As we take a look at the strong female leads this year, we can’t help but take a look at the actresses who have been overlooked in the past. As Melissa Leo breathed fire as a ferocious Mother Superior, it seemed that the two-time.
Oscars 2021: Best Actress nominees
Oscar nominee was snubbed in her under the radar movie directed by first-timer Margaret Bett. All while ‘Battle of the Sexes’, a riveting performance by Emma Stone and Steve Carell, challenged gender issues that are dominating the headlines today but was still unfairly ignored by the Academy. And finally, one of the best performances by a young actress as 22-year-old Florence Pugh captivated audiences in her performance in Lady Macbeth and to no avail, but let’s take a look at this year’s nominees and get a feel for who we think will be the winner…
Viola Davis | Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
‘How to Get Away with Murder’, ‘Fences’ and now ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ – what can’t this woman do? Having won an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award and two Tony Awards, she is the first African-American to achieve the “Triple Crown of Acting”. Four years ago, Davis won an Oscar for her role in “Fences”, where she played another August Wilson heroine, but this victory was met with a lot of controversy as many (myself included) believed she deserved the victory for Best Actress rather than Supporting Actress. As the blues singer Ma Rainey, in George C. Wolfe’s film, Davis stands in nobody’s shadow. Let’s see what this year’s Oscars will bring.
Andra Day | The United States vs. Billie Holiday
‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ is a 2021 American biographical film about singer Billie Holiday, based on the book ‘Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs’ by Johann Hari. Directed by Lee Daniels, the film stars Andra Day in the titular role, along with Trevante Rhodes, Natasha Lyonne and Garrett Hedlund. Andra Day, is no newbie when it comes to the world of music as she won a Golden Globe for her performance in Lee Daniel’s biopic, but that paired with actress creates a dynamic twofold that’s hard to compete with.
Could a portrait of an iconic singer as a tragic, strung-out mess win a Best Actress Oscar? Let’s ask last year’s winner, Reneé Zellweger.
Vanessa Kirby | Pieces of a Woman
Vanesa Kirby has become known through her role as the fragile young Princess Margaret in ‘The Crown’ but her new role in ‘Pieces of a Woman’ might leave you surprised. Kirby plays Martha, a Boston woman whose home birth results in unspeakable loss, from which Martha spends the rest of the film excavating herself. In her grief-stricken role, Kirby hits a nerve for many viewers who are either parents or have gone through a similar loss. While she is an underdog in the array of nominated talented actresses this year, but we still believe the moving performance could lead to a victory this year.
Frances McDormand | Nomadland
One of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, she is known for her portrayals of quirky, headstrong female characters. Even though McDormand is known for her roles in small-budget independent films he has still managed to achieve the “Triple Crown of Acting” as she has won the Best Actress award twice for ‘Fargo’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. McDormand steps into the shoes of Fern, in ‘Nomadland’, a woman that embarks on a journey through the American West after losing everything and through her role manages to make a film cast of non-actors look like they have been acting their whole lives. Will McDormand take home another Oscar this year?
Carey Mulligan | Promising Young Woman
The British actress has received numerous awards and nominations, including one British Academy Film Award, a Critics’ Choice Award and nominations for two Academy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and one Tony Award but this one was an unexpected one. In her role as Cassie, Mulligan embraces her character’s trauma and tendency to put herself in danger as she embarks on a journey or revenge against men. Cassie is wickedly smart and cunning, but she is living a secret life. The film introduces Cassie a seemingly drunk in a nightclub, in serious need of rescuing from drunk ill-intended men but all of a sudden the realisation of what is about to happen to her sobers us up and she begins her master plan.