Predicting Oscar winners is big business. A cottage industry full of Oscar bloggers make a living trying to anticipate the outcome of the single night of the year. Americans obsess over office pools, while legal betting on Academy Awards results has been a certified “hit” in New Jersey, and already expanded to other states.

Needless to say, understanding how the results of awards season precursors, like the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, inform the eventual Oscar winners is “increasingly profitable information,” The Wall Street Journal reports. For those who watch closely, there are typically enough data points to reliably pick most of the big night’s eventual winners, or at least to narrow the races considerably. Which is why it is absolutely bonkers that nobody has any clue what is going on with the 2021 Best Actress race.

Part of the fun of the Oscars, of course, is that no one knows for sure what is going to happen. Every year there are snubs and upsets, not the least of which was Parasite’s surprise Best Picture win just last year. Half the enjoyment comes from trying to guess what will happen, and since this is the longest Oscar season ever, that means there’s been a whole lot of time to debate predictions. Even so, the ceremony tends to be largely predictable, regardless of the year; Renée Zellweger’s Best Actress win last year for Judy was practically a foregone conclusion. Even Olivia Colman’s upset over Glenn Close the year prior, while contrary to popular predictions, wasn’t entirely unforeseen.

Yet the 2021 Best Actress race isn’t a matter of deciding which frontrunner it’s prudent to back — rather, it’s hard to know where to even start.

In early March, The New York Post identified the 2021 Best Actress race as “one of the most competitive categories of the year,” but singled out Francis McDormand’s performance as Fern, the drifter of few words in Nomadland, as the favorite, pointing to the actress’ numerous critics group prizes. But McDormand’s two previous Oscars, including one as recently as 2018, could cool voters on giving her another statuette so soon — which is why, when Carey Mulligan won the Critics Choice Award for her performance in the stylish rape-revenge fantasy Promising Young Woman a few days after the Post article, it appeared that early predictions of her …read more

Source:: The Week – Entertainment


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The Best Actress Oscar race is wild

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