With the Hollywood Foreign Press and the Screen Actor Guild already pulling back the curtain on this year’s group of nominees, it will soon be time for the Academy of Arts & Sciences to do the same. This six part series will look at each of the main categories and break down the frontrunners and dark horses of this Oscar season.
Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech”)
Carter has one nomination under her belt already for 1997’s “The Wings of the Dove,” and seems to be a lock for another one here. “Speech” is the heavy favorite going into this season and all three principals will reap the benefits.
Amy Adams & Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”)
A two time nominee, Adams has been down the awards circuit before for her roles in “Junebug” & “Doubt,” while Leo is coming off her first nod for 2009’s “Frozen River.” Both are now once again generating buzz in “The Fighter,” but Leo is being given the slight edge. It also can’t hurt Leo that in 2010 she’s been in three high-profile dramas and turned in an amazing performance in HBO’s “Treme.”
Mila Kunis & Barbara Hershey (“Black Swan”)
“Black Swan” is another movie featuring a pair of talented actresses that could soon find themselves competing against each other. At the moment Kunis is the favorite because of her higher profile, but Hershey is a decorated veteran and that is one aspect the Academy always seems to take into account.
Dianne Weist (“Rabbit Hole”)
As with Hershey, Weist is a talented well-known actress, but Weist already has two statues which automatically puts her ahead of the pack. The only thing going against her is that “Rabbit Hole,” a drama about grieving parents, isn’t garnering the same big ticket nominations as “Black Swan.” Furthermore the studio will probably be more apt to push Aaron Eckhart and Nicole Kidman who play the leads.
Haliee Stienfeld (“True Grit”)
Going all the ways back to Tatum O’Neal in “Paper Moon,” the Oscars have been nothing but kind to young actresses looking to make a name in Hollywood. Depending on the reaction the film itself gets, Steinfeld could soon find herself in the company of Anna Paquin, Abigail Breslin and most recently Gabourey Sibide.
The Dark Horses:
Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kindom”)
Another popular trend with the Academy is nominating at least one person nobody stateside has ever heard about. Meet Jacki Weaver, an Australian actress, who already has snagged a Golden Globe nomination and could be in line for more.
Kimberly Elise, Thandie Newton & Phylicia Rashad (“For Colored Girls”)
When it was first released, Tyler Perry’s drama with an incredibly talented African-American cast, was seen as a strong contender, but then both the movie and its award hopes stalled. Shut out of the races so far, it doesn’t look very likely it will make a big splash at the Oscars, but the above actresses are being discussed as its best shot.