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Best Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild 
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible 

Analysis
January 2013

Much like its male counterpart, the slate has essentially been whittled down to about seven or so contenders. Both Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain lead the category, trading wins on the critics’ circuit. Similarly, Marion Cotillard is in the thick of the conversation with her impeccable work in Rust and Bone. Has Sony Pictures Classics not juggled her performance along with Emmanuelle Riva’s work in Amour, I would have pegged her as a potential winner. At this point though, the two French actresses may very well secure their nominations, but I’m hard-pressed to believe that either will take the win.

As for the final spot, the deafening accolades tossed at Naomi Watts from her colleagues give me the impression that she’s in. Both Riva and Watts are in tough spots, the former trying to resonate after failing to nab a SAG nod while the latter contending with a film that has been performing weakly.

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