Natalie Portman has been announced as the winner of the Hollywood Film Award’s Best Actress trophy for her role in Pablo Larraín’s Jackie while Janelle Monáe is being honored with the Spotlight award for her supporting turn in Hidden Figures.
Portman’s performance as the iconic Jackie Kennedy has made her an early favorite to win the Oscar for Best Actress next year, despite winning this award not too long ago for Black Swan. Her fiercest competition, La La Land‘s Emma Stone, did win an award at Venice but it’s Portman that’s likely to be the critic’s darling once the New York Film Critics and LA Film Critics announce their winners; any kind of a win keeps her name and performance ahead, which can only help her at this point. There’s also Annette Bening in 20th Century Women to contend with, but that film has bigger hurdles to overcome; it’s a very small picture with a much buzzier performance from Bening’s co-star, Greta Gerwig, stealing raves and making her a contender in Supporting Actress.
Speaking of Supporting Actress, Janelle Monáe is looking better and better at being a nominee for her work in Hidden Figures. Though no one has officially seen or really spoken about the film yet, it was just given a very friendly Oscar release date to qualify it for consideration. She’s also excellent in Moonlight, a role that’s too small to warrant awards attention but will most likely bolster her chances at being recognized for Hidden Figures.
It’s not uncommon for actors to win nominations after delivering more than one great performance in a year, with the nomination going to their most awards friendly role. Monáe plays Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures, one of the scientists responsible for making NASA’s first successful space mission a reality. If she can keep winning notices from awards groups and the film becomes the box office hit I think it has the potential to be, we may be calling her Academy Award Nominee Janelle Monáe.
Though she has some stiff competition from more established actors, Viola Davis, Moonlight co-star Naomie Harris, Michelle Williams, the aforementioned Gerwig and her Hidden Figures co-star Octavia Spencer to name a few, she’s got a real shot.
The ceremony will take place on November 6 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the cast of Gold, including Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas-Howard, Edgar Ramirez and Stacey Keach, will also be honored with the Hollywood Ensemble Award.