We handicap the nominees and analyze the Oscar odds for this year’s Best Actress. Let’s see which leading lady takes home the hardware and cash in our Oscar picks.
Brie Larson - Room -800
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn +700
Jennifer Lawrence - Joy +2000
Cate Blanchett - Carol +2500
Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years +5000
It's hard to make against any of these actresses not worthy of the highest award in their industry. Jennifer Lawrence is the actress with the most celebrity status and a former winner herself for the role of Tiffany Maxwell in Silver Linings Playbook. Yet only a dozen women have won exactly two Best Actress Oscars while Katharine Hepburn is the lone thespian ever to win more than a pair in this category with four. I don't believe the Academy is willing to allow Ms. Lawrence into that rarified air just yet.
Cate Blanchett also has an Academy Award for Best Actress on her mantle, and she would be more likely to win than Lawrence as she has a far more extensive body of work and greater Academy cred with oodles of industry accolades, nominations and victories. She is a viable longshot here but she shared the screen with the sublime Rooney Mara in Carol and that alone takes the focus off her otherwise impeccable performance.
European audiences are far more familiar with Charlotte Rampling than Americans and her late arrival to the Academy Awards, after a fascinating career across the pond, will do her no favors. Therefore, despite the enticing Oscar odds of +5000 we will opt to exclude her in our Oscar picks.
So now there are two. While Saoirse Ronan was immaculate in her role as Eilis Lacey, an Irish immigrant to America in the early 1950's, it does not hold the same gravitas as Brie Larson's role in Room. Larson was charged with delivering a captivating performance about a woman who is held hostage by a sexual predator and is having his baby in captivity. The exacting emotional toll was evident on film and channeled to an audience that was both repulsed by the subject matter but hypnotized by Larson's portrayal.
If you are seeking a longshot, go with Cate Blanchett, but if you want a winner, then lay the heavy lumber with Larson.
Oscar Pick: Brie Larson -800
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker