Here is the nominations and breakdown for Actress in a Leading Role.
Nominees: Emma Stone in La La Land, Isabelle Huppert in Elle, Ruth Negga in Loving, Natalie Portman in Jackie, Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins.
Who will win
Emma Stone – La La Land
At this point in awards season it seems inevitable. Stone has taken the BAFTA and the Golden Globe only the Oscar remains. Stone’s performance in La La Land is endlessly charming, she brings a likeableness and goofy quality to all of her roles but this one feels somehow particularly close to home. Scenes in which Emma Stone’s character is auditioning are performed so earnestly we can see that she is almost re-performing moments of her own start in Hollywood.
The charm of her acting easily translates into her singing and dancing. The pairing of Ryan Gosling and Stone has seemingly been done to death, however I think the casting of them is almost an homage to Fred & Ginger – if the chemistry ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And it should be said that although La La Land is not necessarily the movie deserving the Oscar, Emma Stone’s performance is deserving of an accolade, or accolades as this awards season has shown.
Who should win
Natalie Portman – Jackie
As the Oscar’s are an american event, patriotic are classically expected to ransack the Oscars. As such it is surprising that Jackie has gained only 3 nominations. However, it is unsurprising that Natalie Portman has been nominated. Portman’s performance is fantastically precise, the voice is almost exact and the mannerisms are also mirror image. But if we were looking for just a great character performance why not choose Ruth Neggas as Mildred Loving, or Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins? I think that Portman’s true skill comes through in her performance when she explores the grief that Jackie Kennedy must have felt.
Natalie Portman allows Jackie a 3 dimensional quality which she has not been allowed before as a historical icon. She becomes more than her pink chanel suit and picture perfect bob. Portman’s performance is an emotive and poignant exploration of what it is like to be a widow, a first lady and an icon all at once. If anything Portman should win if only for a statement about the calibre of First Ladies, considering the loss of Michelle Obama.
By Delilah Niel