Over the last few weeks the 2016 Oscar debate really has been hotting up - despite the fact that the announcement of the nominations is months away. However, that doesn't mean that we cannot look forward at who may find themselves in the running at the beginning of next year.



We have already taken a look at Best Picture and Best Actor - both of which are already promising to be exciting categories - and now we are putting the race for Best Actress in the spotlight.

There are already a string of performances that have grabbed everyone's attention on the festival circuit and even more waiting in the wings. It looks like it is going to be tough battle to fill those five nomination spots.

- Cate Blanchett - Carol

Cate Blanchett was the Best Actress Oscar winner back in 2014 for her performance in Blue Jasmine - she also has a Best Supporting Actress gong under her belt - but she could find herself in the mix once again.

Blanchett is set to return to the big screen in Carol - in which she plays the title role - and it has already lit up the festival circuit this year when it premiered at Cannes.

Carol is based on the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith and has been adapted for the big screen by Phyllis Nagy, while Todd Haynes returns to the director's chair. This is the first feature for Haynes since I'm Not There: which marked his first collaboration with Blanchett.

The movie was met with a standing ovation at Cannes - where it competed for the Palme d'Or - and both Blanchett and Rooney Mara were praised for their performances. The Best Actress category could see Blanchett and Mara possibly go head to head should they both be nominated; however, Mara could be bumped to Best Supporting Actress.

Blanchett has always been popular with the Academy - as well as the two wins she has already enjoyed, she has picked up three other nominations during her career - two for Best Actress and one for Best Supporting Actress.


- Carey Mulligan - Suffragette

Carey Mulligan is one of the best British actresses around at the moment and she already has a Best Actress Oscar nomination under her belt for An Education.

Mulligan has already won over critics and audiences with her performance as Bathsheba Everdene in the adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel Far from the Madding Crowd. While this performance could be an outside chance of a Best Actress nod, it is more likely to be her performance in Suffragette that will be recognised.

Mulligan will be back in the autumn with Suffragette, a movie that chronicles the early fight of this feminist movement as they fought for equal rights and the right to vote.

Suffragette is a movie that is already surrounded in Oscar whispers and could be a film that finds itself nominated for more than just Best Actress. The movie marks the return of Sarah Gavron to the director's chair, while Abi Morgan has penned the screenplay.

Suffragette is one of the British movies not to miss this autumn and Mulligan could well be flying the UK flag as the awards season gets underway.


- Marion Cotillard - Macbeth

Marion Cotillard is another Best Actress Oscar winner that could find herself in the race again for her performance as Lady Macbeth in a new adaptation of the William Shakespeare play.

Cotillard won her Best Actress Oscar back in 2008 for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. She was also nominated earlier this year for Two Days, One Night

Cotillard teams up with Michael Fassbender for the film, which is directed by Justin Kurzel. The movie premiered at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, where it was met with acclaim as it competed for the Palme d'Or.

Ever since it screened at Cannes, Macbeth has been surrounded in Oscar whispers - with Fassbender's central performance also expected to be in the Oscar race. Macbeth marks the first time that Cotillard has teamed up with the Irish actor.

Cotillard is an actress who goes about her work with no fuss and could well be the one that steals the show when the festival season gets under way. She is a terrific actress and I cannot wait to see her and Fassbender in action in Macbeth later this year.


- Emily Blunt - Sicario

Sicario was another film that whipped up a storm when it was screened at Cannes and was in the running for the Palme d'Or earlier this year. Emily Blunt takes on the central role of an idealistic FBI agent who is brought on board a task force to fight the war on drugs on the U.S. and Mexico border.

Sicario is perhaps a role that we have not seen Blunt tackle before as she teams up with director Denis Villeneuve - who brought us the terrific Prisoners - for the first time.

Jon Bernthal, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro are also on the cast list for what is promising to be a very tense and exciting crime drama - it will be hitting UK cinema screens at the end of September.

Blunt has a string of Golden Globe and Bafta nominations under her belt - her latest Golden Globe nod came earlier this year for her performance in Into The Woods - but she has never been nominated for an Oscar.


- Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl

Alicia Vikander is one of the most exciting actresses around - as well as being one of the most in demand. She has a whole host of projects on the horizon over the next twelve months and The Danish Girl is one of them.

The Danish Girl sees Tom Hooper back in the director's chair as Vikander teams up with the Les Miserable filmmaker for the first time. Based on the novel by David Ebershoff, The Danish Girl follows the true story of Einar Wegene, who was one of the first men to undergo sexual reassignment surgery.

Vikander is set to take on the role of his wife Gerda Wegener in a movie that explores the changing of this central relationship. Eddie Redmanye is set to play Einar Wegener / Lili Elbe and is also tipped to be in the Oscar race once again.

This is set to be one of the most interesting and powerful performances and movies of Vikander's acting career so far - it could be the film that really does send her star rocketing.

Should Vikander scoop a Best Actress nomination, it would be the first Oscar nod of her career - I suspect that it could well be the first of many as she has an exciting career ahead of her.

Alicia Vikander

- Jennifer Lawrence - Joy

Jennifer Lawrence is the brightest star shining in Hollywood at the moment and already has a Best Actress Oscar under her belt - which she won back in 2013 for Silver Linings Playbook.

At the age of twenty-four, Lawrence already has a Best Actress gong as well as two other Oscar nominations under her belt and she could add a fourth with her upcoming movie Joy.

Joy sees Lawrence reunite with director David O.Russell - who she worked with on Silver Linings Playbook and America Hustle - to tell the story of Joy Mangano, a struggling single mother who becomes a successful entrepreneur.

We all know how much the Academy loves a biopic film and Lawrence is tipped for another Oscar nomination - even though no footage from the film has been officially released yet.

Lawrence leads an all-star cast as Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, and Édgar Ramírez are all also on board.

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence

Others to watch out for include Meryl Streep for Ricki and the Flash, Angelina Jolie for By The Sea, Naomi Watts for Demolition, and Tilda Swinton for A Bigger Splash.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
find me on and follow me on