Contact Us

2014 Oscar Power Rankings: Best Actress (Sept. 3)

Warner Bros.

The 2014 Oscar race shifted over the Labor Day weekend, as serious contenders ‘Gravity,’ ’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Prisoners’ and ‘Labor Day’ screened in Venice and at Telluride, generating valuable awards buzz.

We recently launched our 2014 Oscar Power Rankings, and will continue to update them weekly. Here’s where things stand after two major film festivals, and prior to this week’s Toronto International Film Festival … where the race is bound to shift again. And click here for our previous predictions in this category:


Sony Pictures Classics
Sony Pictures Classics
1

Cate Blanchett, ‘Blue Jasmine’

Last Week: 1
 
 

A lock. The frontrunner, though that’s only because most everyone else in the category has yet to show their films. As crumbling ex-socialite Jasmine, Blanchett gives the finest performance we’ve seen from a Woody Allen performance in years (and possibly ever). The final scene, of Jasmine on a park bench, continues to haunt. Blanchett will be there on Oscar night for ‘Blue Jasmine.’

 
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
2

Sandra Bullock, ‘Gravity’

Last Week: 2
 
 

‘Gravity,’ on paper, seems to boil down to Bullock’s performance … primarily because we don’t yet know where Cuaron is going to take his action in the movie’s second half. We know that Bullock plays an astronaut who is knocked free from her satellite and drifts off into space. It sounds like the bulk of the movie will fall on the former ‘Miss Congeniality,’ and if she comes up with something brilliant, it should earn her another Best Actress nomination. We’ll know more on ‘Gravity’ in the coming days, but I fully expect Bullock to stay on these charts for the time being.

 
The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company
3

Julia Roberts, ‘August: Osage County’

Last Week: 3
 
 

John Wells’ adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play is an awards mystery at the moment. Multiple parts in the meaty family drama seem poised for Oscar’s affections. But we don’t know if Roberts or co-star Meryl Streep will emerge as the “Big Story” from the film – and we’re not sure if Streep is running in Actress of Best Supporting Actress yet. For now, I’m putting Roberts down as a contender, but she might be competing with her co-star, if ‘August’ is as good as advertised. (Or she might be removed completely if the movie misses its mark.)

 
Weinstein/BBC
Weinstein/BBC
4

Judi Dench, ‘Philomena’

Last Week: --
 
 

While several eyes were on Telluride, Stephen Frears’ ‘Philomena’ took Venice by storm, putting Dame Judi Dench on the Oscar map.  The movie’s being labeled as obvious Oscar-bait, with Dench playing a mother trying to locate the child who was taken away from her years earlier. It’s based on a true story, and it’s labeled as a crowd-pleaser by journos who covered the film’s world premiere. Frears helmed ‘The Queen,’ which powered Helen Mirren to her Best Actress win. Could he do the same with Dench this year?

 
Entertainment One
Entertainment One
5

Naomi Watts, ‘Diana’

Last Week: 5
 
 

This fifth slot is tough to predict. Several actresses -- from Emma Thompson and Watts to Nicole Kidman – are playing actual people, which often helps an Oscar campaign. And Kidman’s playing Hollywood royalty in Grace Kelly. But Watts is embodying ACTUAL royalty, and if she’s convincing as Princess Diana in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s upcoming biopic, then I think she gets into the race. The fact that Entertainment One recently bumped up to a Nov. 1 release date implies that they have confidence in their film’s awards chances, so for now, Watts gets my fifth Best Actress slot.

 

Best of the Web

More From Around the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://screencrush.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on ScreenCrush quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Register on ScreenCrush quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!