Yes, the 2013 Academy Awards won’t be decided until March 2, 2014, But the buzz for Best Actress is the loudest and earliest it’s been in years. People are raving– raving– about Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.” I mean, they are loving her and saying the movie is on a par with Woody’s classics like “Match Point” and “Crimes and Misdemeanors.” I first heard this weeks ago, but now that the film is screening in advance of its June 21st release, the word is spreading.
Blanchett will have lots and lots of competition. Oprah Winfrey won tons of plaudits last week from very private screenings of Lee Daniels’s “The Butler.” If Oprah really is that good, then look for a major campaign. I’m also hearing about Nicole Kidman in “Grace of Monaco.” Kidman, now headed to Cannes to be on the jury, is ready for a big Oscar movie. Her last was “Rabbit Hole,” and her win was for “The Hours.”
And then there are many question marks, beginning with Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County.” It’s still possible they will each for lead, in which case Streep obviously has the upper hand. And Naomi Watts will be back as Princess Diana.