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Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Pro: Viola Davis may have carried the dramatic load in the summer blockbuster, but veteran Hollywood actress Octavia Spencer entertained and charmed audiences across the country as "I'm not gonna take it anymore" maid Minny Jackson. Like Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids" to some extent, the role was so popular its taken her career to a level she could have only dreamed of. And the film's focus on the inequities of Southern segregation in the '60s doesn't hurt either.
Con: The question isn't whether she'll be nominated, she's likely a lock at this point. The question is whether she can win. If DreamWorks can muster up enough support for "The Help," she could pull it out.