The Academy Awards are a little under three months aways, with nominations to be announced in about a month on January 14.
The pool of actresses in the race this year is larger than usual, and there are many unanswered questions. Some of the actresses, such as Brie Larson, seem to be guaranteed a nomination, while some of the top five spots have been encompassed by question marks. Once the precursor nominations start rolling in (such as SAG Awards, which we'll know by Dec. 9), we'll have a better understanding of how this year's Oscar race will go.
This year brings together the A-list stars, Hollywood veterans and indie newcomers!
(Listed in order by the likelihood of winning.)
Best Actress Contenders:
Brie Larson as Joy "Ma" Newsome - "Room"
Brie Larson has been a star in the making for years. She's played supporting roles in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010), 21 Jump Street (2012), and Trainwreck (2015).
After being disgracefully overlooked by all major awards groups in 2014 for her extraordinary work for Short Term 12 (2013), Brie Larson is making a strong comeback as the Best Actress frontrunner.
Critical acclaim has followed Brie Larson ever since the spellbinding Room debuted at the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, and she will definitely garner her first Oscar nomination, and possible her first win.
Brie Larson plays a young woman who has raised a child while in captivity and devises a plan to escape the 10x10 foot room to show her son the real world, although she struggles to find back her place in society.
Saoirse Ronan as Eilis Lacey - "Brooklyn"
Saoirse Ronan already has one Oscar nomination under her belt, earning a nomination for her role in Atonement (2007) at the age of 13.
For her understated performance as an Irish immigrant making her way in Brooklyn, she has already won numerous critic's group awards for Best Actress including the Boston Online Film Critics Association Award, was named Best Actress by the New York Film Critics Association, She was also crowned Best Actress at the British Independent Film Awards.
At this point of the race, she very well is the one who could eventually take the top spot from Larson.
Cate Blanchett as Carol Aird - "Carol"
Earlier this year, Cate Blanchett was pretty much the center of Oscar buzz after Carol debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. Her performance has been cited as her career-best, and is already a 6 time Academy Award nominee, including a win on the supporting side for her work alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator (2004) and as a lead performer in Blue Jasmine (2013).
While her chances of winning her coveted third Oscar seem to be fading, she has been nominated for numerous awards, including a Gotham Award, WAFCA Award for Best Actress, and is pending nominations from the Independent Spirit Awards and other critics groups.
She certainly will receive nods for her marvelous and showy performance as Carol Aird, a married woman in the process of a divorce, who falls in love with a younger, female, department store worker, all set in the 1950's.
Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano - "Joy"
Jennifer Lawrence has already claimed the top prize for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), was previously nominated for possibly her best role to date as Ree Dolly in Winter's Bone (2010) and later nominated for David O'Russell's American Hustle (2013) in supporting.
The Academy seems to love her! Although the film seems to have gotten mostly mixed reviews, Jennifer Lawrence should not be counted out of the Oscar race and many believe that she can actually sweep the Oscars as the inventor of the Miracle Mop.
Charlotte Rampling as Kate Mercer - "45 Years"
Surprisingly so, the widely celebrated actress has never been nominated for an Academy Award, but her act in 45 Years has proven that a nomination is definitely within reach this time around.
Her work in 45 Years has been met with acclaim, she's been named Best Actress by the Boston Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival.
In 45 Years, Rampling plays Kate Mercer, a wife planning to celebrate her 45th Year of marriage with her husband just as he discovers that the body of his ex girlfriend has been found. Amid this drawback, her perspective on their marriage begins to change.
The Ones That Could Sneak Into the Top 5
Lily Tomlin as Elle Reid - "Grandma"
It's not very often that comedic performances get on Oscar's radar, but if there's one comedic performance that has a chance of getting in, it is, without a doubt, Lily Tomlin's superior role in Grandma.
Lily Tomlin, without questions , steals the screen in this flick. She owns every moment, and delivers the wide range of her character. In the film, Elle Reid is a recently widowed woman who's granddaughter abruptly asks for cash to proceed with an abortion. With only a couple of hours to spare, Elle and her granddaughter hit the streets of LA, visiting multiple people in the hopes of gaining the much needed funds.
Tomlin delivers a bold and fearless performance, in a film that was specifically written for her. Can she score a nom? Her last nod was back in 1976 for Nashville, and the Academy probably misses her!
Blythe Danner as Carol Peterson - "I'll See You in My Dreams"
One of film's veterans, Blythe Danner really carries this movie along, as a widowed woman who develops an unlikely relationship with the pool boy, pursues a new love interest. And believe it or not, it all begins with the death of a dog.
There is a certain warmth, depth and comfort present in Blythe Danner's performance. Her character begins to embrace everybody around her, including her daughter, her senior friends and her possible love interests.
At the Sundance Film Festival, she, along with her film, were greeted with enthusiasm, rave reviews and an overwhelming positive response from the audience members.
Carey Mulligan as Maud Watts - "Suffragette"
Even before the film was officially released, there was much hype revolving Carey Mulligan's role as a British mother and worker who becomes involved in Britain's growing suffragette movement.
The English actress is already an Academy Award nominated actress for An Education (2009).
The women centric film has enjoyed mainly positive reviews, and the performance of Mulligan has been one of the most widely praised of the year. Should the Academy find it worthy enough, Carey Mulligan may earn her 2nd Oscar nomination.