Best Actress 2014: Gugu Mbatha-Raw for Belle

A photo of Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Belle (via

Oscar Present?
Role: Dido Elizabeth Belle, “[t]he mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral [who] is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th century England” (via IMDb)

Awards: N/A
Nominations: N/A


  • Toronto International Film Festival (2013) – World Premiere

Why? Belle should play well on screeners – perhaps better than it did on the big screen. And Mbatha-Raw is a star in the making; her screen presence carries Belle, more or less. Between this and Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights, she’s having a breakthrough year.

Why not? Overall reaction to Belle was positive but hardly enthusiastic. With Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike in the mix, is there room for another breakthrough in this category? Fox Searchlight’s primary contender here, it seems, is Reese Witherspoon in Wild – they might need to re-release the film if they’re serious about Mbatha-Raw.

Ranking: No. 6 as of Nov. 17, 2014

More on the competition:
Best Actress in a Leading Role 2014

See also (pages coming soon):
Best Actress 2014: Gugu Mbatha-Raw for Beyond the Lights (more)


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