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Oscar Early Predictions: Michelle Pfeiffer Best Actress Contender?

Abbie Cornish in Bright Star

Abbie Cornish, Bright Star

Frances 'Fanny' Brawne has a relatively brief but intense love affair with poet John Keats

Carey Mulligan, An Education

In 1960s London, a schoolgirl falls for a man in his 30s

Michelle Pfeiffer in Cheri

Michelle Pfeiffer, Cheri

An older courtesan introduces a young man to the art of lovemaking

Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

An abused pregnant teen is befriended by a compassionate teacher

Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia

Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Julia Child joyfully introduces dead poultry into American kitchens

A dozen actresses – female actors if you wish – can be considered as very strong candidates for a 2010 best actress nomination (as long as their movies open in LA until December 31). In addition to the five listed above, there are:

Audrey Tautou as modiste Gabrielle Chanel in Coco Before Chanel; Saoirse Ronan as the dead girl overlooking those down below in The Lovely Bones (above); Renée Zellweger in the road movie My One and Only; Hilary Swank as doomed aviatrix Amelia Earhart in Amelia; Helen Mirren as Sofya Tolstoy in The Last Station (The Tempest will apparently be released only in 2010); and Annette Bening as a mother who decades earlier gave up her daughter for adoption in Mother and Child.

Meryl Streep should have had a clause in her contract stipulating that It's Complicated would open only in 2010. That way she'd likely get her 200th Oscar nomination in early 2011. For this year, it's gonna be Julie & Julia.

Yolande Moreau in Seraphine

Other strong best actress possibilities are Zooey Deschanel as the object of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's desire in (500) Days of Summer and César winner Yolande Moreau (above) for Séraphine – as long as she gets recognized by US film critics later in the year. (Who is Marion Cotillard's publicist? Those people should all be calling him/her.)

Penélope Cruz in Broken Embraces

Cotillard, by the way, may be pushed in the best actress category for Nine. Also in the running are Penélope Cruz in Pedro Almodóvar's film noirish Broken Embraces (above); Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried in the drama-cum-thriller Chloe; Michelle Monaghan in Trucker; Emily Blunt in Young Victoria; Naomi Watts and Mother and Child; and Rachel Weisz in The Lovely Bones.

Brenda Blethyn in London River

Plus Charlize Theron in either The Road or the box office disappointment The Burning Plain; Samantha Morton in The Messenger; Brenda Blethyn in London River (above); Amy Adams in Julie & Julia; Natalie Portman in Brothers; and Kirsten Dunst in All Good Things.

Pushing it: Sandra Bullock in The Proposal. (Dec. 7 addendum: Surprisingly, Bullock has become a potential contender for the sentimental drama The Blind Side. Michelle Pfeiffer and Abbie Cornish, on the other hand, seem less and less likely to land a nod.)

Addendum: Someone who should be pushed – Hiam Abbass for her beautiful, resolute, and immensely touching widow in Eran Riklis' Lemon Tree.

Addendum II: Lars von Trier's Antichrist has opened in Los Angeles, which makes Charlotte Gainsbourg a potential Oscar contender. The Academy tends to shy away from films revolving around sex (especially the kind of sex found in Antichrist), but Emily Watson did get a nod back in 1996 for von Trier's Breaking the Waves – in which Watson's deeply religious character has sex with just about every available guy in the area. Thus, Gainsbourg, winner of this year's best actress prize at Cannes, is a possibility – perhaps even a strong one if US critics' groups decide to send her some love later this year.

And here's another one: Sophie Okonedo, playing the black daughter of white parents in Skin, set in the South Africa of the 1950s.

Addendum III (Nov. 29): A commenter reminded me of Catalina Saavedra, another possibility if US critics decide to honor her performance as a determined houseworker in the Chilean-made The Maid. She's up for a Gotham Award.

Oscar Early Predictions: Michelle Pfeiffer Best Actress Contender? © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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19 Comments to Oscar Early Predictions: Michelle Pfeiffer Best Actress Contender?

  1. debbie

    I can't believe Sandra Bullock is even nominated for best actress 2010. All Sandra does is mumble her lines in a way a lot of people can't even understand, to date I've never undertood her, even when i press my ears over the TV screen.

    To compensate for her lack of acting credentials, she laughs and giggles to the point of irritation, all the while mumbling inaudible words, which not even a great actress like Streep would be able to decipher.

    Oh yeah, Bullock has influence in the industry of Arts and Entertainment. her Mom's a respectable Opera Singer.

    End of!

  2. TROY

    YOU ALL ARE CRAZY!!! Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe in “Precious” is great in this movie. I cried each scene and I am a big, muscular black man. I haven't seen any of the other movies, but they seem plain and usual, like most moives these actresses do. It takes power to play roles that are deemed negative and bring life to them. I could not have done anything like this. Great performance Gabby and congratulations on your Best Actress Ward at the NAACP Awards!!!!

  3. Michael Jones

    Sidibe deserves to win, her performance was excellent!

  4. Boleyn

    I think Oscar belongs to Sandra Bullock, not because she's my favourite actress - because ”The Blind Side” is a great job and she deserved it!

  5. lissett

    the best is a catalina saavedra!

  6. Cole kingstom

    Catalina Saavedra, for “The Maid “

  7. Daniel


  8. Claudio

    Catalina Saavedra for The Maid.

    Her performing is so simple and deeply at the same time.

  9. mirko

    My vote goes to Carey Mulligan in An Education.

  10. Daniel Gonzalez Muniz

    Catalina Saavedra byfar. The best actress of 2009. The movie “The maid” is the best i have seen this year, and her performance is amazing.
    She won best actress in Sundance Festival, La Habana Festival, Huelva, Gotham, Lima, nominated to a Golden globe….

  11. Cristian

    you totally missed Catalina Saavedra in “The Maid”. Even Tom O'Neill mentioned her as a possible contender.

  12. LOL, what's Japan!?

    Oh, wow, I forgot Tilda Swinton in Julia! Now that is one insane, stylized and fantastic performance. No shot at a nomination, but one that will certainly be loved and admired for years.

  13. Streep, Sidibe and Mulligan seem very likely at this point. I don't quite buy Cornish, as her performance is very understated until the end (her last two scenes are very good AND very baity). But it is a reasonable prediction. The Helen Mirren film/role seems tailor-made for awards consideration. So, I would pick her slightly over Cornish (and especially Pfeiffer for her D.O.A. film; Mirren seems more likely to take a second veteran spot). Rounding out my top five is Cotillard pushed lead in Nine. Perhaps a stretch and a little bit of wishful thinking, but folks in sneaks seem to really champion her and Cruz (obviously going supporting for Nine because of the Almodovar film).

    Sadly Moreau, Abbass and the always wonderful Shohreh Aghdashloo and my favorite so far, Kyôko Koizumi for Tokyo Sonata, will be left out.

  14. Chavez

    Yolande Moreau doesn't stand a chance. She shouldn't have been included in this article.

  15. Hermano

    My vote goes to Penelope Cruz in Abrazos.
    I havent seen the movie, but Penelope Cruz is always good.

  16. cARLOS

    Ellen Page in WHIP IT!