The one-horse race of the awards season.
Emily Blunt, Sicario
Emily Blunt was by far the most baffling snub of the category. While Sicario got some love in the technical categories (cinematography, music and sound editing), there was nothing in the big ones, which is a huge shame. Sicario is a beautifully dark film, and Blunt was excellent as the optimistic FBI agent dragged into the seedy drug underbelly of Mexico. Its one of the best performances from a very talent actress and should have been nominated.
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
The first snub I’ve gotten to for Mad Max! Although I don’t feel as strongly for Theron as I do for Blunt, her turn as Imperator Furiosa has become one of the coolest and most iconic performances of 2015. Granted that’s also possibly the reasons she wasn’t nominated in the Academy’s eyes. Shame, because Furiosa is going to live in pop culture for years to come while every actual nominated performance slowly but surely vanishes from the great pool of cultural conscience.
My personal favourites
Brie Larson, obviously. This is almost no contest for me – she was so authentic and heart-wrenching in Room that she towers above almost any other performance from last year (especially over the other nominees). I’ve been so glad with all the award love Larson has received, and I hope the Best Actress Oscar follows suit.
Who will probably win
Based on the current odds, Larons probably will win. Larson is the favourite by a large margin in this category and deservedly so. I do concede its possible the Academy’s usual love for Blanchett usurps her but its unlikely.
As for the rest of the competition, my inability in seeing both Carol and Brooklyn (as well as being warned off Joy) makes it difficult for me to comment on the rest of the crop. While I am a fan of basically everyone nominated in this category (except for Charlotte Rampling simply because I haven’t seen her in anything), it doesn’t seem to have the big standouts like Best Actor or Director. The odds peg it as a one horse race, and while Larson is absolutely deserving of it, its a shame there isn’t more competition.
But overall, Best Actress is a simple category to discuss. Just give the Oscar to Brie Larson and let it be. That’s not to discount the excellent additional performances, but she is far and beyond the most deserving.