Given that it’s subject to a public vote, there’s surely only one nominee who stands a chance of winning the Orange Rising Star award this year.
While the well-balanced list of British and international nominees was compiled by a jury of industry talent spotters, the winner will be chosen by the great unwashed popcorn-munching Friday night multiplex audience. James McAvoy won two years ago because he was in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Eva Green won last year for “Casino Royale.”
As far as this year’s contenders go: “Juno” won’t even be released in U.K. cinemas until after the voting deadline, so that rules out Ellen Page. “Lust, Caution” is in Chinese, so that rules out Tang Wei. “Control” is in black-and-white and only did $2 million at the U.K. box office, so that makes Sam Riley unlikely.
“Transformers,” to be sure, did sell a lot of British tickets. But the star was the robots, not the geeky American kid running away from them. Nobody in Blighty can even spell Shia LaBeouf.
Which leaves Sienna Miller. “Stardust,” in which she had a supporting role, did $28 million at the U.K. box office. Her turbulent relationship with Jude Law made her well-known to tabloid newspaper readers long before they had ever seen her on the screen.
In fact, she still hasn’t starred in anything most Brits have seen — “Factory Girl,” “Interview” and “Casanova” came and went without a trace. But she’s a celebrity, she’s beautiful and she’s talented enough. If anyone else takes the prize, it will be a major shock.