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Final Golden Globes Predictions: Best Actress (Drama) – Carey Mulligan Looks to Have a ‘Promising’ Evening

Promising Young Woman
Courtesy of Merie Weismiller Wallace / Focus Features

Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE COLLECTIVE

DRAFT>>>PRE SEASON>>>REGULAR SEASON>>>POST SEASON

2021 GOLDEN GLOBE PREDICTIONS:
BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)

UPDATED: Feb. 24, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: The Golden Globes nominations were announced on Feb. 3, with Netflix’s “Mank” from David Fincher leading with six nods. As the ceremony approaches on Feb. 28, the categories have been analyzed to determine what they mean for the awards season. Several nominees have already made history, but with final voting taking place and due back to Ernst & Young’s accounting firm by Feb. 23, many films and performances could be record-breakers or trendsetters if they are selected as winners. Read all the records that could be set with each set of nominees for the Globes on Variety. With just under 30 days until the Oscar nominations, set to be announced on March 15, the race continues to take shape, possibly presenting more twists and turns over the next few weeks.

If the predictions are correct, Mulligan would be the first British-born winner since Kate Winslet (“Revolutionary Road”) in 2008. If McDormand edges her out, at 63, she would be the fifth-oldest winner in the category’s history – after Glenn Close (“The Wife”), Julie Christie (“Away from Her”), Judi Dench (“Mrs. Brown”) and Edith Evans (“The Whisperers”). If Davis wins, she would be the second Black woman to win this award following Whoopi Goldberg for “The Color Purple” (1986), who did not win the Oscar.

PRECURSORS LEADER:
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)
2021 Awards Season Calendar


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Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” Courtesy of SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

  1. Carey Mulligan
    "Promising Young Woman" (Focus Features)
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    GLOBES HISTORY: 1 nomination (2009's "An Education")
    ROLE: Cassandra "Cassie" Thomas

    DIRECTOR: Emerald Fennell
    SYNOPSIS: A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path.
    STARRING:Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Molly Shannon, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Max Greenfield, Alison Brie, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Connie Britton, Chris Lowell, Adam Brody, Sam Richardson


  2. Frances McDormand
    "Nomadland" (Searchlight Pictures)
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    GLOBES HISTORY: 6 nominations, 1 win (2018's "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri")
    ROLE: Fern

    DIRECTOR: Chloé Zhao
    SYNOPSIS: After losing everything in the Great Recession, an old woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
    STARRING: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Swankie, Bob Wells


  3. Viola Davis
    "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)
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    GLOBES HISTORY: 5 nominations, 1 win (2016's "Fences")
    ROLE: Ma Rainey

    DIRECTOR: George C. Wolfe
    SYNOPSIS: Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey, her ambitious horn player and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable "Mother of the Blues". Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play..
    STARRING: Chadwick Boseman, Dusan Brown, Jonny Coyne, Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Taylour Paige, Michael Potts, Jeremy Shamos, Glynn Turman


  4. Vanessa Kirby
    "Pieces of a Woman" (Netflix)
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    GLOBES HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Martha

    DIRECTOR: Kornél Mundruczó
    SYNOPSIS: When a young mother's home birth ends in unfathomable tragedy, she begins a year-long odyssey of mourning that fractures relationships with loved ones in this deeply personal story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss.
    STARRING: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Sarah Snook, Molly Parker


  5. Andra Day
    "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" (Hulu)
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    GLOBES HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Billie Holiday

    DIRECTOR: Lee Daniels
    SYNOPSIS: Follows Holiday during her career as she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair.
    STARRING: Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Natasha Lyonne, Garrett Hedlund, Rob Morgan, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Tyler James Williams


AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The biggest Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each.


Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)

2021 Golden Globes Predictions (Film)

2021 SAG Awards Predictions (Film)


About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners are selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The Oscars are scheduled for Sunday, April 25, 2021.

About the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes Awards, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is held annually with 93 members since 1944. The group recognizes excellence in film and television across drama and comedy or musical categories. Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” holds the record for the most awards won by a single film with seven. Milos Forman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Alan Parker’s “Midnight Express” are next in line with six each. Robert Altman’s “Nashville” has the record for most nominations received by a film with 11 while Colin Higgins’ “Foul Play,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part III” and Mike Nichols’ “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” share the record for receiving the most nominations and not winning a single award at seven.

  • The Golden Globes are scheduled for Feb. 28, 2021.

About the SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by SAG-AFTRA, is an annual award show that has become one of the most important and key indicators for the Oscars. Four films have won the most SAG awards with three: 1999’s “American Beauty,” 2002’s “Chicago,” 2011’s “The Help” and 2017’s “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Three movies have been nominated for the most SAG awards with five: 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago” and 2008’s “Doubt.”

  • The SAG Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 4, 2021