Close behind: Scarlett Johansson
The buzz from the early fall festivals offered only one major competitor for Zellweger: Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story. Johansson is wonderful as one half of a couple going through a painful divorce in Noah Baumbach's film. In an early scene, she gives an unbroken monologue in which she describes her disillusionment with her husband that is wrecking and unadorned. But there are a few things working against her: One is her co-star Adam Driver, who starts dominating the story in the latter half of the film. He currently seems like the Best Actor winner, though it's a much tighter race. The second is her history of controversial comments, including her recent statement that she loves Woody Allen: "I believe him, and I would work with him anytime," she told The Hollywood Reporter.
The other options: Charlize Theron
With the aid of some makeup and a new voice, Theron's transformation into Kelly is uncanny. Still, Bombshell doesn't quite know what to make of Kelly, acknowledging her personal racism, but also positioning her as a hero.
Oscar favorite Saoirse Ronan takes on Louisa May Alcott's heroine Jo March, a role that Winona Ryder earned a nomination for in 1995. Ronan makes the part her own though and could add a fourth nomination to her haul. (FYI: She's only 25.) Ronan scored a Globe nod, but not one in SAG.
Erivo now has a chance to EGOT. The Tony, Grammy, and Emmy winner Erivo plays Harriet Tubman in the biopic Harriet and scored two Oscar nominations, one for her performance and another for her contribution to an original song for the movie.