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Oscars Predictions: Best Actress – Margot Robbie’s ‘Barbie’ Performance Is Worthy ‘Kenough’ for Awards Consideration, but Will Voters Agree?

As ‘Barbie’ continues to dominate the box office, will its star find her way to a double nom for producing and acting?

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:


2024 Oscars Predictions:
Best Actress in a Leading Role

May December
Francois Duhamel

Weekly Commentary (Updated July 30, 2023): “Thanks to Barbie, all problems of feminism have been solved.”

Well, perhaps the Academy’s TV rating concerns could also benefit if they embrace Greta Gerwig’s meta-comedy in a significant way, in categories such as best picture, supporting actor (Ryan Gosling), and best actress for its star Margot Robbie.

How far will “Barbie” go with Oscar voters? That’s what consumers and casual awards enthusiasts want to know.

Robbie, a two-time Oscar nominee for “I, Tonya” (2017) and “Bombshell” (2019), is well-liked by her fellow actors. Coincidentally, as a producer for “Tonya,” she was also almost double nominated that year. Now, as one of the producers for the Mattel box office hit, she could become the second woman nominated for producing and acting in the same year (the first was Frances McDormand for “Nomadland,” for which she won both). While an acting nom for the Australian performer is possible, the film would have to prove itself as an awards favorite, which isn’t always a given with something from the comedy genre. Nonetheless, it will remain a topic of conversation over the next few months. Golden Globes will surely bite in the comedy/musical categories, but let’s see if other groups follow suit.

The first half of 2023 has provided one surefire contender with Greta Lee as the beautiful Nora, a South Korean immigrant who finds her childhood love in Celine Song’s “Past Lives.”

Cannes dropped the one-two punch of Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore from Todd Haynes’ “May December,” we expect to hear both of their names on the circuit. However, no decisions have yet to be made on either of their campaigns, but we suspect Portman may opt for lead, with Moore angling for supporting.

In addition to Moore, some other “supporting” players could opt for leading status, such as Lily Gladstone from “Killers of the Flower Moon” (we’re expecting supporting) or the still unseen “Maestro” and “Napoleon” with Carey Mulligan and Vanessa Kirby.

Question marks are on several of this year’s release schedules amid the Hollywood strikes. That’s why we’re pumping the brakes on Fantasia Barrino’s work in “The Color Purple,” which could go either way with a Christmas release. The same for its Warner Bros counterpart, “Dune Part Two” with Zendaya (especially after MGM’s “Challengers” already exited the year).

The same goes for the movies without distribution but debuting at some of the upcoming fall festivals, such as “Lee” with Kate Winslet, “Origin” with Anjanue Ellis-Taylor and “Memory” with Jessica Chastain.

There are also a handful of undated projects, such as “Leave the World Behind” with Julia Roberts and “Nightbitch” with Amy Adams, that we’re keeping a close eye on.

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

The submission deadline for general categories is Nov. 18, 2023. Preliminary shortlist voting will begin on Dec. 18, with the results announced on Dec. 21. The voting period will run from Jan. 11-16, 2024, with the official nominations announcement on Jan. 23.

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

And the Predicted Nominees Are:

  1. Natalie Portman — “May December” (Netflix) **
  2. Carey Mulligan — “Maestro” (Netflix) **
  3. Greta Lee — “Past Lives” (A24)
  4. Sandra Hüller — “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon)
  5. Margot Robbie — “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)

Next in Line

  1. Fantasia Barrino — “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.) **
  2. Annette Bening — “Nyad” (Netflix)
  3. Emma Stone — “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)
  4. Lily Gladstone — “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures) **
  5. Kate Winslet — “Lee” (No U.S. Distribution) **

Other Top-Tier Possibilities

  1. Amy Adams — “Nightbitch” (Searchlight Pictures) **
  2. Julianne Moore — “May December” (Netflix) **
  3. Sandra Hüller — “The Zone of Interest” (A24)
  4. Cailee Spaeny — “Priscilla” (A24)
  5. Phoebe Dynevor — “Fair Play” (Netflix)
  6. Anjanue Ellis-Taylor — “Origin” (No U.S. Distribution)
  7. Vanessa Kirby — “Napoleon” (Apple Original Films/Sony Pictures) ***
  8. Teyana Taylor — “A Thousand and One” (Focus Features)
  9. Jessie Buckley — “Fingernails” (Apple Original Films)
  10. Trace Lysette — “Monica” (IFC Films)

Also In Contention

  1. Saoirse Ronan — “Foe” (Amazon Studios)
  2. Penélope Cruz — “Ferrari” (Neon) **
  3. Leonie Benesch — “The Teachers’ Lounge” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  4. Helen Mirren — “Golda” (Bleecker Street)
  5. Layla Mohammadi — “The Persian Version” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  6. Abby Ryder Fortson — “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” (Lionsgate)
  7. Jessica Chastain — “Memory” (No U.S. Distribution)
  8. Jane Levy — “A Little Prayer” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  9. Anjanue Ellis-Taylor — “The Nickel Boys” (MGM)
  10. Scarlett Johansson — “Asteroid City” (Focus Features) **

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)
  • 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) **
  • Vanessa Kirby — “Napoleon” (Apple Original Films/Sony Pictures) **
  • Helen Mirren — “Golda” (Bleecker Street)
  • Scarlett Johansson — “Asteroid City” (Focus Features) **
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Zoe Saldana — “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios)
  • Brie Larson — “The Marvels” (Marvel Studios)
  • Rachel Sennott — “Bottoms” (MGM/Orion)
  • Anjanue Ellis-Taylor — “The Nickel Boys” (MGM)
  • Sandra Hüller — “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon)
  • Thomasin MacKenzie — “Eileen” (Neon)
  • Penélope Cruz — “Ferrari” (Neon) **
  • Jessica Chastain — “Mother’s Instinct” (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)
  • Regina King — “Shirley” (Netflix)
  • Anjanue Ellis-Taylor — “Origin” (No U.S. Distribution)
  • Mia Wasikowska — “Club Zero” (No U.S. Distribution)
  • Alicia Vikander — “Firebrand” (No U.S. Distribution)
  • Kate Winslet — “Lee” (No U.S. Distribution)
  • Jessica Chastain — “Memory” (No U.S Distribution)
  • Amy Adams — “Nightbitch” (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)
  • Allison Williams — “M3gan” (Universal Pictures)
  • Margot Robbie — “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)
  • Fantasia Barrino — “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)
  • Zendaya — “Dune: Part Two” (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


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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