Last year at this time, I felt confident enough to say that Helen Mirren would at least get an academy award nomination for The Queen, and I began to question whether or not she'd be able to win.
Last year at this time, I also identified 12 actresses who could fill the other 4 spots. Penelope Cruz, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, & Meryl Streep were on that list and did go onto receive Academy award nominations.
This year, I don't even feel confident enough to suggest there is a gaurenteed shoe-in Actress nominee like Mirren was at this point last year.
Yet, in a little over two months the Golden Globes and the National Board of Review are going to start naming the best of the year, and you've got to wonder who will they name in this catagory.
It's not even as though the catagories neccesarily weak like it is some years, but rather the names on the short list are big names, many with previous wins and nominations, many of which are in films that haven't come out yet.
Many rallying around Keira Knightley in Atonement, but at this stage in the game Atonement is the in film when it comes to Oscar predictions, but in a cast heavy picture like Atonement, it's hard to tell who people are really going to pay attention to.
Of the following 15 leading ladies which ones will receive academy award recognition this year?
Julie Christie (Away from Her)
Jodie Foster (The Brave One)
Cate Blanchett (The Golden Age)
Nicole Kidman (Margot at the Wedding)
Halle Berry (Things We Lost in the Fire)
Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart)
Jennifer Connelly (Reservation Road)
Meryl Streep (Lions for Lambs)
Reese Witherspoon (Rendition)
Keira Knightley (Atonement)
Laura Linney (The Savages)
Naomi Watts (Eastern Promises)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)
Kari Russell (Waitress)
(From the looks of this list, you'd think that Actresses needed to win an Oscar to even be considered this year?)