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Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain? New York Film Critics Awards Best Actress Predictions

Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games Best ActressJennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain? Best Actress prediction for the New York Film Critics Awards 2012

[See previous article: “Joaquin Phoenix or Daniel Day-Lewis? New York Critics Awards' Best Actor Predictions.”] This awards season, the Best Actress category remains wide open. There are several contenders, but no clear favorite. As mentioned in my previous article, the time when the New York Film Critics Circle dared to pick truly offbeat choices (for a U.S.-based organization, that is) seems to be long gone in most categories. In the last three decades or so, only quite sporadically has the NYFCC strayed from honoring what amounts to mainstream – or at least “mainstream-friendly” – U.S. fare. (Image: Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games.) [List of New York Film Critics 2012 winners.]

Also as mentioned in my previous post, Amour's Best Actress European Film Award winner Emmanuelle Riva has the disadvantage of starring in a non-English-language movie. That in itself makes her a long shot for the New York Film Critics Awards. The same goes for potential Oscar contender Marion Cotillard for Jacques Audiard's French-Belgian drama Rust and Bone. Who else then?

Quvenzhané Wallis is certainly a possibility for Beasts of the Southern Wild, and so are Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain (last year's NYFCC Best Supporting Actress winner) and Silver Linings Playbook and The Hunger Games' Jennifer Lawrence. Somewhat less so are Naomi Watts for The Impossible, Helen Mirren for Hitchcock, Keira Knightley for Anna Karenina, and, following her Gotham Award win (as Breakthrough Performer) and Spirit Award nomination, Emayatzy Corinealdi for Middle of Nowhere.

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence

I'm betting on Jennifer Lawrence for the simple fact that she has two well-received performances in two well-received – and radically different – movies. (There's a third one, House at the End of the Street, but that one is out of the running.) The fact that Lawrence has The Weinstein Company plugging one of her movies (The Silver Linings Playbook), surely doesn't hurt, either. Note: The Weinstein Company is also the distributor of my NYFCC Best Actor prediction, The Master's Joaquin Phoenix.

Less likely but certainly not impossible contenders for the New York Film Critics' Best Actress Award (assuming all those movies have had/will have New York releases in 2012) include the following: 2000 NYFCC winner Laura Linney for Hyde Park on the Hudson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead for Smashed, Judi Dench for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Michelle Williams for Take This Waltz, Melanie Lynskey for Hello, I Must be Going, Halle Berry for Cloud Atlas, Meryl Streep for Hope Springs, and Maggie Smith for Quartet.

[“New York Film Critics Awards' Best Actress Predictions: Jessica Chastain or Jennifer Lawrence?” continues on the next page. See link below.]

Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games photo: Lionsgate.

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22 Comments to Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain? New York Film Critics Awards Best Actress Predictions

  1. JDT

    The nomination I most want to see is Melanie Lynskey in the running for the Best Actress In A Leading Role for 'Hello I Must Be Going'. This would improve her chances of finally being picked up on Hollywood's radar as a bonifide A-list movie star of the future. Such an occurrence is long overdue.

  2. Leah


    I agree I hope she gets a nomination just so she can get more recognition even if it is just a popularity contest. But I do think she is a very talented actress who should win best actress for like you said a true meaty role like her one in Serena

  3. Samantha

    Last vote was between Weisz, Watts, Greta Werwig and Winstead, Weisz and Watts got the majority but Weisz won

  4. Andre


    Thank you for the info. But however inane, this sort of “consensus voting” is hardly unusual. Goes all the way back to 1939 (or perhaps 1935, the first year of the NYFCC). In '39, they couldn't decide between “Gone with the Wind” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” So they picked “Wuthering Heights” as the Best Picture of the year. As you wrote, “Nice mess they made of things”…

  5. astro

    This is what I've read. Lawrence and Chastain were tied after three ballots. However at the fourth ballot the order became Weisz, Lawrence, Riva. Notice who is missing? I'd have to see all the ballots, but it sure seems like the Chastain voters pulled out on the fourth ballot and threw their support to another candidate. (Weisz). Was this because they were facing an irrevocable impasse and needed a compromise candidate to get it finished or was this a spoiler vote where the losing side tries to derail a main rival to their own favorite? The shadow knows. But Weisz was not a legitimate winner. Nice mess they made of things.

  6. E

    Hm. Weisz won raves for her performance, even if the film was mediocre itself. Lawerence won raves, but there have been a few vocal detractors and even a lot of the praise has mentioned that the role was more supporting than lead. Frankly, if one had to chose between Weisz in a strong, layered role or Lawrence in what really should have been considered a supporting role, I'd pick Weisz. Lawrence is a very talented actress, but she and SLP have been over hyped a bit. I don't understand how anyone can objectively state that she gave a better performance than Cotillard, Riva, Mirren, or even Watts, Chastain, Weisz, and Emaytzy Corineldi (can never spell her name right). Chastain has shown incredibly range in her previous roles, and apparently she is fantastic in Zero Dark Thirty. I'd rather see Lawrence get nominated and win for a true leading role, like her role in next year's Serena.

  7. richardM

    As a result, Best Actress goes to the real talent Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea) and not the hypes. Congratulations!

  8. Sam

    yes, Chastain was totally omitted, maybe she wont be nominated but she is a great actress, NYC has an independent opinion and that is good, Golden Globes and also Oscars are convergent with the buzz

  9. Peter

    Chastain gave a forgettable performance, I guess her chances for an Oscar nomination are diminishing, the same with Lawrence, this Weisz award opens the door for more contenders

  10. lemos

    I do not know because their nomination are based on predictions and as you can see they do not always work

    “Mediocre” or no, expect them both to land Academy Award nominations.

    Read more: http://www.altfg.com/blog/movie/jennifer-lawrence-jessica-chastain-nyfcc-best-actress/#ixzz2E2JLgW00

  11. astro

    @Andre-It was the National Society. But what they did was intentionally vote for a dark horse film to hurt the momentum of SPR.
    I wasn't there of course. So maybe they literally thought it was the best performance. But it is so out of left field that it raises suspicion. Because Zero Dark Thirty wins the best film award Chastain gets a boost. The only thing that would hurt her would be if a major competitor (Lawrence, Cottilard) won instead. Because of the film award, the Chastain supporters had a motive in throwing the award to a dark horse if Chastain did not seem likely to win. I'm betting that's what happened. Pretty sad and unprofessional, but that's the industry. But maybe I'm just too cynical. But the irony is that I follow films as an escape from politics and what not and it turns out to be just as ugly.

  12. Andre


    “The Deep Blue Sea” opened in the US in March. I believe it played in LA at that time. So it should be eligible for the 2013 Oscar.

    Also, regarding “Out of Sight,” I believe you're thinking of the National Society of Film Critics. (Admittedly, there's quite a bit of overlap with NYFCC.)

  13. astro

    @Andre-I rememeber what this same group did regarding Saving Private Ryan. They gave the best film nod to that George Clooney/Jennifer Lopez film.

    Is the Weisz film eligible for the Oscars? It was released in the UK in 2011.

  14. Andre


    Early favorites can end up in third or fourth place if some critics gang together to defeat that individual or movie.

    Back in 1998 the NYFCC couldn't decide between Fernanda Montenegro for “Central Station” or Ally Sheedy for “High Art.” So what do they do? They give their Best Actress Award to Cameron Diaz for “There's Something About Mary.”

    It's not just hard, but downright impossible to take seriously film awards — or any kind of award…

  15. Andre

    “Mediocre” or no, expect them both to land Academy Award nominations.

  16. Andre

    Rub it in…

  17. monica

    very bad prediction, winner was Rachel Weisz

  18. lemos

    Both Lawrence and Chastain are mediocre choices, Lawrence is a supporting role and Chastain looks like a ghost in the movie

  19. astro

    They went for a real dark horse, Weisz.

    Let me guess. There was initial realization that Lawrence was going to win. So the devilishly clever film critics (take a long moment to get the laughter out) decided to pool together to upend her. Hence a winner out of the clear blue sky.

    I could be wrong, but they have done this before. Which is why it's hard to take film awards seriously.

  20. Marie

    Hey! Richard M. Are you talking about Kristen Stewart ? Right.

  21. cypher

    Jennifer Lawrence is the overwhelming favorite. I like Jessica Chastain but JL a very talented young actress whose performances in every one of her films is just amazing. Its her time! She deserves it. Her age should not be held against her..

  22. richardM

    The apoplectic hype for a 22-year old mediocre starlet who has yet to pay her dues and learn how to act is just absurd.