Oscar Predictions: Best Actress – A Potential Theory on Michelle Williams’ SAG Snub

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: Jan. 12, 2023

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2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Actress

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: The most shocking omissions from the SAG noms came from “The Fabelmans,” which despite picking up noms for ensemble and supporting actor Paul Dano, saw Michelle Williams snubbed. Instead, she was overlooked in favor of Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Ana De Armas (“Blonde”), Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”), Cate Blanchett (“Tár”) and Viola Davis (“The Woman King”). In a handful of conversations with award voters of the actors’ branch, they shared that they see her work as Mitzi Fabelman as a “supporting” turn.

In the case of the SAG snub, the guild honors the submission, so the nominating committee cannot vote for Williams in supporting actress, but what if they passed her over in hopes of seeing her name among the supporting options? But when they didn’t, opted for someone else? It’s not too often the Oscars reverse a campaign submission, especially from lead to supporting. Lakeith Stanfield was one of the first for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” but that was mostly due to his co-star Daniel Kaluuya getting lead votes. Williams isn’t splitting with any of her female co-stars.

Ana De Armas’ entry for “Blonde” at SAG points to strong support from the international voting bloc (in my humble opinion). The disdain for the film stateside is heard to be quite the opposite overseas. She could pull through, along with a makeup and hairstyling mention for the movie.

AMPAS voting is open now and concludes on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. PT.

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.

See the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines.

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

And The Predicted Nominees Are:

Rank

Name

Film

Distributor

1

Michelle 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.

2

Cate 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.

3

Viola 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.

4

Ana de Armas

“Blonde”

Netflix

A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.

5

Danielle 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

6

Michelle 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.

7

Olivia 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.

8

Margot Robbie

“Babylon”

Paramount Pictures

A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.

9

Jennifer Lawrence

“Causeway”

A24/Apple Original Films

A US soldier suffers a traumatic brain injury while fighting in Afghanistan and struggles to adjust to life back home.

10

Emma Thompson

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”

Searchlight Pictures

Nancy Stokes, a retired school teacher, is yearning for some adventure, and some sex. And she has a plan, which involves hiring a young sex worker named Leo Grande.

Other Top-Tier Contenders

11

Jessica Chastain

“The Good Nurse”

Netflix

12

Naomi Ackie

“Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody”

Sony Pictures

13

Rooney Mara

“Women Talking”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

14

Zoe Kazan

“She Said”

Universal Pictures

15

Emma Corrin

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”

Netflix

16

Frankie Corio

“Aftersun”

A24

17

Zar Amir Ebrahimi

“Holy Spider”

Utopia

18

Andrea Riseborough

“To Leslie”

Momentum Pictures

19

Taylor Russell

“Bones & All”

Amazon Studios

20

Florence Pugh

“Don’t Worry Darling”

Warner Bros.

Also In Contention

21

Vicky Krieps

“Corsage”

IFC Films

22

Florence Pugh

“The Wonder”

Netflix

23

Mia Goth

“Pearl”

A24

24

Aubrey Plaza

“Emily the Criminal”

Roadside Attractions/Vertical Entertainment

25

Anna Diop

“Nanny”

Amazon Studios

26

Letitia Wright

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Marvel Studios

27

Dale Dickey

“A Love Song”

Bleecker Street

28

Diane Ladd

“Isle of Hope”

Aventura Entertainment

29

Doona Bae

“Broker”

Neon

30

Elizabeth Banks

“Call Jane”

Roadside Attractions

Unranked Possible Contenders

Alisha Weir

“Matilda”

Netflix

Amandla Stenberg

“Bodies Bodies Bodies”

A24

Ana de Armas

“Blonde”

Netflix

Anamaria Vartolomei

“Happening”

IFC Films

Andrea Riseborough

“To Leslie”

Momentum Pictures

Anna Kendrick

“Alice, Darling”

Lionsgate

Anya Taylor-Joy

“The Northman”

Focus Features

Anya Taylor-Joy

“The Menu”

Searchlight Pictures

Aubrey Plaza

“Emily the Criminal”

Roadside Attractions/Vertical Entertainment

Bella Ramsey

“Catherine Called Birdy”

Amazon Studios

Cate Blanchett

“Tár”

Focus Features

Charibi Dean

“Triangle of Sadness”

Neon

Constance Wu

“Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile”

Sony Pictures

Da’Vine Joy Randolph

“On the Come Up”

Paramount Pictures

Daisy Edgar-Jones

“Where the Crawdads Sing”

Sony Pictures

Dakota Johnson

“Am I OK?”

HBO Max

Dakota Johnson

“Persuasion”

Netflix

Dale Dickey

“A Love Song”

Bleecker Street

Danielle Deadwyler

“Till”

Orion/United Artists Releasing

Dianna Agron

“As They Made Us”

Quiver

Doona Bae

“Broker”

Neon

Elizabeth Banks

“Call Jane”

Roadside Attractions

Elizabeth Olsen

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”

Marvel Studios

Emily Watson

“God’s Creatures”

A24

Emma Corrin

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”

Netflix

Emma Thompson

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”

Hulu/Searchlight Pictures

Florence Pugh

“The Wonder”

Netflix

Florence Pugh

“Don’t Worry Darling”

Warner Bros

Frankie Corio

“Aftersun”

A24

Freida Pinto

“Mr. Malcolm’s List”

Bleecker Street

Garcija Filipovic

“Murina”

Kino Lorber

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

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

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Marvel Studios

Letitia Wright

“The Silent Twins”

Focus Features

Lyric Ross

“Wendell and Wild”

Netflix

Manal Issa

“The Swimmers”

Netflix

Margaret Qualley

“Stars at Noon”

A24

Margot Robbie

“Amsterdam”

20th Century Studios

Margot Robbie

“Babylon”

Paramount Pictures

Maria Bakalova

“Bodies Bodies Bodies”

A24

Mia Goth

“Pearl”

A24

Michelle Dockery

“Downton Abbey: A New Era”

Focus Features

Michelle Williams

“The Fabelmans”

Universal Pictures

Michelle Yeoh

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

A24

Naomi Ackie

“Whitney Houston: 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

“Master”

Amazon Studios

Regina Hall

“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”

Universal Pictures

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 Klimoska

“You Won’t Be Alone”

Focus Features

Sigourney Weaver

“The Good House”

Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

Sosie Bacon

“Smile”

Paramount Pictures

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

“All the Old Knives”

Amazon Studios

Thandiwe Newton

“God’s Country”

IFC Films

Tilda Swinton

“The Eternal Daughter”

A24

Tilda Swinton

“Three Thousand Years of Longing”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Vicky Krieps

“Corsage”

IFC Films

Viola Davis

“The Woman King”

Sony Pictures

Virginie Efira

“Paris Memories”

Pathé

Zar Amir Ebrahimi

“Holy Spider”

Utopia

Zaris-Angel Hator

“The Sea Beast”

Netflix

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 ABC on Sunday, March 12, 2022.

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

About Variety Awards Circuit:

Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online and 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.

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