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Oscar 2013 Winner Predictions Actress

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Oscar 2013 Winner Predictions: Actress
Oscar 2013 Winner Predictions: Actress

Unlike Anne Hathaway, who’s probably even sidestepping sidewalk cracks lest she break some old Academy member’s back, and perhaps jeopardize her inevitable Fantine-quoting speech (“Life hasn’t killed the dream I dreamed!”), Jennifer Lawrence is taking a page from Mo’Nique’s book and playing the campaign game by her own rules. With Hollywood’s hottest new franchise already cranking up her star wattage, the on-fire frontrunner has, without denying her desire for victory or tainting her “It Girl” image, shown a refreshing, and even alarming, awards-season irreverence, such as in that little SNL intro bit, or her recent howler of an interview with EW. The lack of formality may prove off-putting to some, who prefer, say, an Oscar angel like Natalie Portman, but odds are Lawrence still has this win in the bag, as further evidenced by her precursor record and the sheer influence of Silver Linings Playbook producer Harvey Weinstein.

Oscar 2013 Nomination Predictions: Actress

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Oscar 2013 Nomination Predictions: Actress
Oscar 2013 Nomination Predictions: Actress

Compared to most of the season’s races, Best Actress has remained somewhat open, with only two gals firmly secure in their nominations, and at least five more boasting realistic chances. The two locks in question are, of course, Zero Dark Thirty lead Jessica Chastain and Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence, a pair whom most believe will duke it out for the win. Coming off of one of the most impressive breakthrough years of any actor in memory, Chastain took top billing in a film that never tried to promote girl power, but nonetheless emerged as a battleground riff on any number of feminist dramas, with a can-do female fighting powers that be to see justice done. Historically, it’s the sort of performance the Academy lives to reward, right up there with the dead-on mimicry of late icons. Lawrence, meanwhile, used her turn in Silver Linings Playbook to cement her career longevity, which has been hinted at since Winter’s Bone, the last film to land her a nod in this category. Far from a flash in the pan, Lawrence has that rare gift of deeply understanding the women she portrays, and her bone-deep grasp of unhinged widow Tiffany is the highlight of David O. Russell’s flawed dramedy.

Oscar Prospects: Anna Karenina

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Oscar Prospects: Anna Karenina
Oscar Prospects: Anna Karenina

Any major-race hopes that Focus Features may have had for Anna Karenina were basically dashed this week, as the film failed to place in any top categories for the SAG, Critics’ Choice, or Golden Globe Awards. The virtual shutout is a particularly nasty blow for Keira Knightley, who began the season as a formidable Best Actress contender, only to fall behind amid the rush of love for competitors like Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Emanuelle Riva, and Naomi Watts. It’s a good thing Knightley is reportedly breaking away from her comfort zone of period romance. As fetching as the British beanpole looks in a tight corset, and as fine as she is in her third—and arguably best—collaboration with director Joe Wright, viewers of all walks seem slightly fatigued of her penchant for acting in age-old regalia. She couldn’t even drum up love for her work in 2011’s A Dangerous Method, which showed off the actress at her fierce, feral best, but, again, in ruffles and lace. With only a Satellite nod for her turn as Leo Tolstoy’s ill-fated antiheroine, Knightley needn’t fret too much about what to wear to the Oscars.