Not to long ago, before people actually saw the films in competition, it was thought that Rob Marshall's Nine would be a violent threat in this category with many big names and past award winners filing up this supporting actress category.
But as the movies have come out and buzz has shifted this way and that, there seems to be pre-award consensus that the race is down to Mo'nique (Precious), Julianne Moore (A Single Man), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), and Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air).
While the only person that seems 100% guaranteed the nomination (and probably the win) is Mo'Nique, but the other 3 seems likely, although Julianne Moore seems shaky to me as well.
Previously it has been assumed that Penelope Cruz would be at least the Nine nominee who was a lock in this category with Marion Cotillard in the lead category. Now, I think we could still see either of these women in this category, but there nomination seems less likely all the time.
So, that fifth spot seems open for either one of the female characters in Inglourious Basterds (Melanie Laurent or Diane Kruger) or to Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart. There has also long been a thought that Samantha Morton's role in The Messenger could be a contender.
So with all that talk, I thought I would present my predictions for Oscar Nomination Morning.
I Would Bet The Nominees are...
Anna Kendrick, Up in The Air
Melanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds
Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire
Julianne Moore, A Single Man
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Trade Out These Surprises...
Marion Cottilard, Nine
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Maggie Gyleenhaal, Crazy Heart
Diane Kruger, Inglorious Basterds
Samantha Morton, The Messenger
My Fifth spot prediction: You notice my inclusion of Melanie Laurent (pictured above). I think that the steam for Quinton Tarentino's film has only been building through precursor season and the SAG ensemble win goes to enforce, this is not just Christoph Waltz' film. I image the nomination numbers will be high for Inglourious, an Laurent not only pads the numbers but gives a nomination to what is really a very good and memorable performance.