Oscar predictions battle: Will Saoirse Ronan (‘Lady Bird’) be the latest ingenue to win like Jennifer Lawrence? [VIDEO & AUDIO PODCAST]

“This is the love affair with the ingenue,” says Gold Derby Editor Paul Sheehan about the Oscar race for Best Actress and how we still need to watch out for Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) despite a recent surge of momentum for Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice winner Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”). Sheehan discussed this and more with fellow Gold Derby Editors Tom O’Neil, Chris Beachum, Joyce Eng, Marcus James Dixon, and Daniel Montgomery. Watch it above, or scroll down to listen to the podcast version at the bottom of this post.

Ronan is 23-years-old, so she’s reminiscent of other recent Best Actress winners like 22-year-old Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), who beat 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”) at the ceremony held in 2013, and 28-year-old Emma Stone (“La La Land”), who bested 63-year-old Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) in 2017. “I crunched the numbers,” Sheehan explains, “and it’s mostly women in their 20s and 30s that win.”

Montgomery agrees that Ronan fits “the Jennifer Lawrence mold … and she already has two nominations under her belt. This will be her third nomination at age 23, so you could almost say she’ll be overdue before her 25th birthday.” O’Neil adds that Ronan is “the heart and soul of that movie, the empathy we connect with as viewers.” However, O’Neil also notes one drawback for Ronan: “She doesn’t have a big, flashy, Oscar-grabbing scene — the grandstanding thing that you normally need.”

Beachum had been predicting Ronan to win Best Actress for a while, but the Golden Globes convinced him to switch to McDormand. Both won Best Actress honors at the Globes — Ronan in the comedy/musical race, and McDormand in the drama category — but “you could feel the roar in the press room, even when [McDormand] would be on camera for someone else’s speech. There is a love affair with her.” And she has such a strong cool-factor that her reluctance to campaign could actually help her as it contributes to her mystique. So this race may not be over just yet.

See Tom O’Neil’s Oscar predictions right here, Paul Sheehan’s right here, Chris Beachum’s right here, Daniel Montgomery’s right here, Marcus James Dixon’s right here and Joyce Eng’s right here. When all of Gold Derby editors’ predictions are combined, these racetrack odds are created.

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars 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. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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