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2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress

Anne Thompson’s early look at the Oscar race includes Nicole Kidman, Carey Mulligan and more. Updated 6/19/17.

“The Beguiled”

READ MORE: 2018 Oscar Predictions

Audiences got their first looks at Emma Stone, Brie Larson, Julianne Moore and Jennifer Lawrence’s winning Best Actress performances at the fall film festivals Telluride and Toronto, so we may not have a clear view of this category until September.

So far early contenders include last year’s fall festival breakouts, newcomer Florence Pugh (Roadside Attractions’ “Lady Macbeth”) and “Blue Jasmine” Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins, who gives a heartbreaking performance as real-life arthritic painter Maud Lewis in “Maudie” (Sony Pictures Classics, June 16). At Sundance, “An Education” nominee Carey Mulligan earned raves as a southern farmer in “Mudbound,” along with Danielle Macdonald as a rapper competing with the boys in “Patti Cake$,” which played well at Sundance and Cannes.


Photo Courtesy of MACRO

Cannes 2017 revealed more clues, as Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman (“The Hours”) won a special award for her four films there, including her resilient schoolmistress in Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled.” She could earn a fifth Oscar nomination. Deaf discovery Millicent Simmonds broke out in the silent half of Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck.”

And the ceiling smashing $103-million opening of Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” pushed Israeli star Gal Gadot — who had already scored in “Batman v. Superman”– into global stardom. She earned raves for the winning warmth she brought to superhero Wonder Woman and human-scale Diana Prince, and could earn a nomination, even though comic-book spectacles don’t tend to extend to acting nods.

Florence Pugh in “Lady Macbeth”

Sixty Six Pictures

Woody Allen’s upcoming “Wonder Wheel” could reveal whether Kate Winslet could enjoy the same kind of awards season run that Cate Blanchett had in the lead-up to her “Blue Jasmine” win. And the combo of Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg in Watergate drama “The Papers” (Fox, December 22) could yield Oscar gold.

Kate Winslet in “Wonder Wheel”

A list of early possibilities is below. None will be considered for Frontrunner until I see them.


Sally Hawkins (“Maudie”)
Nicole Kidman (“The Beguiled”)
Danielle Macdonald (“Patti Cake$”)
Carey Mulligan (“Mudbound”)
Florence Pugh (“Lady Macbeth”)


Annette Bening (“Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”)
Jessica Chastain (“Molly’s Game”)
Judi Dench (“Victoria and Abdul”)
Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”)
Sally Hawkins (“The Shape Of Water”)
Keira Knightley (“The Aftermath”)
Brie Larson (“The Glass Castle”)
Jennifer Lawrence (“Mother!”)
Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri”)
Rooney Mara (“Mary Magdalene”)
Millicent Simmonds (“Wonderstruck”)
Emma Stone (“Battle of The Sexes”)
Meryl Streep (“The Papers”)
Daniela Vega (“A Fantastic Woman”)
Katherine Waterston (“The Current War”)
Kristen Wiig (“Downsizing”)
Kate Winslet (‘The Mountain Between Us,” “Wonder Wheel”)

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What about Salma Hayek’s well reviewed performance in ‘Beatriz at Dinner’? Will there be any diversity in this years contenders?


    Definitely Salma Hayek missing!!

    Dany Gallagher

    I Think SALMA is coming strong this year , Will be Great to see her WINNING , love her in this Movie.




Jennifer Lawrence for “Mother!”?

    meng meng mok mor

    No, She is overrated


      Of course she is overrated. That is why great directors want to work with her.

Renan C. Maia

GLENN CLOSE for “The Wife”! It’s gonna be her 7th nomination (and 1st win, I hope…).

    Mangesh Gaikwad

    Glenn Close for ‘The Wife’ fingers crossed…


I would say that Huppert is higher; it is a f@cking Hanekee movie, m’key.

I would also consider Theron with Tully. Rachel Weisz isn’t going anywhere with My Cousin Rachel, neither is Kidman with The Beguiled.
And here’s a crazy guess – Bening strikes out again. lol


Emma Watson for Beauty and the Beast


I have a feeling they will give Meryl Streep her 4th Oscar


^ The Post is not a 2017 release.


Hoping these veterans will reign the category: Streep, Dench, Moore, Huppert, and Winslet. Still little too early to predict tho

meng meng mok mor

Meryl Streep will win


Jessica Chastain for the “Zookeeper’s Wife”


Kirsten Dunst in “Woodshock” is likely to upend this category given her ever-increasing buzz and calibre as well as the heavy push A24 seems to be giving Woodshock.


This is ridiculous. List all possible actress that will have a movie out.


No Salma Hayek?


    Yes!!! SALMA HAYEK


Anne Hathaway for Colossal. Her rave reviews are sensational and well-deserved.

Renan C. Maia

GLENN CLOSE for THE WIFE!!!!!!!!!!! 7th nomination and 1st win coming… And I love Nicole and Jessica Chastain too!


Jennifer Lawrence in Mother! …Can’t wait. The other lock nominee for Best Actress is Meryl Streep if ‘the post’ delivers and it’s not a Bridge of spies situation…


So… will Jennifer Lawrence win her 2nd Oscar this year or Meryl streep her 4th?…


Jennifer Lawrence mother! for the win!!


    Rooting for Jennifer Lawrence too, ‘Mother!’ could be her 2nd Oscar and I already have it as my top ensemble of the year at SAGS and Oscars. Michelle Pfiffer, get that Oscar win too girl!!


      @Emily: Yes!…absolutely, I agree!.


        Absolutely agree.


And Nicole Kidman for The Killing of a sacred deer?



    Ilse Chavez



What about Cynthia Nixon?

Leonardo Salome

Daniela Vega”A Fantastic Woman”, Sally Hawkins”Maudie”, Natalie Portman”Annihilation”

    Leonardo Salome

    Oopss… Maybe no “Annihilation” this year… Fine!!! Jessica Chastain then!

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