Oscar Predictions: Best Actress – Michelle Williams Goes for the Lead Actress Statuette for ‘The Fabelmans,’ Should Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh Be Worried?

Other contenders include Cate Blanchett, Olivia Colman, Viola Davis, Danielle Deadwyler and Michelle Yeoh

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: Sept. 25, 2022

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Actress

Courtesy of Allyson Riggs/A24

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: Michelle Williams’ work as the piano-playing mother in Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” will be campaigned for the Oscars in best actress, instead of supporting as many pundits had speculated. This throws a huge wrench in both the lead and supporting actress races.

Williams has been nominated for four Academy Awards – “Brokeback Mountain” (2005) and Manchester by the Sea” (2016) in supporting actress and “Blue Valentine” (2010) and “My Week with Marilyn” (2011) in lead actress. Undoubtedly overdue, she’ll face tougher competition with Cate Blanchett’s Volpi Cup-winning turn in Todd Field’s “TÁR” and Michelle Yeoh’s acclaimed work in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Roles that can go either way between lead and supporting have triumphed before. Olivia Colman won her Oscar over Glenn Close (“The Wife”) and Lady Gaga (“A Star is Born”) for “The Favourite” (2018) while Kate Winslet still managed to top Anne Hathaway (“Rachel Getting Married”) and Meryl Streep (“Doubt”) when she was switched by the Academy from supporting to lead for “The Reader” (2008). Winslet had won the Golden Globe and SAG prizes for supporting prior to the switcharoo. Perhaps Williams can follow in their golden shoes?

It’s early and you can never “call it” in September.

Let’s not forget the box-office performance of “The Woman King” and putting Oscar-winner Viola Davis (“Fences”) in the thick of it, with a sure-fire bet in the form of Danielle Deadwyler from “Till” waiting to premiere at the New York Film Festival next week.

Ana de Armas, on the cover of Variety this week, could overcome the mixed reception for “Blonde” while it’s always foolish to count out someone as noteworthy as Olivia Colman (“Empire of Light”) or Margot Robbie (“Babylon”).

We’ll also see if the Academy is “cool” enough to see the merits of the incredible Taylor Russell from Luca Guadgnino’s “Bones & All.”

See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective.

To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

And The Predicted Nominees Are:
RankNameFilmDistributor
1Michelle Yeoh“Everything Everywhere All at Once”A24
An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.
2Cate Blanchett“TÁR”Focus Features
Set in the international world of classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár. widely considered one of the greatest living composer/conductors and first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra.
3Michelle Williams“The Fabelmans”Universal Pictures
A semi-autobiography based on Spielberg’s own childhood growing up in post-war Arizona, from age seven to eighteen.
4Olivia Colman“Empire of Light”Searchlight Pictures
“Empire of Light” is a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.
5Danielle Deadwyler“Till”Orion/United Artists Releasing
The story of Emmett Louis Till and the legacy of his mother who pursued justice for her lynched son.
Next in Line
6Viola Davis“The Woman King”Sony Pictures
A historical epic inspired by the true events that happened in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.
7Margot Robbie*“Babylon”Paramount Pictures
Set in Hollywood during the transition from silent films to talkies, focusing on a mixture of historical & fictional characters.
8Ana de Armas“Blonde”Netflix
A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.
9Zar Amir Ebrahimi“Holy Spider”Utopia
A journalist descends into the dark underbelly of the Iranian holy city of Mashhad as she investigates the serial killings of sex workers by the so called “Spider Killer”, who believes he is cleansing the streets of sinners.
10Emma Thompson“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”Searchlight Pictures
Nancy Stokes, a 55-year-old widow, is yearning for some adventure, human connection and some sex–some good sex.
Other Top-Tier Contenders
11Taylor Russell“Bones & All”Amazon Studios
12Jennifer Lawrence“Causeway”A24/Apple Original Films
13Rooney Mara*“Women Talking”MGM/United Artists Releasing
14Zoe Kazan*“She Said”Universal Pictures
15Carey Mulligan*“She Said”Universal Pictures
16Naomi Ackie“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”Sony Pictures
17Vicky Krieps“Corsage”IFC Films
18Jessica Chastain“The Good Nurse”Netflix
19Florence Pugh“The Wonder”Netflix
20Sally Hawkins“The Lost King”IFC Films
Also In Contention
21Mia Goth“Pearl”A24
22Anna Diop“Nanny”Amazon Studios
23Emma Corrin“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”Netflix
24Thandiwe Newton“God’s Country”IFC Films
25Elizabeth Banks“Call Jane”Roadside Attractions
26Léa Seydoux“One Fine Morning”Sony Pictures Classics
27Tang Wei“Decision to Leave”Mubi
28Bella Ramsey“Catherine Called Birdy”Amazon Studios
29Charibi Dean“Triangle of Sadness”Neon
30Haley Lu Richardson“Montana Story”Bleecker Street
Other Awards Possibilities
31Zoe Saldaña“Avatar: The Way of Water”20th Century Studios
32Florence Pugh“Don’t Worry Darling”Warner Bros.
33Nathalie Issa“The Swimmers”Netflix
34Margot Robbie*“Amsterdam”20th Century Studios
35Julia Roberts“Ticket to Paradise”Universal Pictures
36Penélope Cruz“Official Competition”IFC Films
37Keke Palmer*“Nope”Universal Pictures
38Greta Gerwig*“White Noise”Netflix
39Rebecca Hall“Resurrection”IFC Films
40Tilda Swinton“Three Thousand Years of Longing”MGM/United Artists Releasing
Unranked Possible Contenders
Amandla Stenberg“Bodies Bodies Bodies”A24
Ana de Armas“Blonde”Netflix
Anamaria Vartolomei“Happening”IFC Films
Anna Kendrick“Alice, Darling”Lionsgate
Anya Taylor-Joy*“The Menu”Searchlight Pictures
Anya Taylor-Joy*“The Northman”Focus Features
Ariel Donoghue“Blueback”No U.S. Distribution
Aubrey Plaza“Emily the Criminal”Roadside Attractions
Bella Ramsey“Catherine Called Birdy”Amazon Studios
Bérénice Bejo“The Hummingbird”No U.S. Distribution
Carey Mulligan*“She Said”Universal Pictures
Cate Blanchett“TÁR”Focus Features
Charibi Dean“Triangle of Sadness”Neon
Da’Vine Joy Randolph“On the Come Up”Paramount Pictures
Dakota Johnson“Am I OK?”HBO Max
Dakota Johnson“Persuasion”Netflix
Dakota Johnson*“Cha Cha Real Smooth”Apple Original Films
Danielle Deadwyler“Till”Orion/United Artists Releasing
Dianna Agron“As They Made Us”Quiver
Elizabeth Banks“Call Jane”Roadside Attractions
Elizabeth Olsen*“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”Marvel Studios
Emily Browning“Monica”No U.S. Distribution
Emma Corrin“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”Netflix
Emma Corrin*“My Policeman”Amazon Studios
Emma Thompson“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”Hulu/Searchlight Pictures
Florence Pugh“The Wonder”Netflix
Florence Pugh“Don’t Worry Darling”Warner Bros
Greta Gerwig*“White Noise”Netflix
Haley Lu Richardson“Montana Story”Bleecker Street
Jane Fonda“Moving On”No U.S. Distribution
Janelle Monáe“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”Netflix
Jennifer Lawrence“Causeway”A24/Apple Original Films
Jenny Slate“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”A24
Jessica Chastain“The Good Nurse”Netflix
Jessica Chastain*“The Forgiven”Roadside Attractions
Jessie Buckley“Men”A24
Jodie Turner-Smith“After Yang”A24
Julia Roberts“Ticket to Paradise”Universal Pictures
Juliette Binoche“Both Sides of the Blade”IFC Films
Kate Beckinsale“Prisoner’s Daughter”No U.S. Distribution
Keke Palmer*“Nope”Universal Pictures
Léa Seydoux“One Fine Morning”Sony Pictures Classics
Léa Seydoux*“Crimes of the Future”Neon
Lesley Manville“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”Focus Features
Letitia Wright*“The Silent Twins”Focus Features
Letitia Wright*“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”Marvel Studios
Lily James“What’s Love Got to Do With It?”No U.S. Distribution
Lily Tomlin“Moving On”No U.S. Distribution
Manal Issa“The Swimmers”Netflix
Margot Robbie“Amsterdam”20th Century Studios
Margot Robbie“Babylon”Paramount Pictures
Mia Goth“Pearl”A24
Michelle Williams*“The Fabelmans”Universal Pictures
Michelle Yeoh“Everything Everywhere All at Once”A24
Naomi Ackie“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”Sony Pictures
Natalie Portman*“Thor: Love and Thunder”Marvel Studios
Nathalie Issa“The Swimmers”Netflix
Olivia Colman“Empire of Light”Searchlight Pictures
Penélope Cruz“Official Competition”IFC Films
Regina Hall“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”Universal Pictures
Regina Hall“Master”Amazon Studios
Rooney Mara*“Women Talking”MGM/United Artists Releasing
Sally Hawkins“The Lost King”IFC Films
Sandra Drzymalska“EO”Janus Films and Sideshow
Saoirse Ronan*“See How They Run”Searchlight Pictures
Sara Serraiocco“Il Signore Delle Formiche”No U.S. Distribution
Sigourney Weaver“The Good House”Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions
Tamara Lawrance*“The Silent Twins”Focus Features
Tang Wei“Decision to Leave”Mubi
Taylor Russell“Bones & All”MGM/United Artists Releasing
Tessa Thompson“The Listener”No U.S. Distribution
Thandiwe Newton“God’s Country”IFC Films
Tilda Swinton“Three Thousand Years of Longing”MGM/United Artists Releasing
Vicky Krieps“Corsage”IFC Films
Viola Davis“The Woman King”TriStar Pictures
Virginie Efira“Paris Memories”Pathé
Zar Amir Ebrahimi“Holy Spider”Utopia
Zoe Kazan*“She Said”Universal Pictures
Zoe Saldaña“Avatar: The Way of Water”20th Century Studios

2023 Academy Awards Predictions

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on Sunday, March 12, 2022, on ABC.

2022 category winner: Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Searchlight Pictures)

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Variety’s unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year’s awards season races. In addition to predictions, the section includes — Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders in the race; Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly series featuring interviews with the top contenders in the awards race and an expert roundtable discussion with Variety’s leading editors and columnists; Awards Circuit Predictions Video Series, a deep dive into specific categories, led by the leading pundits.