What early releases deserve recognition come January 2013?
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3. Best Actress: Rachel Weisz, "The Deep Blue Sea"
Confession time: Even when she was taking down award after award for "The Constant Gardener," I never quite got Rachel Weisz, a talented, impossibly lovely actress who nonetheless seemed to be holding out on her audience, never feeling (or provoking feeling) as deeply as she might. That is, until last year, when this meeting of two very British Terences, Davies and Rattigan, revealed the steel and the sex behind her English-rose reserve. As a strayed housewife rejected by husband and lover alike, Weisz's remarkable performance gives this somewhat glass-hearted film its emotional vigor: it's career-crowning work that would be an Oscar frontrunner had a more muscled distributor bought the film at Toronto. --Guy Lodge