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Jane Campion, "Bright Star"
Previous nominations or wins:
Winner, Best Original Screenplay, "The Piano" (1994)
Nominee, Best Director, "The Piano" (1994)
Pros: Don't call it a comeback! Campion was in movie jail after the reviled "In the Cut," but went back to her roots and crafted her finest film since "The Piano" with "Bright Star." And Hollywood loves it when an underdog returns triumphant.
Cons: Like "A Serious Man," "Star" may have been released too early in the season to make a true dent in the season. Although we're all in favor of three women getting nominated for Best Director (Bieglow, Scherfig and Campion).
[Left, Ben Whishaw and Campion at the 2009 London Film Festival.]