What early releases deserve recognition come January 2013?
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5. Best Supporting Actress: Louise Harris, "The Snowtown Murders"
Never heard of Louise Harris? Neither had anyone else prior to the release of this staggering true-crime drama from Australia, in which the middle-aged debut actress plays a white-trash matriarch whose negligence lends Jacki Weaver's Oscar-nominated Smurf from "Animal Kingdom" Mother of the Year status by comparison. Not that she's a villain. Harris, an unemployed single mother discovered in a supermarket by the film's casting agent, plays her with a haunting, hollow-eyed, futureless quality that invites compassion and revulsion in equal measure: it's a considered characterization, not an affecting amateur stunt. File her Oscar chances under Never Gonna Happen, but there won't be five more deserving contenders this year. --Guy Lodge