Thanks to Awards Daily‘s Ryan Adams for posting an Easy Lay, Non-Discretionary List of 2014 Best Actress Contenders…31 in all. Nice effort, a good start. But let’s cut out the chaff and get real. By current HE spitball standards there are seven female performances that may potentially shake out as highly likely or distinctly possible contenders within two or three months. Topping the list are Wild‘s Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Rigby and Miss Julie‘s Jessica Chastain and Gone Girl‘s Rosamund Pike.
I obviously know next to nothing about who’s really hot-tub but (a) I do know which roles appear to be the most substantial and awards-baity on paper, (b) I would be floored if Witherspoon, Chastain and Pike are not part of the Best Actress conversation by mid-October, (c) I do know which actresses have built up good cred and are “owed,” so to speak, and (d) I do have a fairly acute intuition about which performances are almost certain to be ignored. Here’s how it seems right now:
Highly Likely: Reese Witherspoon, Wild; Jessica Chastain, Eleanor Rigby + Miss Julie; Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl.
Distinctly Possible but don’t bet the farm: Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything; Emma Stone, Birdman (supporting); Michelle Williams, Suite Française; Amy Adams, Big Eyes; Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars.
Conceivable: Emily Blunt, Into the Woods; Meryl Streep, Into the Woods; Marion Cotillard, Macbeth (slight backup support provided by her decent but not exactly staggering performance in the all-but-unseen The Immigrant).
Possible Spirit Awards Nominations: Anne Dorval, Mommy; Anna Kendrick, The Last Five Years; Nicole Kidman, Queen of the Desert; Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle; Elisabeth Moss, The One I Love; Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria (supporting);
Forget It: Juliette Binoche, Clouds of Sils Maria; Shailene Woodley, Fault in Our Stars; Robin Wright, The Congress; Kirsten Dunst, Two Faces of January; Angelina Jolie, Maleficent; Jennifer Lawrence, Serena; Helen Mirren, The Hundred Foot Journey; Emma Stone, Magic in the Moonlight; Hilary Swank, The Homesman; Mia Wasikowska, Madame Bovary/Maps to the Stars/Tracks; Maggie Smith, My Old Lady; Charlize Theron, Dark Places; Kate Winslet, A Little Chaos.