Will ‘West Side Story’ be the first Steven Spielberg movie to win an Oscar for an actress?

Steven Spielberg is one of the most successful filmmakers in Oscar history with a win for Best Picture (“Schindler’s List”), two wins for Best Director (“Schindler’s” and “Saving Private Ryan”), and many, many more nominations in both of those categories. But his actors haven’t had nearly as strong a track record. In fact, only two actors have ever won Oscars for Spielberg-directed films. And no women have won acting Oscars. “West Side Story” could be the first.

It took decades to break the Spielberg acting curse, and it required no less than what was considered a career-crowning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis in 2012’s “Lincoln” to do it. He won Best Actor for that film, and then a few years later Mark Rylance pulled off an upset by winning Best Supporting Actor for 2015’s “Bridge of Spies.” But that’s it for performers in his movies.

Now comes “West Side Story,” the director’s first musical and another strong contender for Best Picture and Best Director. This time, though, its best chances for acting honors are its women: lead actress Rachel Zegler and supporting actresses Ariana DeBose and Rita Moreno. Can one of them — or more than one of them — win and break the glass ceiling for Spielberg women?

As of this writing Zegler ranks seventh in our Best Actress predictions with 25/1 odds, based on the combined forecasts of thousands of Gold Derby users. Of those, six of the Expert journalists we’ve surveyed say she’ll be nominated. She’s been steadily rising in our rankings since the late-breaking film started screening, and she recently received a Critics Choice nomination for Best Young Actor or Actress, so she’s certainly on the awards radar.

But the film’s better chance for an acting Oscar at the moment appears to be Best Supporting Actress, where DeBose ranks fourth with 6/1 odds and Moreno is eighth with 16/1 odds. But they’re both in the top five when considering just the forecasts of our Experts, and both have a strong rooting factor. DeBose is playing the role of Anita that won Moreno her Oscar 60 years ago. And Moreno returns to “West Side Story” in a brand new role and knocked this one out of the park too; if Moreno makes the cut it would be the biggest gap ever between Oscar nominations.

Thus far five Experts predict that DeBose will win: Clayton Davis (Variety), Erik Davis (Fandango), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), and Brian Truitt (USA Today). Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) is betting that Moreno will claim the prize, which at age 90 would make her the oldest acting winner in Oscar history. So there are multiple ways this Spielberg film could make history.

Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify Hollywood chiefs and stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where 5,000 showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

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