Oscar experts predict Best Actress: Frances McDormand (‘Three Billboards’) widens lead after Golden Globes win

Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) solidified her lead in the Oscar race for Best Actress with her win at the Golden Globes on Sunday. As of this writing, McDormand has the backing of a whopping 19 of our 29 Oscar experts who are drawn from major media (see their individual rankings). Her closest challenger is Saoirse Ronan, who won a Golden Globe on the comedy side for “Lady Bird”; she is the choice of six of our experts. One-time frontrunner Sally Hawkins, who is piling up critics awards for her performance in “The Shape of Water,” still has four votes.

McDormand headlines Martin McDonagh‘s character study, which won the audience award at the Toronto film festival. She plays a grieving mother who tries to shame the local police chief (Woody Harrelson) into investigating the murder of her daughter. McDonagh, a Tony-nominated playwright, won the Best Live Action Short Oscar in 2004 for “Six Shooter.” She numbers just a single Best Actress bid among her four Oscar nominations but it was the one that proved to be the winner (“Fargo,” 1996).

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Ronan, who lost her Oscar bids for “Atonement” (2007) and “Brooklyn” (2015), could have the edge here. Remember, the Best Actress Oscar is usually awarded to an ingenue, unlike the Best Actor prize which is typically taken by a veteran. Indeed, a whopping 32 of the 89 Best Actress winners were in their 20s when they picked up their prizes, including last year’s winner Emma Stone (“La La Land”).

Here’s how the Oscar Best Actress predictions break down by expert as well as the most up-to-date odds for each of the top 10 contenders to win:

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1. Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”: 19 experts (21/10 odds)
Thelma Adams (Gold Derby)
Kyle Buchanan (New York)
Edward Douglas
Grae Drake (Rotten Tomatoes)
Joyce Eng (TV Guide)
Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post)
Tariq Khan (Fox News)
Andrea Mandell (USA Today)
Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood)
Michael Musto (NewNowNext)
Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby)
Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly)
Keith Simanton (IMDB)
Anne Thompson (Indiewire)
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
Brian Truitt (USA Today)
Adnan Virk (ESPN)
Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times)
Susan Wloszczyna (RogetEbert.com)

2. Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”: 6 experts (7/2 odds)
Dave Karger (IMDB)
Kevin Polowy (Yahoo)
Krista Smith (Vanity Fair)
Sasha Stone (Awards Daily)
Sara Vilkomerson (Entertainment Weekly)
Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere)

3. Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”: 4 experts (4/1 odds)
Erik Davis (Fandango)
Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life)
Tim Gray (Variety)
Jack Mathews (Gold Derby)

4. Meryl Streep, “The Post”: (7/1 odds)

5. Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”: (12/1 odds)

6. Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game”: (40/1 odds)

7. Judi Dench, “Victoria and Abdul” (50/1 odds)

8. Kate Winslet, “Wonder Wheel”: (100/1 odds)

9. Emma Stone, “Battle of the Sexes”: (100/1 odds)

10. Daniel Vega, “A Fantastic Woman”: (100/1 odds)

2018 Oscars Best Actress: Experts Predictions

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.

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