It’s been a roller-coaster of an Oscar run for Kristen Stewart. A runaway Best Actress frontrunner for much of the season, the “Spencer” star took a tumble in recent weeks as her film got completely blanked by the guilds. Nevertheless, Stewart survived the madness and earned a nomination on Tuesday — the only one for “Spencer.” If she prevails, she’ll become the 13th Best Actress champ as the sole nominee for her film.
The first 12 were:
1. Mary Pickford, “Coquette” (1928/29)
2. Marie Dressler, “Min and Bill” (1930/31)
3. Helen Hayes, “The Sin of Madelon Claudet” (1931/32)
4. Katharine Hepburn, “Morning Glory” (1932/33)
5. Bette Davis, “Dangerous” (1935)
6. Joanne Woodward, “The Three Faces of Eve” (1957)
7. Sophia Loren, “Two Women” (1961)
8. Jodie Foster, “The Accused” (1988)
9. Kathy Bates, “Misery” (1990)
10. Jessica Lange, “Blue Sky” (1994)
11. Charlize Theron, “Monster” (2003)
12. Julianne Moore, “Still Alice” (2014)
SEE None of the Best Actress Oscar nominees are in Best Picture contenders for the first time in the preferential era
Stewart played Moore’s daughter in “Still Alice” — and Moore thanked her in her speech — so it’d be fitting if she becomes the next member of this group. In the early odds, Stewart is in fourth place, behind Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”), Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) and Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”). Penelope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”) is in fifth. It’s not entirely surprising that she trails the trio as all three women received Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, unlike Stewart and Cruz, and no one has won Best Actress without a SAG nomination yet.
But given how tumultuous and twisty Best Actress has been this year, even more so than last year’s that had a fairly predictable top five, it’d be presumptuous to say Stewart is out of it completely. One thing helping her cause is that no one’s film in this category is incredibly strong. For the first time in the modern preferential era, none of the Best Actress nominees are in Best Picture nominees. “The Lost Daughter” and “Being the Ricardos” have three nominations apiece, while “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” and “Parallel Mothers” each have two. If support remains fractured, Stewart could eke it out.
However, “Spencer” is easily the most divisive film of the five, and while the acting branch pulled through to get Stewart the nomination for her turn as Princess Diana, the entire membership votes for the winners and that’s where the film’s lack of across-the-board support could hurt. Plus, unlike Moore, who swept all the major precursors, Stewart can’t do that and is not even nominated at two of the upcoming ones, SAG and BAFTA.
Stewart is the fourth solo Best Actress nominee since 2019, following Glenn Close that year for “The Wife” and last year’s duo of Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) and Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”). Of the three, only Close was expected to win her overdue Oscar, but she lost to none other than Colman, who fronted Best Picture and 10-time nominee “The Favourite.” One thing’s for sure: At the moment, there’s no favorite in the Best Actress race.
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