2015 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress

Predicted Winner: Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"

This category is an absolute lock. Withstanding one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history, the four-time nominee should claim the prize on her fifth nod. Given Moore is a veteran and long-deserving recipient, none of her other competitors have really posed a viable threat throughout the season.

Her performance as a professor suffering from early on-set Alzheimer’s disease has been at the center of critical raves since the film’s debut. Curiously, Moore’s is the only nomination the film garnered. You would think a film containing the Best Actress winner would also be among the Best Picture contenders.

Why She Will Win | She's long overdue for a victory. Moore has long been one of the finest actresses working and she’s done it through a broad range of characters that have run the genre gamut. From her roles in hilarious comedies and dark dramas to edge of your seat thrillers, she’s nailed them all. 

About the Other Nominees | Felicity Jones’ heart wrenching portrayal of Jane Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” was tantamount to the film’s sentimental firestorm. Jones is an actress who improves with every performance she gives so rest assured this won’t be her last nomination. Fellow Briton Rosamund Pike’s performance as the sociopathic Amy Dunne in the fall smash “Gone Girl” earned her raves in the pop culture zeitgeist. Personally, the icy demeanor of the character left her with little to portray in the complexity department. 

Reese Witherspoon’s role in "Wild", while physically laborious, lacked the oomph factor of an Oscar winner and the film’s garbled direction drew away from anything that could’ve been profound because the movie simply wasn’t. Marion Cotillard who many had pegged for a Lead Actress nod early last year for her performance in “The Immigrant” came in under the radar with her surprise nod for the Cannes favorite “Deux jours, une nuit” (“Two Days, One Night”). While a win would be a long shot; it’s nice to see her recognized all the same.

Category Factoids | Of the nominees, 2 are previous winners (Marion Cotillard and Reese Witherspoon), 2 are first timers (Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike) and one currently has 5 nominations combined in the Supporting and Lead categories (Julianne Moore). 

The Toughest Loss | Of the actors who will potentially lose to Moore, Felicity Jones’ loss is the hardest to reconcile. It was her integral performance in “The Theory of Everything” that enhanced that of co-star Eddie Redmayne's. For her to not share in the Oscar glory on a singular level is confounding. The film is a definitive two-hander and each couldn’t have had made their respective performances work without the other. To potentially reward Redmayne (he’s the front runner) without also acknowledging Jones is an apparent oxymoron.