Best Actress Oscar Race: Nicole Kidman, Kristen Stewart

For the second year in a row, the race for Best Actress is wide open, with the main Oscar runners yet to be determined.

The Oscar nominees are Jessica Chastain for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Searchlight Pictures), Olivia Colman for “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix), Penélope Cruz for “Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics), Nicole Kidman for “Being the Ricardos” (Amazon Studios) and Kristen Stewart for “Spencer” (Neon/Topic Studios). Neither performance is from a Best Picture nominee, a first since the 2005 lineup. And neither contender has been nominated for a BAFTA Award, which ‘Nomadland’ star Frances McDormand won ahead of her Oscar win last year. So how does each become a winner (in some cases for the second time)?

At a closed-to-media ceremony last month, the Globes presented Kidman with the Leading Actress Drama Award for her role as classic TV star Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin’s feature film. If she scores a SAG win, which she hasn’t done for a movie despite an Oscar win for “The Hours” (2002), she may have a clear route to the Dolby Theater stage.

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Colman, another Oscar winner (“The Favourite”, 2018), has never won a SAG award. If she does, it could give her an edge, signaling huge support from the acting branch. Her turn in “The Lost Daughter” is beloved, and with the film landing additional names for the adapted screenplay and supporting actress Jessie Buckley, Colman may be able to carry the torch for the Netflix drama.

Chastain’s path might be a little narrower, but his prospects could take off under the right circumstances. Aside from Stewart, she’s the only actress ever to win in the category, with previous nominations for “The Help” (2011) and “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012). Highly respected in the industry, the Juilliard-trained producer and lead on “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” turns into a charismatic televangelist. The make-up and hair nomination that accompanies the film gives a statistical advantage that has helped previous winners like Renée Zellweger (“Judy”), Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”) and Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”) .

Stewart’s opening will perform March 13 at the Critics Choice Awards, where it is nominated. However, she missed out on SAG and BAFTA nods, and no top performer has won the modern-era Oscar without mention at both ceremonies. Heavily favored to win at the CCA, which comes two days before the Oscars final voting opens and on the same night as the BAFTAs without a contender, she will have the perfect setup to make history as the new Oscar winner. . An additional hurdle for Stewart is carrying the sole nomination for “Spencer,” something that hurt nominee Andra Day as the sole nominee for “USA vs. Billie Holiday” last year. With more than 60% of Academy members in the craftsman categories, they’ll have to seek out Stewart’s work to tick off his name.

Cruz, winner of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008), was able to overcome her rebuffs at each award ceremony and even bring an additional mention for the original score (Alberto Iglesias) for “Parallel Mothers”. His name seems to be the reward, but anything can happen.

We won’t have a clearer picture for a few weeks. Final SAG voting ends today at noon PST.

Final SAG Awards predictions, with category commentary, plus a new video episode of Awards Circuit can be found here.

Oscars 2022 Predictions

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