Oscars Predictions: Best Actress – Michelle Pfeiffer Gears Up for NYFF Debut with ‘French Exit’

Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE COLLECTIVE.


UPDATED: Sept. 17, 2020 (Pre-Season)

The race for best actress this year looks deep with talent, and highly anticipated performances. TIFF delivered the goods for Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”), Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) and Kate Winslet (“Ammonite”), landing them on the Oscar radar while NYFF gets ready to gear up with Michelle Pfeiffer’s upcoming turn in “French Exit.” An eclectic and diverse mix of women can be seen coming down the pike and it should make for an exciting season.

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories

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Photo courtesy of Netflix


  1. Michelle Pfeiffer
    "French Exit" (Sony Pictures Classics)

  2. Frances McDormand
    "Nomadland" (Netflix)

  3. Vanessa Kirby
    "Pieces of a Woman" (Netflix)

  4. Viola Davis
    "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)

  5. Rachel Zegler
    "West Side Story" (20th Century Studios)

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Courtesy of United Artists Releasing/MGM


  1. Jennifer Hudson
    "Respect" (United Artists Releasing)

  2. Kate Winslet
    "Ammonite" (Neon)

  3. Amy Adams
    "Hillbilly Elegy" (Netflix)

  4. Carey Mulligan
    "Promising Young Woman" (Focus Features)

  5. Andra Day
    "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" (Paramount Pictures)
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Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios


  1. Rashida Jones
    "On the Rocks" (A24/Apple TV Plus)

  2. Rachel Brosnahan
    "I'm Your Woman" (Amazon Studios)

  3. Sophia Loren
    "The Life Ahead" (Netflix)

  4. Julia Garner
    "The Assistant" (Bleecker Street)

  5. Julianne Moore
    "The Glorias" (Roadside Attractions)

  6. Jessie Buckley
    "I'm Thinking of Ending Things" (Netflix)

  7. Elisabeth Moss††
    "Shirley" (Neon)

  8. Elisabeth Moss
    "The Invisible Man" (Universal Pictures)

  9. Sidney Flanigan
    "Never Rarely Sometimes Always" (Focus Features)

  10. Kristen Stewart
    "Happiest Season" (Sony Pictures)

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Photo courtesy of Netflix


  1. Yiefi Liu
    "Mulan" (Disney Plus)

  2. Lesley Manville
    "Ordinary Love" (Bleecker Street)

  3. Sienna Miller
    "Wander Darkly" (Lionsgate)

  4. Clare Dunne
    "Herself" (Amazon Studios)

  5. Cristin Milotti
    "Palm Springs" (Hulu/Neon)

  6. Anya Taylor-Jones
    "Emma." (Focus Features)

  7. Evan Rachel Wood
    "Kajillionaire" (Focus Features)

  8. Lily James
    "Rebecca" (Netflix)

  9. Annette Bening
    "Hope Gap" (Roadside Attractions)

  10. Rosamund Pike
    "Radioactive" (Amazon Studios)

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Photo courtesy of IFC Films


  1. Nicole Beharie
    "Miss Juneteenth" (Vertical Entertainment)

  2. Gal Gadot
    "Wonder Woman 1984" (Warner Bros.)

  3. Eliza Scanlen
    "Babyteeth" (IFC Films)

  4. Beanie Feldstein
    "How to Build a Girl" (IFC Films)

  5. Haley Bennett
    "Swallow" (Lionsgate)

  6. Angelina Jolie††
    "Eternals" (Marvel Studios)

  7. Diane Lane
    "Let Him Go" (Focus Features)

  8. Keri Russell
    "Antlers" (Searchlight Pictures)

  9. Zazie Beetz
    "Nine Days" (Screen Media Films)

  10. Jennifer Lopez
    "Marry Me" (Universal Pictures)

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Photo courtesy of Netflix


  • Ana de Armas,“Deep Water” (20th Century Studios)††
  • Radha Bank,“The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix)
  • Camila Cabello,“Cinderella” (Sony Pictures)
  • Jessica Chastain,“Ava” (Vertical Entertainment)
  • Hong Chau,“Driveways” (FilmRise)
  • Carrie Coon,“The Nest” (IFC Films)
  • Elizabeth Debicki,“The Burnt Orange Heresy” (Bleecker Street)
  • Tina Fey,“Soul” (Pixar)
  • Abbi Jacobsen,“Connected” (Sony Pictures)
  • Scarlett Johansson,“Black Widow” (Marvel Studios)†
  • Riley Keough,“The Lodge” (Neon)
  • Melissa McCarthy,“The Starling” (Netflix)†
  • Elisabeth Moss,“Shirley” (Neon)
  • Issa Rae,“The Photograph” (Universal Pictures)
  • Taylour Paige,“Zola” (A24)†
  • Margot Robbie,“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” (Warner Bros.)
  • Amy Ryan,“Lost Girls” (Netflix)
  • Phillipa Soo,“Hamilton” (Disney Plus)†
  • Meryl Streep,“Let Them All Talk” (Netflix)†
  • Meryl Streep,“The Prom” (Netflix)††
  • Charlize Theron,“The Old Guard” (Netflix)
  • Kristin Scott Thomas,“Military Wives” (Lionsgate)
  • Tessa Thompson,“Passing” (No U.S. Distribution)†
  • Naomi Watts,“Penguin Bloom” (No U.S. Distribution)†
  • Jacki Weaver,“Stage Mother” (Momentum Pictures)

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners are selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects, and writers.