For months now, ever since she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for her performance in Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers, Oscar predictors have been leaving space on the Oscar Best Actress nomination list for Penelope Cruz. Penelope, however, hasn’t been all that visible on the Hollywood campaign circuit. 


But, right before the holiday break, here she is in New York last night at the MOMA Film Benefit. The event was presented by Chanel, and Penelope is a house ambassador so she’s checking off two boxes here – reminding people that she should be in the Oscar chat and doing brand work. As mentioned in the previous Nicole Kidman post, Nicole and Kristen Stewart seem to have two of the five Best Actress Oscar spots locked up, at least at this point. The remaining three spots could go to either Jennifer Hudson, Lady Gaga, Jessica Chastain, Alana Haim, Rachel Zegler, or Olivia Colman. 

Olivia Colman, actually, is in currently in third behind Kristen and Nicole on Gold Derby’s expert predictions update this week for her performance in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter. She, like Penelope, has been lower profile that most of the others. It’s not like Olivia Colman has ever aggressively campaign for Oscar – the year she won, for The Favourite, it was about as low-key of an Oscar campaign as we’ve seen in a long time. Maggie’s been doing the campaigning for both of them. And, of course, Olivia is one of those actors so admired and beloved by other actors, to say nothing of the strong British contingent within the Academy, that it’s almost enough to see her name on a ballot, they’ll just shortlist her. Among all these contenders, then, you have the ones who are out there and hustling on the circuit, and a couple who are either doing it behind the scenes or limiting their Oscar campaign efforts. I’m curious to see, on nomination day, the ratio of high-key to low-key campaigners. 


As for Penelope’s look, she’s wearing custom Chanel, obviously, and to me it’s one of the most un-Chanel outfits I’ve seen in a long time. Like I knew she would be in Chanel because of the event and her association to the brand, and I still had to double-check the credit. And I don’t love it. Same thing I always say with Margot Robbie and Chanel, this is not my favourite celebrity to brand relationship. Also, those bangs… 

I feel like they were trying for an Audrey Hepburn vibe here? Don’t think it worked.