Lady Gaga and Kristen Stewart are the top choices for the Best Actress Oscar

There’s also rumours Alana Haim could sweep in with her first ever role.

by Tom George
15 November 2021, 3:19pm

MGM Studios / Neon

While the 2022 Oscars are still months away, with so many amazing movies being released in the last few months -- from the camp, excessive fashion drama of House of Gucci to Pablo Larraín’s upclose study into three days of Princess Diana’s spiralling marriage in Spencer -- people are already wondering who might bag themselves the cinematic world's most enviable award. Mother Monster Lady Gaga and queer icon Kristen Stewart, according to Variety, are now very much on the cards to win the Best Actress category at next year’s event. It isn’t just a two-horse race, however, and others who could end up holding the gold statuette at the end of the night include Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Chastain and even Alana Haim

Long before the trailer for Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci dropped, it seemed obvious that Gaga’s casting as the murderous Patrizia Reggiani would be a shoe-in for awards season. The campy, thrilling character felt like one the Italian-American New Yorker was born to play, and the trailer alone has confirmed this, with iconic soundbites like “Father, Son and House of Gucci'' instantly lapped up by all her adoring (gay) fans and centring her as the star in this big-name movie. 

Though Gaga just missed out on the Best Actress award for A Star Is Born at the 2019 ceremony (she won an Oscar for the song “Shallow” however) it feels like 2022 might be the year she finally gets that highly-sought after Best Actress win. Let’s hope 18 months of method acting won’t be in vain.

But then there’s Kristen Stewart and her lead role as the late Princess Diana in Spencer. After the early years of Diana’s marriage into the British royal family were embodied in heartbreaking detail by Emma Corrin in Season Four of Netflix’s The Crown — a role that won the new actress her first Golden Globe — it seemed unlikely we could imagine anyone else playing Diana, and the sudden influx of people’s princesses felt somewhat contrived. 

But Pablo Larraín’s foray into Diana’s life with K-Stew has been critically lauded, receiving a three-minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Though initially the casting of such a famous face was questioned, and with many still doubting her abilities in the wake of Twilight (Bella was supposed to be emotionally cold and awkward!!), when Spencer premiered, Kristen’s characterisation surprised all. “K-Stew, you’ll be glad to know, absolutely kills it,” Jack King wrote in his review for i-D. “Where Emma’s performance is measured and subtle, Kristen goes all-out high-camp theatricalism”. Variety have now ear-marked Kristen as their top contender for the Best Actress award at the 2022 Oscars. 

Other contenders include Jessica Chastain for her role as the titular televangelist in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and Penélope Cruz in her latest acclaimed collaboration with Pedro Almodóvar, Parallel Mothers. Olivia Colman could beat Gaga to the top spot a second time for her part in the Maggie Gyllenhaal directed psycho-drama, ​​The Lost Daughter. Variety also considers Jennifer Hudson for Respect, Frances McDormand for A24’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, Tessa Thompson for Passing and Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardos in the running. Alana Haim’s name has been thrown into the ring too, for her leading role in the coming-of-age comedy Licorice Pizza; and while it's considered a more rogue choice, it would be pretty iconic for the Haim sister to win Best Actress with her movie debut. 

This is of course all speculation and Oscar voting will only begin on 27 January 2022, with the nominations being announced on 8 February 2022 before the ceremony on 27 March 2022. No matter who wins, it seems like next year’s ceremony will be a real turning point for a number of i-D faves.

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