2010 was actually a pretty impressive year for the leading ladies in the best actress category. Especially when you consider that acclaimed performances by Tilda Swinton, Leslie Manville, Carey Mulligan and Julianne Moore didn't make the cut. Moreover, unlike best actor or best supporting actor, there is actually a chance for an upset. Whether that possibility is being overinflated by the press remains to be seen, but it's certainly made the frontrunner's camp a tad nervous. With that in mind, let's review this year's field shall we?
"Rabbit Hole" wasn't the awards player many thought it would be, but the moving drama featured Nicole Kidman's best work in years. This is Kidman's first nomination since "The Hours" eight years ago and she'll be first to admit she's glad she's back in the game.
Most moviegoers will discover Jennifer Lawrence this summer when she plays the blue skinned Mystique in "X-Men: First Class," but the 20-year-old actress first got Hollywood's attention as a serious actress by her unexpectedly strong work in the Sundance hit "Winter's Bone." Like many other nominees this year, however, the nominaiton is the win for Lawrence. You can pretty much guarantee she'll be back at the Kodak with another nomination down the road.
Box office glory seems far from the mind of Michelle Williams, but the former nominee for "Brokeback Mountain" continues to fashion a body of work that features daring and rich performances. Williams' career is turning into somethin very, very special and her emotional turn in "Blue Valentine is her best work to date.
Like Williams, "Black Swan's" Natalie Portman has received her second Academy Award nomination this year. She's already won the Golden Globe, a SAG Award and a BAFTA Award for an on the edge performance that has already entered the pop culture lexicon. Can the Academy really deny this future mother her time in the spotlight?
The only contender who could ruin Portman's coronation is Annette Bening. A four-time nominee, "The Kids Are All Right" star has lost twice to Hilary Swank over the years and watched Portman sweep all the early contest this time around. However, Bening is considered old school Hollywood royalty and sentiment for her to finally win has been growing since the nominations were announced.
Your Winner: It's going to be very, very close, but Natalie Portman should still be honored with her first Academy Award for "Black Swan." As great as Bening is, Portman has the actors branch behind her. That should be more than enough to seal the deal.
Upset Contender: If you like to live dangerously or believe in the sentimental vote, only Annette Bening can upset Portman. And if she does, expect one roar of approval from her many friends in the Kodak Theater crowd.
We'll find out the results when the 83rd Academy Awards are announced this Sunday at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT on ABC. Visit HitFix for full coverage including red carpet galleries, a live blog of the show, best and worst, analysis, red carpet rewind and more.
Also, follow Gregory Ellwood on twitter for the last Oscar and entertainment news year round at @HitFixGregory.
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
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