Who will win?
The bookies’ favourite is Cate Blanchett. Her electrifying turn as a rich woman on her uppers in Blue Jasmine has met with ecstatic reviews and the Australian undeniably exudes old-fashioned movie-star class – a mix the Academy will find extremely hard to resist.
It’s worth remembering that Best Actress is always the trickiest Oscar category to predict. Last year, Hollywood newcomer Jennifer Lawrence took home the top prize. This year, the nominees list is packed with past winners. The exception is Amy Adams, who hasn’t yet won an Oscar, but who has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress four times. If the votes rolls with David O Russell’s 1970s feelgood crime comedy American Hustle, she’d be a popular winner for her surprisingly soulful performance as a brash gangster's moll.Who else is nominated?
Movie mogul and human Oscar hoover Harvey Weinstein will be hoping that Judi Dench (who won Best Supporting Actress for Shakespeare in Love) will touch voters' hearts with her twinkly-eyed performance in Philomena, the true story of an Irish woman looking for the son she was forced to abandon as a teenager. His films have found slim pickings this year by usual standards.
Sandra Bullock (who won Best Actress for The Blind Side) is nominated for her astronaut in trouble in Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Gravity’. But there is feeling that the 3D extravaganza will be rewarded for its astonishing visual effects over its acting pyrotechnics.
Serial Oscar winner Meryl Street is up for August: Osage County, a Midwestern family drama about a clan of powerful but dysfunctional women. But the film hasn’t turned out to be the juicy-looking piece of Oscar bait some were expecting (its only other nomination is for Julia Roberts as Best Supporting Actress). That may dampen Meryl’s chances.
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