While the coronavirus has upended the Oscar season by reducing the importance of fall film festivals that will likely do more virtual screening rather than physical and causing studios to push some major titles into next year, the delayed 93rd Academy Awards will take place on April 23, 2021.
Matters might be up in the air about what films will be eligible and how many will actually be seen on a big screen. More and more, the options are more likely to be drive-ins, streaming sites, protected links for voters and VOD titles.
But on the side of optimism, we asked our readers to pick which likely Best Actress Oscar winner from the past might be able to join the two-fer club of leading ladies who possess two lead honors in the 2021 race. The 13 are Meryl Streep, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Taylor, Olivia de Havilland, Glenda Jackson, Jodie Foster, Sally Field, Vivien Leigh, Frances McDormand, Luise Rainer and Hilary Swank. Of course, the late great Katharine Hepburn is in a league of her own with four lead trophies.
Those in the running include Olivia Colman, who won her first Oscar as the amusingly addled 18th-century British ruler Queen Anne in 2018’s royal farce “The Favourite.” She could make a return to the category for “The Father,” in which she co-stars with Anthony Hopkins as her elderly dad who moves in with her as he struggles with dementia. She earned 11% backing.
Next was Sophia Loren in “The Life Ahead,” with 14% hoping that she will win a twin for the lead trophy she won for 1960’s “Two Women,” as a mother protecting her daughter from the horrors of war. She became the first actor to win for a foreign-language performance. Now, at age 85, the Italian beauty stars in an update of 1977’s “Madame Rosa, that year’s foreign-language winner. Loren plays a Holocaust survivor with a 35-year-old transgender daughter. She also takes in a 12-year-old Senegalese street kid and a 10-year-old Romanian urchin. If Loren does get nominated and wins, she will beat the record of Helen Hayes (1932’s “The Sind of Madelon Claudet,” 1971’s “Airport”) for the longest gap between a first and second Oscar win.
Next is Jennifer Lawrence with 24% of the vote. She became the second-youngest Best Actress winner at age 22 and 193 days for her depressed young widow in 2012’s “Silver Linings Playbook.” She was also nominated as a lead for 2011’s backwards “Winter’s Bone” and for the 2016 biopic “Joy” and was nominated for her supporting role in the 2014 con-man comedy “American Hustle.” Her latest film, “Red, White and Water,” finds her in a dramatic part as a U.S. soldier who suffers a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan who struggles with recovery when she goes back home.
But the actress collecting the lion’s share of support is Kate Winslet with 47% choosing her as the most deserving candidate to be bestowed with a second lead Oscar. Considering she has seven Oscar nominations under her belt — three supporting bids and four for Best Actress– it is amazing she has only one trophy for 2009’s “The Reader,” as an illiterate Nazi concentration camp guard who has an affair with a teenage boy.
Her current film, “Ammonite,” is a truth-based historical drama set in the 1840s about Mary Anning, a self-taught paleontologist on the Southern coast of England who barely gets by as she sells fossils to tourists. One day, a traveler hires her to take care of his sociality wife (Saoirse Ronan), who is recovering from a personal tragedy. While their initial encounter is quite testy, the women end up sharing a love affair. The film was set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival but will likely arrive in a very crowded fall.
Alas, while Marion Cotillard earned 4% of the vote for her Amazon musical “Annette,” the film will now be released in 2021. If it screens early in the year it still might qualify, but that doesn’t seem quite likely. We will just have to wait to see if the French actress who won a lead statuette for her rendition of French chanteuse Edith Piaf in 2007’s “La Vie en Rose” will get a chance at a second Best Actress prize.
Winslet also earned the most passionate backing in the comments section, Here are some examples: