This morning I took a look at Awards Daily forums, thinking I would casually peruse the comments on where things stand with best actress. I found myself engulfed in an almost endless litany of personal top ten lists. After only 36 pages(!), I came away with a very different outlook on this year's race for Oscar. As I wrote earlier this week, Helen Hunt had been moved to the supporting category for The Sessions on Gold Derby, and with what I read today, that seems to be the near consensus. In addition, I was surprised to see that not only did Laura Linney's performance in Hyde Park on Hudson not receive much love, she was essentially removed from all top five (and many top ten) lists. That's a huge jump.
Maggie Smith's upcoming Quartet (which seems to be very much up my alley) has been gaining major steam. But the biggest revelation at the Toronto Film Festival this weekend appears to be Jennifer Lawrence's performance in the dramatic comedy Silver Linings Playbook. I mean, some people on the forum are basically describing this lack luster best actress category as "game over" now that Lawrence's performance has been unveiled, after it seemed that Quvenzhane Wallis was the overwhelming front-runner. Up until this morning, I was giving Meryl a pretty good chance at slipping into that fifth slot, but those chances may become increasingly more dismal over the coming months. The news of Lawrence also bodes poorly for Meryl's chances at the Golden Globe in musical/comedy, as Silver Linings Playbook will likely be included in the same category. Acknowledging that it's only September (for crying out loud), here are what seem to be the top five chances at Oscar nominations:
1. Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
2. Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
3. Maggie Smith (Quartet)
4. Marion Cotillard (Rust & Bone)
5. Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina)
Knightley could fall by the wayside pretty quickly if reviews for her turn out to be lack-luster. Streep, based on this list, would probably fall between sixth and eighth. Of course, as fickle as these things can be, we may be saying something completely different in a week. But I wager the top five will include at least three of the names in the above list. I'm not too bummed about Meryl's buzz dropping considerably. I really can't be, considering before Hope Springs came out I had zero expectation of anything more than a Globe nomination. And even if somehow Meryl does get an Oscar nod, in a year as weak as this, it'll be more of a filler. If she doesn't get any love from the Academy this year, all the more chance that she'll be recognized next year for you-know-what (wink).