2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress

Predicted Winner: Brie Larson, Room
Like DiCaprio; Brie Larson is an absolute lock to win for her role as a kidnapped mother in Lenny Abrahamson’s adaptation of “Room”. An early favorite since the movie premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, Larson has maintained her winning momentum throughout the awards season. Having garnered the Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA and Critics Choice Award, it would require a ginormous upset for Larson to lose the Best Actress prize.

Why She’ll Win:
Larson is one of the best young actors of her generation. She proved that back in 2013 with her Oscar worthy performance in “Short Term 12”. If one thought that might’ve been a fluke, Larson proved them wrong with her phenomenal turn in “Room”. In all fairness to her fellow nominees it deserves mentioning that she is more of a supporting actor in “Room” than Alicia Vikander is in “The Danish Girl”. The only way Larson could lose is if other voters agree and choose to award a fellow nominee that more prominently starred in their respective movie.
The Other Contenders:
The first time Saoirse Ronan was nominated for an Oscar was in 2007 for “Atonement”. She was just 13 years old. 9 years later, Ronan is nominated again; this time in the Lead Actress category for her extraordinary performance as Eilis Lacey in “Brooklyn”. Ronan is Larson’s most viable competitor but without a single win, she is a long shot for the win. With 2 Oscar nominations to her name at the tender age of 21, it won’t be the last time Ronan is nominated. 

When it comes to the competitive field there’s Larson, Ronan and everyone else. 2014 Best Actress winner Cate Blanchett (“Carol”) is probably in third place. The decision to run Blanchett in the Lead category instead of Supporting hampered both her and Mara’s chances at Oscar gold. Given the prominence of their respective roles, they might have had a better chance if they had switched positions. Tied in fifth place with a chance of pulling off a win are Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”) and Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”), respectively.

Category Factoids:
26-year-old Brie Larson and 70-year-old Charlotte Rampling are both first time Oscar nominees. Cate Blanchett is a 7-time nominee and 2-time winner. Jennifer Lawrence has been nominated 4 times (3 in the Lead category) and Saoirse Ronan is a 2 time nominee - “Brooklyn” marks her first nod in the Lead category. Four of the five nominated roles are fictionalized characters.

Translation: Jennifer Lawrence portrays the only real life person. Three of the movies each actress is nominated for is an adaptation of a novel. While “Room” and “Brooklyn” kept the name of their source material, “Carol” is based on the novel “The Price of Salt”. “45 Years” is based off David’s Constantine’s short story “In Another Country”. 

The Toughest Loss:
Saoirse Ronan’s performance in “Brooklyn” was a staggering accomplishment and one of those once-in-a-lifetime roles. If/when she is nominated again; it’s hard to imagine the role will provide the pathos Eilis Lacey did.

And the Oscar Went to:
Brie Larson for "Room"