By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 25, 2010 at 9:59AM
This year's Best Actress race is one of the most competitive in years. With no clear front runner and a number of fantastic performances throughout the year, this one remains the biggest wildcard on the ballot and the field will be bracing themselves as another strong competitor enters the fold.
Deadline reports that Halle Berry, who won in 2001 for "Monster's Ball," will find her latest indie drama, "Frankie & Alice" given a qualifying run by Freestyle Releasing in New York and Los Angeles starting on December 17th. Starring Berry, Stellan Skarsgaard, Chandra Wilson and Phylicia Rashad, the 1970s set drama, centers on a young woman with a personality disorder (Berry) who struggles to contain her racist alter-ego. The film was directed by Geoffrey Sax ("White Noise") and features five credited screenwriters with the biggest previously credited film among them being "Save The Last Dance."
But that being said, with 10,000 DVD screeners set to go out to Academy members, critics groups and anyone with a voice with the Oscar season, clearly the filmmakers believe Berry's performance has got what it takes. Moreover, Tom Ortenberg’s One Way Out Media, who helped drive the campaign for Berry for "Monster's Ball," will be consulting this time around as well.
The film will drop into theaters the same day as "Rabbit Hole," starring what is easily Berry's biggest competition for the statue, Nicole Kidman. However, anything can happen in the next few months and the field is huge with Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone"), Annette Bening ("The Kids Are All Right"), Tilda Swinton ("I Am Love"), Julianne Moore ("The Kids Are All Right"), Diane Lane ("Secretariat"), Hilary Swank ("Conviction"), Sally Hawkins ("Made In Dagenham"), Noomi Rapace ("The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"), Anne Hathaway ("Love & Other Drugs"), Natalie Portman ("Black Swan"), Lesley Manville ("Another Year") and Michelle Williams ("Blue Valentine") all battling for one of the five slots.
But for those of us not in the NY/LA area, the film will hit theaters on February 4, 2011, hoping for a boost when the nominations are announced at the end of January.