Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Comedies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Comedies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More

Could Bill Murray & Keira Knightley Be Oscar Winners? We Prematurely Predict Best Actor & Actress At The 2013 Academy Awards

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist March 2, 2012 at 11:58AM

At the Academy Awards, Best Picture might be the big prize, but the ones that both the winners and the audience have the most emotional connection to tend to be the acting prizes. Seeing a beloved star, or a fresh-faced newcomer, finally pick up a statue more often than not ends up leading the mainstream media coverage; it's always more moving than some producer's acceptance speech.
86


Best Actress

Strong Contenders

Anna Karenina Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley - "Anna Karenina"
While we we're still not quiet certain of the Oscar chances for the experimental "Anna Karenina" (which is not to slight the film), the title role is a doozy no matter how much Joe Wright plays with form, and he's already gotten Keira Knightley one Oscar nomination for "Pride & Prejudice." The actress hasn't got the nod since, but she gets stronger and stronger each time around, and the film's her best showcase in years. In what's looking like a thin year in this category at this point, she might even be the front-runner, unless critics wildly take against the film.  

Viola Davis - "Won't Back Down"
Widely expected to win this past weekend for "The Help," Viola Davis lost out to Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady" in the end. But fortunately, she has another film in the pipeline, albeit one not on many radars yet: Walden Media's inspirational drama "Won't Back Down." Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal play parents who help take over the kids' failing schools. It seems like the kind of "Blind Side"-ish tale that could connect with voters, and Davis losing out this year may help her out next time around. On the down side, it's written and directed by "Beastly" helmer Daniel Barnz, but then, Tate Taylor didn't exactly hurt "The Help" much.

Hyde Park On Hudson Bill Murray Laura Linney
Laura Linney - "Hyde Park On Hudson"
While all the headlines on "Hyde Park On Hudson" lead with Bill Murray playing FDR, Roger Michell's film isn't exactly lacking in acting talent elsewhere. The film centers on Roosevelt's rumored extramarital relationship with his distant cousin, Margaret Stuckley, and it's three-time nominee Laura Linney who has that role, opposite Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt. Linney's never won, and the film seems to display the kind of tragic, thwarted love that always plays well, but it's conceivable that she could end up going supporting, although our money's on lead for now.

Helen Hunt - "The Surrogate"
Helen Hunt is arguably the Best Actress winner of the last few decades who's had the most disappointing post-Oscar career (on second thoughts, Halle Berry might beat her to that one...) Choices like "Pay It Forward" failed to keep her on the A-list, and she's been barely seen on the big screen in the last few years. But Sundance reviews of "The Surrogate" suggested that Hunt, who plays the forward-thinking sex therapist of the title, might well be heading back to the Oscar stage this year. As with co-star John Hawkes, the frank, explicit material could hurt her more than help her, but that's arguably less of a deal-breaker for an actress than for an actor (see: Berry in "Monster's Ball")...

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Oscars, The Amazing Race, Bill Murray, Daniel Day-Lewis, Clint Eastwood, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Hawkes, Viola Davis, Keira Knightley, Laura Linney, Helen Hunt, Sandra Bullock


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates