Is Carey Mulligan’s Oscar Nomination for ‘Promising Young Woman’ Already Locked In?

Carey Mulligan’s performance in Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman” has been beloved by critics and audiences alike since it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020. She has been considered one of the top contenders in the best actress race, which is among the most competitive of all-time, with no shortage of talent in the running. However, a notable statistic may have just cemented her an Academy Awards nomination.

Mulligan has won best actress prizes from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and, most recently, the National Board of Review — two critical precursors leading up to the Oscars. Since LAFCA’s founding in 1975, every actress who has won both of these awards has been nominated for an Oscar. The two groups have only matched 12 times since 1975 and haven’t since 2002.

Most notable is seven of the 12 women went on to win the Academy Award for best actress. In the instances that the actress did not win, they were arguably second in line to the eventual winner, although that can’t be said with certainty as AMPAS does not release voting results.

  • 2002 – Julianne Moore – “Far from Heaven” and “The Hours”
  • 2000 – Julia Roberts – “Erin Brockovich” – WINNER
  • 1998 – Fernanda Montenegro, “Central Station”
  • 1997 – Helena Bonham Carter – “The Wings of the Dove”
  • 1993 – Holly Hunter – “The Piano” – WINNER
  • 1992 – Emma Thompson – “Howard’s End” – WINNER
  • 1989 – Michelle Pfeiffer – “The Fabulous Baker Boys”
  • 1983 – Shirley MacLaine – “Terms of Endearment” – WINNER
  • 1982 – Meryl Streep – “Sophie’s Choice” – WINNER
  • 1980 – Sissy Spacek – “Coal Miner’s Daughter” – WINNER
  • 1979 – Sally Field – “Norma Rae” – WINNER
  • 1976 – Liv Ullman – “Face to Face”

Mulligan faces steep competition from Nicole Beharie (“Miss Juneteenth”), Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”), Sidney Flanigan (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”), Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”), Sophia Loren (“The Life Ahead”), Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) and Zendaya (“Malcolm & Marie”). McDormand currently leads with the most precursor awards (12), followed closely by Mulligan, with 10. Davis is in third place with two prizes so far.

Nomination ballots for the Golden Globes are due on Jan. 30, with SAG Awards voting closing on Feb. 1. Next week, the two televised award shows will announce their nominations, which will be incredibly important to Mulligan and the film’s campaign.

Read the full script of “Promising Young Woman” here.

Visit THE AWARDS HUB to see the full list of contenders by category.

2021 Academy Awards Predictions

  • 2021 Oscar Predictions: The Collective
  • 2021 Oscar Predictions: All Categories

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