Awards Season: Five Stars To Beat

The critics’ consensus on the year’s best.


Awards season is upon us, and the race for Oscar glory is beginning to take shape. With nominations being announced for the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globes and more, these stars are already frontrunners for the year’s most coveted prizes.–Jordana Levine

Lead Actress
Michelle Williams

Why her: Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marylin is spot-on. As the blonde bombshell, Williams has already won five acting awards from critics associations, and will be honoured with the Desert Palm Achievement Actress award on Jan 7.
Other Frontrunners: Meryl Streep, Viola Davis

Lead Actor
Jean Dujardin
Why him:
This French actor and comedian’s trip back to old Hollywood in the black and white silent film The Artist has already earned him a best actor award at Cannes. Since then, nearly every major awards group has nominated his performance.
Other Frontrunners: George Clooney, Brad Pitt

Martin Scorcese
Why him:
Although nobody’s surprised to see Scorcese at the top, his newest project, Hugo, is definitely different. Straying away from his usual gritty plots, this fantastical yet unflinchingly honest 3-D adventure through the eyes of two children has 11 Critic’s Choice nominations including best picture. He’s nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG award, plus the National Board of Review has already named him best director.
Other Frontrunners: Michel Hazanavicius, Alexander Payne

Supporting Actress
Jessica Chastain
Why her:
Sure, this rising star was nominated for a SAG award and Golden Globe for her supporting performance in The Help, but that only touches on one of the eight movies she’s been working on over the past year. Her roles in The Tree of Life, The Debt, Take Shelter, Texas Killing Fields and Coriolanus have also earned her supporting actress and breakthrough awards.
Other Frontrunners: Octavia Spencer, Bérénice Bejo


Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer

Why him:
Canadian veteran actor Plummer’s role as a just-out-of-the closet father is catching the attention of every critic. He’s already snagged awards from several groups including the Toronto Film Critics Association and is nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG award, and Critics’ Choice Award.
Other Frontrunners:
Albert Brooks, Kenneth Branagh