10 outside-the-box considerations as the Academy votes
Performances that could use a look
Meryl Streep - 'Hope Springs'
There's a perception out there that Meryl Streep can secure an Oscar nomination simply by showing on set, so beloved is the 17-time nominee by the Academy, but that's not entirely true. Though voters can rarely resist Streep's showier, more fancily-accented feats of mimicry – as with “The Iron Lady,” which earned her a third win earlier this year – they've been known to sleep on her subtler portraits of American everywomen. That'll almost certainly be the case with her delicately shaded, achingly vulnerable turn as a mild-mannered housewife taking charge of her depleted marriage in this smarter-than-it-looks romantic dramedy. A shame, given that it's her finest work since 2002's “The Hours” – another performance, incidentally, the Academy didn't recognize. - Guy Lodge