Overall, this awards season is still pretty much chaos — except for the best actress race.
Not that there’s a clear frontrunner, but at least it’s getting easier to predict who’s in the hunt.
Over the past week Michelle Williams has picked up a huge amount of mojo for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in “My Life with Marilyn.” It premiered to such rave reviews at the New York Film Festival that its opening was actually pushed back to Thanksgiving weekend, right in the middle of the holiday fray, giving it plenty of time to be seen but not enough time to be forgotten.
This would be Williams’ third nomination. But she’ll likely be going up against a strong slate of other past nominees and winners.
Glenn Close has five previous nominations with no wins, but her cross-dressing performance in “Albert Nobbs” may be her strongest bid yet, an understated tour de force.
Also considered a near-sure nominee (even though no one’s seen the film) is Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.” With a record 16 nominations and two wins (one lead, one supporting) Streep is pretty much Mrs. Oscar.
Tilda Swinton, who won best supporting actress for “Michael Clayton” in 2008, is likely to be in this year’s mix as well for the controversial “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
And since Viola Davis has already had one nomination, and because “The Help” was such a success, and also because she’s so darn good, she may well fill out the category.
Other contenders? Well, Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” stars Oscar darlings Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet, neither of whom can ever be counted out. Kirsten Dunst is supposed to be great in “Melancholia,” but director Lars Von Trier has pretty much alienated the entire world with his weird comments in interviews. And Oscar winner Charlize Theron looks undeniably showy in “Young Adult.”
Beyond that, the role of the year is probably Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” but Rooney Mara remains a mystery until the film comes out. If she nails it, though, all bets may be off.