Now it's time for the supporting ladies. The actresses who usually steal the movie out from under their leading lady or gentleman co-stars.  And unlike the past few years, 2012 seems to be something of a wide open race at the moment.

Outside of Tilda Swinton's somewhat surprising win over Ruby Dee in 2008 and hesitation over Melissa Leo in 2011 following her unfortunate "For Your Consideration" incident, there has been little drama over who will this category in quite some time.  While it's still relatively early in the season, it's hard to categorize any of the acclaimed performances so far as frontrunners.  Amy Adams was fantastic in "The Master," but will the Academy embrace the movie?  "Les Miserables'" Anne Hathaway already sounds tear-inducing, but is the role big enough to win Oscar? Sally Field is very good in Spielberg's "Lincoln," but is she really guaranteed a nomination and should she really be in the three-win club?  Maggie Smith dishes out enough zingers to take down a small army in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," but is it enough to win?  And what of unseen performances by Kerry Washington in "Django Unchained" and Frances McDormand in "Promised Land"?  And can Shirley MacLaine return to the Oscar stage as a nominee for "Bernie"?  Obviously, there are lots of questions to ponder over the coming weeks in this category.  It should be one of the more interesting races of 2013.

For an indepth overview of the entire field, click on the gallery story below composed and constructed by myself, Kris Tapley and Guy Lodge. 

Agree or disagree on our thoughts?  Share your own below.