As Sarah wrote in the previous post, the Palm Springs Film Festival is a major award season campaign stop given its timing, usually just before Golden Globe weekend, and how many veteran Oscar voters are usually in attendance. So the actors filed in, and so did the actresses. 


We’ve been saying, repeatedly, that this is one of the most competitive races, across most major categories, that we’ve seen in a while. There’s not really a slamdunk runaway that’s emerged. Oppenheimer, I think, has the edge for Best Picture but you cannot count out Killers of the Flower Moon and Barbie and, besides, the Oscars are in March – we still have eight weeks to go! There is a lot of time left for momentum shifts. 


In the Best Actress category, there are at least, in my opinion, eight strong contenders vying for just five nomination spots: 

Fantasia Barrino

Annette Bening 

Lily Gladstone

Sandra Hüller

Greta Lee 

Margot Robbie

Carey Mulligan

Emma Stone

Right now, Lily Gladstone and Emma Stone are probably the frontrunners here. But they’re not that far out in front. Which means if they want to make the final five, they have to keep hustling. And if attendance and visibility is any indication, they are HUSTLING. 


Four of the actresses on that list were in Palm Springs last night. Sarah mentioned Lily in her post about the actors as she was there with the Flower Moon crew, just one night after accepting the Best Actress Award from the New York Film Critics Circle the day before. Her sparkling gold dress by Maison Sara was exquisite…

Lily Gladstone attends the 2024 New York Film Critics Circle Awards at TAO Downtown on January 03, 2024 in New York City.

…and I love her in glittering green in Palm Springs. Lily is bringing it with the fashion on this campaign. Which, obviously, is getting a big boost by three Hollywood heavyweights, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and Leonardo DiCaprio. But Carey Mulligan had some legendary help, too, as she recruited none other than Meryl Streep to present to her the Desert Palm Achievement, Actress award. A flex! 


Meryl doesn’t just show up for anyone. Which Carey acknowledged in her speech: 

They also walked the carpet together so let’s not for a second pretend that Carey doesn’t want this and is trying to make up some ground on Lily and Emma: 

Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep arrive at the 35th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards held at the Palm Springs Convention Center on January 4, 2024 in Palm Springs,

Carey is wearing Balmain here – and what I like about this look is how … aggressive it is with the bustier and the peplum. Some would consider it too much, that it’s either one or the other. Please. It’s award season and they were reminded just a few months ago what it’s like to not be able to serve on the red carpet. EXTRA is the mood right now. Let’s be as extra as we can. 


As for Emma Stone, she’s been racking up critics wins across the US with the Los Angeles, Chicago, Nevada, Columbus, she’s incredible in Poor Things, and she is going for it. But one of her weak spots in this race might be that she’s already won a Best Actress Oscar, and not all that long ago. Then again, Hilary Swank won her two Oscars five years apart and it’s been six years for Emma so it’s not impossible and she is clearly putting in the effort. With the fashion, too. This is custom Louis Vuitton, no surprise since she’s still an ambassador, and the most interesting LV I’ve seen on her in a while, just because it’s such a fun changeup from all the dresses. This is giving love child of Cruella and Professor Trelawney. 

As for what Margot Robbie is giving – well it could only be one doll. 

Here’s a question to think about as all these award show carpets start piling up week after week – when does Barbie dressing start getting repetitive? I’m not saying I’m there, I’m just wondering whether or not I will be. 


And finally, to wrap up this best actresses post, The Hollywood Reporter Actress Roundtable – I just read it and will watch the video this weekend because the good vibes are popping off the page even in the transcript. Emma and Lily, especially, are hilarious here. But you know who, ironically, comes off as the MOST serious? Margot! 


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