Industry precursors like SAG and BAFTA provide important tea leaves to predict how the academy will vote. But sometimes a performer scores an out of left field nomination without these groups as Marcia Gay Harden (“Pollock”) did back in 2001. She was nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards and won at the New York Film Critics Circle, before being snubbed by SAG, BAFTA, and Golden Globes. By some miracle she was nominated by the Academy and eventually won Best Supporting Actress.
So which actress on the outskirts will be this year’s Marcia Gay Harden? Take a look at the following women who lack support from industry awards groups. Then let us know in the poll below who YOU think will shock the world when Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday January 23rd.
Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip” – Tiffany Haddish turned heads when she won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her breakout role in “Girls Trip” is arguably the most talked about comedic performance of the year. Critics Choice further backed her with nominations for Supporting Actress and Comedy Actress, but SAG didn’t bite. Will the buzz and goodwill she generated throughout the year help Haddish have the last laugh at the Oscars?
Carrie Fisher, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – Since Disney didn’t screen “The Last Jedi” in time for most precursor deadlines, this is the only performer on the list who has no nominations for her film. But it’s Carrie Fisher, so does that really matter? Posthumous nominations are tough because the artist is not alive to campaign, but it’s hard not to overstate how beloved Fisher is in the industry. There may be plenty of voters who want to honor General Organa with a final salute.
Brooklynn Prince, “The Florida Project” – “The Florida Project” has many passionate fans, but can they get its pint-sized leading lady into a tough Lead Actress category? Child actors generally have an easier time with the supporting fields at the Oscars, but exceptions happen. Prince won the Critics Choice for Best Young Actor/Actress, following the lead of many regional critics groups who have “young performer” or “breakthrough” categories. Can she snag an invitation to the grownup table?
Florence Pugh, “Lady Macbeth” – UK critics have lavished praise on “Lady Macbeth” and its talented young star Florence Pugh. She racked up several nominations and wins, including Best Actress at the British Independent Film Awards and a nomination in the BAFTA Rising Star category. Unfortunately, it would seem Americans are oblivious to this thrilling period piece. It will be up to the British contingent of the Academy to push her through.
Lois Smith, “Marjorie Prime” – Can Lois Smith finally cash in on her legendary 6 decade career and earn a nomination for “Marjorie Prime.” The role, which she originated on stage, netted Smith bids with the Indie Spirits, Gothams, and Satellite Awards. But she seems to have fallen off voters’ radars. The fact that she has never earned an Oscar nomination despite starring in classics like “Five Easy Pieces” coupled with her appearance in Best Picture hopeful “Lady Bird” gives Smith a tempting narrative to support.
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.