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Oscars Predictions: Best Actress – Could ‘Maestro’ Be the First Film Since ‘As Good as It Gets’ to Win Two Lead Acting Prizes?

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

Visit the prediction pages for the respective ceremonies via the links below:

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OSCARS | EMMYS | GRAMMYS | TONYS

2024 Oscars Predictions:
Best Actress in a Leading Role

Ramy Youssef and Emma Stone in POOR THINGS. Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.
Ramy Youssef and Emma Stone in POOR THINGS. Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Weekly Commentary (Nov. 16, 2023): The competition continues with a field of multiple actors that exhibit winning potential with their roles.

After premiering at the Venice Film Festival, Netflix‘s awards season pony “Maestro,” the Leonard Bernstein biopic from sophomore director Bradley Cooper, in which he also stars, is gearing positioning itself as the real deal following its most recent bows at Middleburg, SCAD and AFI Film Festivals.

With Lily Gladstone’s surprise leading run for “Killers of the Flower Moon” announced, a supporting campaign would have seemed wise for “Maestro” actress Carey Mulligan (at least in my humble opinion since I believe it’s warranted). However, she’s still receiving raves for her work as Leonard Bernstein’s wife Felicia. The two-time nominated star of “An Education” (2009) and “Promising Young Woman” (2020) finds the optimistic and loving nature of a woman confined to a life of secrecy in the shadow of her husband.

Nonetheless, with Cooper in the running in best actor, Netflix wants to take home the two lead statuettes for its actors. Noteworthy: two leading wins from the same movie haven’t happened since Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt for “As Good as It Gets” (1997). But you never know what will happen with these voters.

Two leading wins will only help the movie in its quest for the streaming giant’s first best picture statue. That is, if they can get it there.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

The submission deadline for general categories is Nov. 15, 2023. The preliminary shortlist for eight categories is from Dec. 14-18, with the results announcement dropping on Dec. 21. The Oscar nomination period will run from Jan. 11-16, 2024, with the official nominees named on Jan. 23.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10.

***The list below is not final and will be updated throughout the awards season.


And the Predicted Nominees Are:


  1. Emma Stone — “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)

  2. Lily Gladstone — “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)

  3. Carey Mulligan — “Maestro” (Netflix)

  4. Sandra Hüller — “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon)

  5. Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor — “Origin” (Neon)


Next in Line


  1. Margot Robbie — “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)

  2. Natalie Portman — “May December” (Netflix)

  3. Annette Bening — “Nyad” (Netflix)

  4. Greta Lee — “Past Lives” (A24)

  5. Fantasia Barrino — “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)


Other Top-Tier Possibilities


  1. Cailee Spaeny — “Priscilla” (A24)

  2. Jessica Chastain — “Memory” (Ketchup Entertainment)

  3. Teyana Taylor — “A Thousand and One” (Focus Features)

  4. Trace Lysette — “Monica” (IFC Films)

  5. Halle Bailey — “The Little Mermaid” (Walt Disney Pictures)

  6. Phoebe Dynevor — “Fair Play” (Netflix)

  7. Leonie Benesch — “The Teachers’ Lounge” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  8. Helen Mirren — “Golda” (Bleecker Street)

  9. Eve Hewson — “Flora and Son” (Apple Original Films)

  10. Jessie Buckley — “Fingernails” (Apple Original Films)


Also In Contention


  1. Michelle Williams — “Showing Up” (A24)

  2. Abby Ryder Fortson — “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” (Lionsgate)

  3. Zar Amir Ebrahimi — “Shadya” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  4. Layla Mohammadi — “The Persian Version” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  5. Julia Louis-Dreyfus — “You Hurt My Feelings” (A24)

  6. Ariana DeBose — “Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures)

  7. Julia Garner — “The Royal Hotel” (Neon)

  8. Rachel Sennott — “Bottoms” (MGM/Orion)

  9. Ayo Edebiri — “Bottoms” (MGM/Orion)

  10. Sandra Hüller — “The Zone of Interest” (A24) **


All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Studio)**


  • Greta Lee — “Past Lives” (A24)

  • Cailee Spaeny — “Priscilla” (A24)

  • Michelle Williams — “Showing Up” (A24)

  • Julianne Moore — “When You Finish Saving the World” (A24)

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus — “You Hurt My Feelings” (A24)

  • Sandra Hüller — “The Zone of Interest” (A24) **

  • Rosa Salazar — “A Million Miles Away” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Kylie Rogers — “Landscape with Invisible Hand” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Jessie Buckley — “Fingernails” (Apple Original Films)

  • Eve Hewson — “Flora and Son” (Apple Original Films)

  • Lily Gladstone — “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)

  • Helen Mirren — “Golda” (Bleecker Street)

  • Nia Vardalos — “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” (Focus Features)

  • Teyana Taylor — “A Thousand and One” (Focus Features)

  • Trace Lysette — “Monica” (IFC Films)

  • Anya Taylor-Joy — “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Illumination)

  • Jessica Chastain — “Memory” (Ketchup Entertainment)

  • Abby Ryder Fortson — “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” (Lionsgate)

  • Rachel Zegler — “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” (Lionsgate)

  • Ashley Park — “Joy Ride” (Lionsgate)

  • Evangeline Lilly — “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quanumania” (Marvel Studios)

  • Brie Larson — “The Marvels” (Marvel Studios)

  • Ayo Edebiri — “Bottoms” (MGM/Orion)

  • Rachel Sennott — “Bottoms” (MGM/Orion)

  • Sandra Hüller — “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon)

  • Thomasin MacKenzie — “Eileen” (Neon)

  • Penélope Cruz — “Ferrari” (Neon) **

  • Jessica Chastain — “Mother’s Instinct” (Neon) **

  • Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor — “Origin” (Neon)

  • Phoebe Dynevor — “Fair Play” (Netflix)

  • Myha’la Herrold — “Leave the World Behind” (Netflix)

  • Julia Roberts — “Leave the World Behind” (Netflix)

  • Julianne Moore — “May December” (Netflix) **

  • Natalie Portman — “May December” (Netflix)

  • Carey Mulligan — “Maestro” (Netflix)

  • Annette Bening — “Nyad” (Netflix)

  • Emily Blunt — “Pain Hustlers” (Netflix)

  • Michelle Rodriguez — “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Samara Weaving — “Chevalier” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Emma Stone — “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Molly Gordon — “Theater Camp” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Jennifer Lawrence — “No Hard Feelings” (Sony Pictures)

  • Hailee Steinfeld — “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)

  • Melissa Barrera — “Carmen” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Jane Levy — “A Little Prayer” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Layla Mohammadi — “The Persian Version” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Zar Amir Ebrahimi — “Shadya” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Leonie Benesch — “The Teachers’ Lounge” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Hilary Swank — “The Good Mother” (Vertical Entertainment)

  • Allison Williams — “M3gan” (Universal Pictures)

  • Margot Robbie — “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)

  • Fantasia Barrino — “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)

  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge — “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (Warner Bros.)

  • Halle Bailey — “The Little Mermaid” (Walt Disney Pictures)

  • Ariana DeBose — “Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures)

** This official list is incomplete, with all release dates not yet confirmed and subject to change.

2022 category winner: Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)

Oscars Predictions Categories

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | BEST ACTOR | BEST ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

About the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 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.

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