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Inside track on the Oscars' best actress race

November 23, 2009 |  6:23 pm

Precious Gabourey Sidibe Oscars movie news

At this early point on the derby track, the race for best actress looks like a matchup between Gabby Sidibe ("Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire") and Carry Mulligan ("An Education"). I think Gabby is a long mile out front. Her devastating performance is what is most precious about "Precious," the movie with the most Oscar buzz. How can voters deny her? Answer: They can't. Frankly, I think this race is already finished.

Bullets on the list below indicate my projected five nominees. Sandra Bullock is suddenly coming on strong thanks to the surprise success of "The Blind Side," but she certainly can't get out front of Gabby. Or even Carey.

Also check out our handicapping of these races: best picture, lead actorsupporting actor.

BEST ACTRESS
FRONT-RUNNERS
Emily Blunt, "The Young Victoria"
• Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side"
Marion Cotillard, "Nine"
Abbie Cornish, "Bright Star"
Zooey Deschanel, "(500) Days of Summer"
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Crazy Heart"
• Helen Mirren, "The Last Station"
• Carey Mulligan, "An Education"
Saoirse Ronan, "The Lovely Bones"
• Gabourey Sidibe, "Precious"
Meryl Streep, "It's Complicated"
• Meryl Streep, "Julie & Julia"
Audrey Tautou, "Coco Before Chanel"

POSSIBLE
Shohreh Aghdashloo, "The Stoning of Soraya M."
Brenda Blethyn, "London River"
Penelope Cruz, "Broken Embraces"
Bryce Dallas Howard, "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond"
Michelle Monaghan, "Trucker"
Robin Wright, "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee"

Photos: Lionsgate, Sony Pictures Classics

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Comments

@Salma: You, my dear, are an idiot, if you think Gabby is playing herself. Have you not SEEN or HEARD or READ any interview with her? She's clearly not a "Precious" type girl at ALL. She should win!

@Salma: What do you mean by "About Gabby Sidibe, for me, I wouldn't even nominate a person who's playing herself"? She's playing another black woman's story. Her interpretation of Precious is that good that you may THINK there one and the same women but they're not.

To Ritz--lost you when you bashed Aniston--just stay over on JJ with the rest of the Loons. This is about the actresses listed.

Are you kidding? Meryl's taking it this year.

I want Sandra Bullock to finally be acknowledged as the Best Female Comedian, talented and intelligent actress that she is....she doesn't hog the headlines (aka Jennifer Aniston), or manipulate the media into thinking that she's the victim and we need to feel sorry for her...No, she's refreshing, responsible and reliable and it's about time we honor her...from Speed, to The Proposal, she is a remarkable woman who knows how to act and NOT just toss her hair in despair....

I think Meryl Streep takes it. Brilliant performance!
But I hope Sandra Bullock makes it in, I love her so much.
About Gabby Sidibe, for me, I wouldn't even nominate a person who's playing herself but anyway, let her in but a win is out of question.

Wow, really? Zooey Deschanel as a front-runner for 500 Days? The film is cute and quirky and certainly entertaining, but I don't really understand why it's getting Oscar buzz. Why do you think, Tom?

Sounds like a good list to me, Tom. The biggest issue I see with it is Cotillard possibly squeezing out Bullock (she has the big mo right now, but Cotillard could steal it if "Nine" does well) or Mirren (who better be good enough to make the voters forget Mariah Carey's role in "Precious" was written for her).

But I wouldn't hand the Oscar to Gabby just yet, though I want her to win. First of all, Oscar still has an aversion to black women, especially in this category; only 5 have EVER won an Oscar in ANY category (Halle Berry for Best Actress; Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg & Jennifer Hudson for Best Supporting Actress; and Irene Cara for Best Original Song--for "Flashdance", not "Fame"), and NEVER two in the same year. However, IMO "Precious" is powerful enough to overcome that for both Gabby & Mo'Nique, and maybe even Mary J. Blige & LaNeah Menzies (the credited lyricists of "I Can See In Color", though IMO there's better songs out there).

And let's not forget Streep: Though it's very hard for anyone to win two acting Oscars (much less three), it's also hard to say any actor (male or female) deserves a third one more than her.

I'm sticking with Streep. I believe that she'll take home the Oscar in March.
It's a performance people could connect to and she has the critical support this time around. She probably finished second the last three times she was nominated - for Adaptation (deserved to win!), The Devil Wears Prada (deserves to win if you ask me!) and Doubt (didn't desetve, but this wasn't a line-up full of deserving!). This time she'll have the edge. This will be a sentimental victory.

Carey Mulligan's buzz is fading. Gabby Sidibe isn't a typical Oscar winner and a win would be a real surprise. And there's nobody else. I really doubt people are predicting Bullock. A mediocre actress and a film that isn't Oscar-bait at all.

No way is this race finished. Sidibe is good, but not great and the performance people talk about after seeing Precious is Mo'nique, not Sidibe. A nomination is certain for both, but a win for Sidibe is far from a lock.

I think the hype behind Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side is short-lived. I'm watching it right now and it falls somewhere between Coach Carter and Freedom Writers and besides the Fall release and the unexpectedly huge opening weekend, it's really not anything that Oscar voters might relate to or want to award BUllock for. I think Cotillard stands a much better chance at a nomination for her performance.


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