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Oscar Watching: No Imitating at Telluride


Best Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, and Melissa McCarthy. All three women are previous nominees who anchor possible awards contenders – in roles that have helped actresses win in the past – distributed by The Weinstein Company. Question is, who’ll get the biggest push? Adams have five previous nominations and joins the biggest Oscar losers (among actresses) club if she gets in but loses again; some circles already see Chastain as due after just two nominations; McCarthy goes against type in a dramedy in the kind of role that pushed Lawrence and, earlier, Helen Hunt to wins. Maybe it’s foolish to have all three in at this point, but let’s see what Weinstein does before jumping to conclusions.

Venturing out of speculation and into something wholly tangible, all eyes were on the world premiere of Wild when it kicked off Telluride, and… well… Witherspoon probably won’t join the Hilary Swank Club (named so despite Sally Field’s founding of it – she escaped her duties in 2012) this year. Speaking of Swank, expect her to hit the trail for The Homesman; her campaign potential increased upon the film’s screening at Telluride.

1. Amy Adams for Big Eyes

2. Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl

3. Melissa McCarthy for St. Vincent

4. Reese Witherspoon for Wild

5. Jessica Chastain for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them

6. Anna Kendrick for The Last Five Years
7. Hilary Swank for The Homesman
8. Alicia Vikander for Testament of Youth
9. Kristen Wiig for Welcome to Me
10. Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Other Possibilities: Mia Wasikowska for Tracks, Meryl Streep for Into the Woods, Nicole Kidman for Queen of the Desert, Anne Dorval for Mommy, Kristen Wiig for The Skeleton Twins, Jennifer Aniston for Cake, Kristen Wiig for Nasty Baby, Tessa Thompson for Dear White People, Maggie Smith for My Old Lady, Shailene Woodley for The Fault in Our Stars, Brie Larson for The Gambler, Angelina Jolie for Maleficent, Keira Knightley for Begin Again, Jennifer Lawrence for Serena, Helen Mirren for The Hundred-Foot Journey


Best Actor in a Leading Role

The contender on everyone’s lips right now is Cumberbatch, whose performance in the universally acclaimed Imitation – which, again, is already getting “This might be the one” chatter – picked up praise in its own right. Carell’s physical transformation and against-type work in Foxcatcher might garner more respect from awards voters. Career admiration/respect should carry Michael Keaton to his first-ever nomination – and could carry him to the win. David Oyelowo and Redmayne should be able to capitalize on their Oscar-bait biopic roles – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Stephen Hawking, respectively; the latter has the opportunity to deliver a very physical – and physically transformative – performance and could very well pull a My Left Foot on us.

1. Steve Carell for Foxcatcher

2. Michael Keaton for Birdman

3. Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game

4. Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

5. David Oyelowo for Selma

6. Channing Tatum for Foxcatcher
7. Christoph Waltz for Big Eyes
8. Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner
9. Bill Murray for St. Vincent
10. Ben Affleck for Gone Girl

Other Possibilities: Jack O’Connell for Unbroken, Oscar Isaac for A Most Violent Year, Ellar Coltrane for Boyhood, Robert Downey Jr. for The Judge, Tommy Lee Jones for The Homesman, Joaquin Phoenix for Inherent Vice, Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Chadwick Boseman for Get on Up, John Lithgow for Love is Strange, Alfred Molina for Love is Strange, Bradley Cooper for American Sniper, Matthew McConaughey for Interstellar, Miles Teller for Whiplash, Brad Pitt for Fury, Andrew Garfield for 99 Homes

Who among the supporting players might win Oscar gold?

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Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren loves the wonderful world of film and all that comes with it. He specifically loves long takes, fabulous actresses, and keeping up with the Oscar season - even when it's far too early to make sense of anything.