Best Actress 2014: Gugu Mbatha-Raw for Beyond the Lights

gugumbatharaw_beyondthelights2
Gugu Mbatha-Raw as she appears in a trailer for Beyond the Lights

Oscar Present?
Role: Noni, “a perfectly packaged pop star […] who’s been groomed for stardom from a young age by her overbearing, opportunistic mother (Minnie Driver)” (via Entertainment Weekly)

Nominations:

  • Gotham Awards (2014) – Best Actress

Festivals:

  • Toronto International Film Festival (2014) – World Premiere

Why? Beyond the Lights could propel Mbatha-Raw to star status – and the actress is certainly a star in the making. The story sounds familiar, but this could be something special. The film should at least get a push in the original song category. For what it’s worth, Mbatha-Raw is better here than she is in Belle

Why not? But Belle remains her likelier Oscar play, but Beyond the Lights should help keep her in the conversation since it’s a hit.

Ranking: No. 23 as of Oct. 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 Belle (more)
Best Original Song 2014: “C-Mon Boy” from Beyond the Lights (more)
Best Original Song 2014: “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights (more)
Best Original Song 2014: “Masterpiece” from Beyond the Lights (more)
Best Original Song 2014: “Private Property” from Beyond the Lights (more)

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