giving her 3/10 odds: Eric Deggans (NPR), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Michael Musto (Out.com), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Keith Simanton (IMDb), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Brian Truitt (USA Today), Adnan Virk (ESPN), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Glenn Whipp (LA Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).
In second place was Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) with 11/2 odds; the four Experts who predicted the veteran French actress to win were Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Erik Davis (Fandango), Tim Gray (Variety) and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone). Huppert won a Golden Globe for her performance as a rape survivor trying to track down her attacker, but she wasn’t nominated at the SAG Awards and wasn’t eligible at the BAFTAs. Despite her celebrated career, which includes a record 16 nominations at the Cesar Awards (the French Oscars), this was Huppert’s first Academy Award nom.
Natalie Portman (“Jackie”) was next in line with 18/1 odds based on support from one Expert: Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes). This is the third Oscar nom for Portman, who previously earned a supporting bid for “Closer” (2004) and won Best Actress for “Black Swan” (2010). In “Jackie” Portman plays the title character, first lady Jackie Kennedy, in the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy‘s assassination, and the performance earned her a Critics’ Choice Award.
Much further behind were Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) with 66/1 odds and Ruth Negga (“Loving”) with 80/1 odds. Streep, who has won three times (Supporting for “Kramer vs. Kramer” in 1979 and Lead for “Sophie’s Choice” in 1982 and “The Iron Lady” in 2011), celebrated her record 20th Oscar nomination and has won three times. Negga, meanwhile, was a first-time nominee.
According to our overall combined odds featuring the predictions of all Experts, Editors, Top 24 Users (those who did the best at their winner picks last year), All-Star Top 24 (who got the best predictions scores when you combine the last two years’ results), and All Users, the rankings were the same. The favored pick of over 5,000 people was Stone with 2/7 odds over Huppert with 13/2 odds. Portman followed with 16/1 odds, and then Streep at 66/1 and Negga at 80/1.