A quintet of leading ladies listed on Gold Derby’s combined odds list of Academy Award predictions all qualify as being overdue for a Oscar statuette. Most have been nominated before while one former vampire lover has never been in the running. Here, in order of their current placement among lead actress contenders on the site, are those who might go on to give a speech at the ceremony on Feb. 9, 2020.
1. Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”: The Irish actress follows in the bookish Civil War-era footsteps of Katharine Hepburn, June Allyson and Winona Ryder — the actresses who most notably played Jo, the headstrong and ambitious March sister — in the 1933, 1949 and 1994 big-screen adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s novel “Little Women.” Ryder was nominated for Lead Actress and Ronan just might do the same. She has been nominated for a supporting Oscar as a spiteful teen in 2007’s “Atonement” followed by lead nods for her homesick Irish transplant in ’50s New York in 2015’s “Brooklyn” and for her spitfire high-schooler in 2017’s “Lady Bird.”
4. Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”: The former child actress has had her share of acclaimed movie roles, from her dry-witted high-schooler in 2001’s “Ghost World” and as a servant-girl muse for the great Dutch painter Vermeer in “Girl With the Pearl Earring” to her homesick wife of an egotistic filmmaker in 2003’s “Lost in Translation” and a femme fatale in 2005’s “Match Point.” The irony is she did win a Tony for her supporting role in a 2010 Broadway production of “A View From the Bridge.” Her current film dissects a divorce — including a custody battle –between a New York theater director (Adam Driver) and a L.A.-based TV actress.
5. Alfre Woodard, “Clemency”: Originally a stage actress, she was nominated for a supporting Oscar as Geechee, who works for author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (“The Yearling”) and teaches her employer about friendship in 1983’s “Cross Creek.” She racked up some impressive credits in films like 1991’s “Grand Canyon” and 1992’s “Passion Fish.” But TV proved more fruitful when it came to awards, winning four Primetime Emmys for her work in “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law,” “Miss Evers’ Boys” and “The Practice.” Her “Clemency” casts her as an embittered prison warden on Death Row as she oversees her 12th execution.
18. Kristen Stewart, “Seberg”: This child actress first gained notice as Jodie Foster’s daughter in 2002’s “Panic Room.” She would rocket to paparazzi-bait stardom as Bella Swan in “The Twilight Saga” franchise from 2008 to 2012. Stewart has since appeared in art-house fare such as 2014’s “Still Alice,” 2015’s “Clouds of Sils Maria” and 2016’s “Personal Shopper.” While she is in a remake of “Charlie’s Angels” this November, her awards season hopes are pinned on this thriller about Jean Seberg, the ’60s “Breathless” actress who popularized the pixie haircut and was targeted for illegal surveillance by the FBI.
20. Isabelle Huppert, “Frankie”: This ageless French actress has been engaged in her craft since 1971, collecting 16 Cesar Award nominations in her home country — the most for any woman — while winning two, for “La Ceremonie” (1995) and “Elle” (2016). Her role as a wealthy business women and rape victim who takes matters into her own hands would also earn her first Oscar nomination for lead actress. “Frankie,” which premiered at Cannes, showcases Huppert as a manipulative actress who plays matchmaker as she pushes her son to get involved with a hairstylist.
Be sure to make your Oscar nominee predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on January 13. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.