Best Actress 2013: Potential nominees from Keira Knightley to Quvenzhané Wallis
It's an annual (if not always accurate) complaint: the Best Actress category is so much weaker than its male counterpart. Even when that does seem to be the case, however, that statement doesn't paint the full picture. Every year, there's an abundance of rich, challenging female lead performances to be found -- just not always in the kind of film Academy members are generally willing to consider. Blame them to some extent, but also blame Hollywood for ensuring that so many gifted actresses have to look to the indie and arthouse fringes for opportunities to shine.
Earlier this year, pundits suggested that the Best Actress field was looking even thinner than usual. As we crawl closer to awards season, picking up festival discoveries and critical favorites along the way, it's looking increasingly competitive -- with only one name, I'd venture, assured a spot on the ballot. Thanks to the trend described in the above paragraph, it's a varied an unusual field, with frontrunners ranging from a red-hot Hollywood ingenue to an 8-year-old amateur to not one, but two, marvelous French-language Cannes sensations. Check out the gallery below as we weigh up their individual pros and cons. You can also keep up with the ups and downs of this race at In Contention's Best Actress Contenders page.
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
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