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Chaos reigns in the best actress race this year, for the second time in a row. That’s because the very telling BAFTA Awards do not overlap with the Oscar nominees for the first time in history.

With no women nominated from a film in the best picture lineup, which hasn’t occurred since Reese Witherspoon walked away with the prize for “Walk the Line” (2005), it’s difficult to read the tea leaves of support in the Academy. The Critics Choice Awards, which takes place the same day as BAFTA on March 13, will be the most influential factor for any five actresses to win the Oscar. None of them need the CCA statuette more than Kristen Stewart from “Spencer.” Two days before final Oscar voting, her entire winning chances will rely upon the votes of the near 500 members.

Read more: Variety’s Awards Circuit Predictions Hub

The odds may be stacked against her, both in terms of historical factors and the film’s overall performance during the season.

After missing SAG and BAFTA noms, she would be the first in the modern era to win a leading Oscar without at least a mention from the two precursors. Only Marcia Gay Harden in “Pollock” (2000) and Regina King in “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018) have achieved this feat.

Playing Princess Diana in “Spencer,” Pablo Larrain’s fable interpretation of the British royal, she’s the film’s sole nomination. Moreover, she’s the only acting nominee in all four categories whose film didn’t land any other category nominations. It’s difficult for contenders to break through under these circumstances, but in a season that has delivered twists and turns, if anyone can triumph, Stewart’s chances are sound (for the moment).

In the last 20 years, only Julianne Moore in “Still Alice” (2014) and Charlize Theron in “Monster” (2003) have won as a film’s sole representation. Looking across all acting categories, that list only expands by three: Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland” (2006), Christopher Plummer in “Beginners” (2011) and Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008).

The SAG Awards will continue to be a vital beacon for the eventual winner. Globe winner Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) could likely sew it up there. However, fellow SAG and Oscar nominees Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”) and Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”), like Kidman, have never won an individual SAG film award.

The Oscars prediction rankings for Feb. 17 are below. All archived predictions can be found here.

UPDATED: Feb 17, 2022


1 Jessica Chastain “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” Searchlight Pictures
2 Kristen Stewart “Spencer” Neon/Topic Studios
3 Olivia Colman “The Lost Daughter” Netflix
4 Nicole Kidman “Being the Ricardos” Amazon Studios
5 Penélope Cruz “Parallel Mothers” Sony Pictures Classics

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE OSCARS COLLECTIVE
Visit each category, per the individual awards show from THE OSCARS HUB
To see old predictions and commentary, click the OSCARS PREDICTIONS ARCHIVES
Revisit the prediction archive of the 2021 season
Link to television awards is atTHE EMMYS HUB

2022 Academy Awards Predictions