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Wednesday 21 February 2018

What are Saoirse Ronan's chances of finally winning that Oscar?

Saoirse Ronan (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Saoirse Ronan (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

With the Golden Globe for Best Actress Comedy or Musical for Lady Bird topping a long list of nominations and wins, Oscar buzz is intensifying.

The 23-year-old Carlow star beat some stiff competition to bag the gong at Sunday night's award ceremony but what are the chances of Saoirse landing the Best Actress Academy Award on March 4?

While the Golden Globes winners have often progressed to land a golden statuette, the winners lists also frequently differ as the voting bodies are very different.

The Globes voters are a group of about 90 journalists from 55 countries around the world (the Hollywood Foreign Press) while the Oscars votes come courtesy of around 7000 Academy members including actors, producers, directors, writers and more.

The categories also differ.  Best Actress is split for the Globes between Musical or Comedy and Drama.  At the Oscars there is just one - Best Actress.

However, in recent years the actresses singled out for recognition have been shortlisted for the Oscars too with one of the two Globes Best Actress winners securing the Academy Award.

At the Globes last year Emma Stone won Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for La La Land while Isabelle Huppert won Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture for Elle.  Stone went on to win the Best Actress Oscar, for which Huppert had also been nominated.

The previous year saw Brie Larson win Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture for Room and went on to win the Best Actress Oscar too. 

Perhaps an even better indicator of Oscar success are the prestigious Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards which take place this year on January 21 and which often prove a fairly reliable barometer of how the Oscars will unfold.

The main reason for this is the similarity in the voting bodies of which actors a large proportion.  Last year Emma Stone won Best Actress at the SAG Awards.  In 2016 the winner was Brie Larson.  In 2015 it was Julianne Moore.  All three went on to win the Oscar.

Saoirse has been nominated for the SAG Award, along with Judi Dench for Victoria & Abdul, Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water, Frances McDormand for Martin McDonagh's flick Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Margot Robbie for I, Tonya.

It's a tough category but Saoirse has already trumped the competition to win Best Actress at the Gotham Awards (for Independent films) and several Critics Association awards including New York Film Critics Circle Awards.

Saoirse's main competition for the gong looks like the legendary Frances McDormand, who just bagged the Golden Globe for Best Actress, Drama for Three Billboards. 

However, Sally Hawkins has also been garnering rave reviews for Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water.  And, of course, Meryl Streep is a shoe in for The Post.  And Margot Robbie is likely to be one of the five nominees for I, Tonya when the noms are announced on January 23.

Saoirse may be just 23, but she already has two Oscar nominations under her belt for Brooklyn and Atonement. 

She is also likely to be a peer of more of the Academy voters this year.  Traditionally they have been older, white, and male and but the #OscarsSoWhite backlash of recent years has seen a diversity push resulting in 28 per cent female voters and 13 per cent people of colour for 2018.

Of course, the performances themselves are the main consideration and Saoirse has been garnering rave reviews for her performance, as have Hawkins and McDormand, Streep, and Robbie.  It seems like a pretty level playing field which gives Saoirse as good a chance as anyone.

Currently she has odds of 3/1 with Paddy Power compared to 4/6 for McDormand, 7/2 for Hawkins, 10/1 for Margot Robbie and Diane Kruger (for In the Fade) and Jessica Chastain's 16/1 for Molly's Game.  Make of that what you will!

Even if she doesn't land the win, being nominated for a third time would be phenomenal for an actress of her age and, should she continue to choose roles of this calibre in the future, she will undoubtedly raise at least one statuette in her career.

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