2024 Oscars: Best Actress Predictions

With final voting completed, the 96th Oscars telecast will be broadcast on Sunday, March 10 and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT. We update predictions through awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all our 2024 Oscar picks.

The State of the Race

In the end the delayed release date for “Poor Things” (Searchlight) due to the actors strike boosted the movie into the holiday box office derby. Yorgos Lanthimos‘ Frankenstein’s monster film wowed audiences and critics at the fall festivals and has grossed more than $104 million worldwide. (It streams on Hulu March 11, the day after the Academy Awards.) Oscar winner Emma Stone (“La La Land”) won the Comedy Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards and the BAFTA (where she wasn’t up against Lily Gladstone) and could take home another gold statue. If Oscar voters want to award someone, it doesn’t matter if they’ve won before.

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Moving from the usual supporting berth for a less-known performer is “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films) breakout Lily Gladstone, who gains extra stature as Best Actress. She picked up momentum by winning at the Gothams, the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review and the Golden Globes. But while she lost the Critics Choice to Stone and missed a BAFTA nomination, she clearly has support among actors, taking home the SAG Award. She tirelessly and gracefully stayed on message as a proud representative of indigenous people. Oscar voters may want her to become the first Native American to win Best Actress.

Among the long overdue actresses are five-time nominee Annette Bening, who stars as the long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad in “Nyad” (Netflix), and three-time nominee Carey Mulligan, who plays composer Leonard Bernstein’s wife Felicia in director-star Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro” (Netflix), a heart-tugging two-hander about a high-profile marriage. As strong as Cooper is as the composer-conductor, Mulligan dominates the film. But they may have to wait longer for the win.

As always, Best Actress Oscar contenders emerged from the Cannes Film Festival in May. German actress Sandra Hüller (“Toni Erdmann”) earned kudos for two roles, one in Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or-winning “Anatomy of a Fall,” a French-English language courtroom thriller in which she stars as a mystery writer on trial for the death of her husband; the other in Jonathan Glazer’s chilling German-language Grand-Prize winner “The Zone of Interest,” set behind the scenes at Auschwitz and nominated for Best International Feature Film. “Zone” will feed her nominated role for “Anatomy of a Fall.”

Contenders are listed in order of likelihood to win.

Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”)
Emma Stone (“Poor Things”)
Carey Mulligan (“Maestro”)
Annette Bening (“Nyad”)
Sandra Hüller (“Anatomy of a Fall”)

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