It’s time to get out your crystal ball, dust it off, gaze into it and see which young actresses are going to win Oscars in the near future.
By young, I mean thespians under the age of 30. Another requirement is that they’ve already made a name for themselves in movies and continue to be busy.
Now before I get hit with sexist charges, there are many promising actors under the age of 30 making movies, but the ladies significantly outnumber them based on their Oscar track records.
For example, only four actors under 30 working today have been nominated for Oscars: Timothee Chalamet, Daniel Kaluuya, Dev Patel and Lucas Hedges. None has won. On the female side, the nominations total 15 with the honors going to Abigail Breslin, Brie Larson, Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan (with three), Hailee Steinfeld, Emma Stone (with two), Quvenzhane Wallis, Alicia Vikander and Jennifer Lawrence (with four). Larson, Stone, Vikander and Lawrence have won.
Granted, Oscar nods aren’t the only measuring stick to determine talent, but handicapping the young actors based on previous performances would be far too difficult a task for this scribe and his hazy crystal ball.
Of course, if I had to make a choice, the above mentioned actors, along with Daniel Radcliffe, Logan Lerman, Ansel Elgort, Freddie Highmore, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Ezra Miller, John Boyega, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, Alden Ehrenreich, Asa Butterfield and Jacob Tremblay (no relation), would be on my short list of male thespians who have Oscar-winning potential. Readers with a more translucent crystal ball on this subject are welcome to enlighten yours truly.
Now back to the ladies. In addition to the aforementioned actresses, my under 30 list for the female thespians who may one day hold an Oscar statuette includes Emma Watson, Shailene Woodley, Daisy Ridley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Lily James, Kristen Stewart, Mia Wasikowska, Elle Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen.
Let’s handicap the contenders in alphabetical order. FYI, we will not include previous winners simply because it would be insane if they won two Oscars before their 30th birthday.
ABIGAIL BRESLIN, 22. She received her Oscar nod for best supporting actress for “Little Miss Sunshine” in 2006. The Internet Movie DataBase (IMDb) has “Freak Show” as her latest film with “Saturday Night at the Starlight” her only film in post-production. After “Little Miss Sunshine” and apart from 2013’s “August: Osage County,” Breslin hasn’t appeared in too many quality films. She has to be considered a long shot.
OLIVIA COOKE, 24. She has already impressed with substantive roles in 2014’s “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (she played the latter), as well as in “Thoroughbreds” and “Ready Player One,” both released this year. On the horizon are “Life Itself” and “Courting Danger,” where Cooke plays tennis great Alice Marble, who was also a World War II spy. That role looks tailor made for an Oscar nod. Odds: 6 to1.
ELLE FANNING, 20. Younger sister of Dakota. Her resume includes “Maleficent,” “Super 8,” “Ginger & Rosa,” “Somewhere,” “20th Century Women” and “Low Down.” She had two movies released in June: “Mary Shelley” and “How to Talk to Girls at Parties.” Up next are “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Galveston,” “Teen Spirit” and “A Rainy Day in New York.” The latter two are in post-production, according to IMDb. How talented is Fanning? This is what New York Times film critic A.O. Scott had to say about her performance in “Ginger & Rosa": She "shows a nearly Streepian mixture of poise, intensity and technical precision. It is frightening how good she is and hard to imagine anything she could not do.” With Fanning, it’s not a question of “if,” it’s a question of “when” she’ll be writing her Oscar acceptance speech. Odds: 5 to 1.
LILY JAMES, 29. She made a name for herself as Lady Rose on TV’s “Downton Abbey” and has since parlayed that into roles on such films as “Cinderella,” “Baby Diver” and “Darkest Hour.” We’ll see her next in meatier roles in “Little Woods” and “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” The latter film’s title alone reeks of import. Odds: 7-to1.
CHLOE GRACE MORETZ, 21. She has already amassed 65 acting credits, including notable performances in “Let Me In,” “Kick-Ass,” “Hugo” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” Her slate of upcoming films features “Suspiria,” “The Widow,” “Party of the Century” and “The Miseducation of Cameron Post.” The latter film might generate Oscar buzz - and a smidgen of controversy - as she plays a teenage girl forced into a gay conversion therapy center by her conservative guardians. Many child stars flame out as adults. I don’t think Moretz will. She’s too talented. Of course, I believe I might have said that about Lindsay Lohan. Odds: 3-to-1.
ELIZABETH OLSEN, 29. The younger sister of twins Mary-Kate and Ashley, she’s the one with the talent, making her breakthrough in the indie film “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” Other films on her resume include “Wind River” and “Kodachrome.” Fans of the Avengers films know her as the Scarlet Witch. Not much brewing on the immediate horizon for her, however. Odds: 50-1.
DAISY RIDLEY, 26. The Force has definitely been with this actress as she plays Rey in the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy. On her slate are "Chaos Walking," "Kolma" and "A Woman of No Importance." All three look like promising for awards, particularly the latter film. It's the story of American spy Virginia Hall, who worked for the British intelligence during World War II. Odds: 4-1.
MARGOT ROBBIE, 27. She received her first Oscar nomination last year for her dazzling performance in “I, Tonya.” Other films of note include “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Suicide Squad.” Her busy agenda includes “Terminal,” “Mary Queen of Scots,” “Dreamland,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Marian” (as in Maid Marian), “Gotham City Sirens” and “Birds of Prey.” Plenty of chances for Oscar nods here, considering in “Mary Queen of Scots,” she plays Queen Elizabeth and Betty has proven to be an Oscar nod magnet. Just ask Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Bette Davis. Then in “Once Upon Time in Hollywood,” she portrays Sharon Tate in a film directed by Quentin Tarantino and co-starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Could this film have a higher profile? I don’t think so. Odds: 2-1.
SAOIRSE RONAN, 24. Perhaps when she wins her first Oscar, everyone will learn how to pronounce her first name. Just say “sersha,” like inertia. She has already received Oscar nominations for “Atonement,” “Brooklyn” and “Lady Bird” and this year continues to impress in “The Seagull” and “On Chesil Beach.” Her next film is the aforementioned “Mary Queen of Scots,” where she plays the title character. This film is due for release in December, just in time for Oscar season. Hint, hint. Vanessa Redgrave earned an Oscar nomination when she played Mary in 1971 opposite Glenda Jackson’s Elizabeth while in 2007 Samantha Morton played Mary opposite Blanchett’s Elizabeth. No odds on Ronan. She’s my Oscar favorite. Of course, all bets are off if the movie has head on its shoulders, so to speak.
HAILEE STEINFELD, 21. Since receiving an Oscar nomination for “True Grit” in 2010, Steinfeld hasn’t made many “big” movies. Her resume includes two “Pitch Perfect” films, “The Edge of Seventeen” and the upcoming “Bumblebee.” No Oscar in sight here. Odds: 100-1.
KRISTEN STEWART, 28. Who would have predicted that the star of the cerebrally challenged “Twilight” films would turn into such an accomplished actress? Not me. Since those movies, she has excelled in “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Personal Shopper.” Future films include “Lizzie” (about the infamous Borden family with Chloe Sevigny playing the title character; that sound you hear is Oscar buzz), “Underwater,” “JT Leroy” and “Against All Enemies.” In the latter film, listed in pre-production on IMDb, Stewart plays actress Jean Seberg, who ran afoul of the FBI and whose death in 1979 was ruled “a probable suicide.” It’s certainly probable that Stewart will win an Oscar. I’m just not sure when. Odds: 6-1.
ANYA TAYLOR-JOY, 22. She scored well-deserved raves for her performances “The Witch” and “Thoroughbreds” and her slate is busy. Upcoming films include “Glass,” “Radioactive” (about Marie and Pierre Curie with Rosamund Pike and Sam Riley as the famous physicists), “The New Mutants” and “The Sea Change.” Potential for an Oscar here, but I wouldn’t bet on one in the near future. Odds: 25-1.
QUVENZHANE WALLIS, 14. She earned an Oscar nod for her amazing debut in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” in 2012. Since then, she played the title role in “Annie,” among other films. In her future is the title role in “Naya Legend of the Golden Dolphin.” Teens typically don’t win Oscars, though two preteen actresses have taken home the statuette: Tatum O’Neal and Anna Paquin. Odds: 75-1.
MIA WASIKOWSKA, 28. She wowed the crowd playing the title character in “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010. She’s remained busy since then with future films including “Piercing,” “Damsel,” “Judy and Punch,” and “Bergman Island.” Not feeling many Oscar trembles here, but Wasikowska has the acting chops to be a contender down the road. Odds: 60-1.
EMMA WATSON, 28. She has smoothly segued from the “Harry Potter” films to top-notch performances in “My Week with Marilyn,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Circle,” among others. I’m predicting superstardom for Watson, but she doesn’t have any films on her slate on IMDb, hence, her designation as a long shot.
SHAILENE WOODLEY, 26. The star of the “Divurgent’ films, she made an auspicious feature film debut in “The Descendants” and scored again in “The Spectacular Now.” She’s now starring in “Adrift,” a film she produced. Not much on her horizon, however, so she has to be considered a long shot, too.
As to how I determined the exact odds, it was all done with mathematical precision. OK, maybe not.
Can you answer this monthly movie trivia contest? Test your memory. There's a prize!It’s now time for TRIVIA.Last month’s tester: After being informed that she had won the best actress Oscar, who said, "If you are kidding, I will get up right away and kill you wherever you are!"
Answer: Anna Magnani
No one answered the question correctly.
This month's tester: What thespian competed for an Oscar five times in a seven-year span, including three years in a row? Clue: This thespian's mother was a showgirl.
The first reader to answer the question correctly will receive a prize.Trivia enthusiasts can call me at 508-626-4409 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you leave your name, address and phone number on my message machine or email so I can contact you if you answered the question correctly. The address is needed so winners can be mailed their prize. Callers should spell out their names slowly and clearly so their names will be spelled correctly in the column.Answers will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Aug. 14. Good luck!