With many of the major critics' groups nominees and winners landing, and with a Best Actress Oscar race that's virtually locked-and-loaded at this point, there is little hope for any of the year's fine yet overlooked female to squeeze in.
But the following eight actresses -- which you can see in films now available to stream -- deserve kudos even if their films were relegated to the festival circuit or played too early in the year to be remembered now. Clips after the jump.
And check out Anne Thompson's feature on eight other best actress underdogs who deserve awards attention.
Emma Watson, "The Bling Ring" (Amazon, iTunes)
Best Supporting Actress
While Ms. Watson freed herself from the shackles of Hogwarts last year in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," she rules the screen as coquettish teen queen Nicki Moore in Sofia Coppola's underrated "The Bling Ring" -- which you'll see high on my top 10 very soon. All valley girl bemusement and waspy entitlement, Watson steals every scene she's in as a flippant fame-mongerer who becomes the center of the Hollywood Hills burglary scandal covered closely by Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales. Droll delivery of lines like "I wanna rob" should secure her status as an inimitable icon in what will likely go down as a cult movie. Nicki Moore forever.
Olga Kurylenko, "To the Wonder" (Netflix)
Ukrainian actress Olga Kurylenko's performance in Terrence Malick's unsung "To the Wonder" is a thing of gossamer -- and like this unfairly spat-upon film, otherworldly -- beauty. Malick's lollygagging lens focuses most of its time on Kurylenko's haunted Marina, a divorced emigre living in Paris who's swept up by a dapper American (Ben Affleck) who brings her back to America and to the desolate plains of a small Oklahoma town. As her quixotic idea of love fizzles and their relationship disintegrates, so does Marina, tumbling into random acts of deceit and betrayal. The graceful Kurylenko becomes the heart of this problematic movie, and is way too good for all that twirling she is asked to do.
Onata Aprile, "What Maisie Knew" (Netflix)
Millennium should have pushed this season for seven-year-old Onata Aprile's miraculous performance as Maisie in the summer release "What Maisie Knew." Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel's modern-day Henry James adaptation is shot almost entirely from her POV as she tries to make sense of the mixed-up world of selfish adults around her. Caught in the eye of a marital storm between Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan, Aprile conveys sweet, untouched innocence but also a wise sense of knowing.
Suzanne Clement, "Laurence Anyways" (iTunes)
Best Supporting Actress
In Canadian director Xavier Dolan's "Laurence Anyways," Suzanne Clement -- who won an Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes 2012 -- anchors the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype in a constant state of believable emotional flitter as a larger-than-life personality whose lover slips out of her grasp and into transsexuality. Her frizzy, fire-engine red hair only adds to the chaos as she tumbles through meltdown after meltdown. And while she is mostly a supporting player to Melvil Poupaud's devastating, handsome Laurence, the almost insufferably talented young Dolan's camera falls in love with Clement above all, as magnetized by her screen presence as we are.