Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour"
Quvenzhané Wallis in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts in "The Impossible"
The Best Actress race is going to be another clincher. From the start of award season it has been seen as a matchup between Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence. But now all of a sudden, Emmanuelle Riva's name is popping up, who could be the spoiler of the night. At 87 years old, she is the oldest nominee ever in this category. While Wallis is the youngest ever nominee for this category at age 9. If nothing else, this race has broken two records already and no one has one anything yet.
Right now, the favorite is Jennifer Lawrence, who is just coming off a Screen Actor's Guilt win. But this is never a sure thing since last year Viola Davis won the SAG last year only to lose to Oscar's queen Meryl Streep. Lawrence is only 22 years old and this is her second nomination. The Academy could decide to 'Kate Winslet' her and make her wait it out a few more nominations before letting her win. She's still young, and Oscar voters love to make Best Actress nominees sweat it out a little before giving them the award.
I am going to place a bet just for argument's sake on Jessica Chastain winning the award. She's 35 and Zero Dark Thirty is being shut out of everything because of controversy. In terms of a movie career, she's more less in the middle of it. Just give it to her while her red hair is still natural. She could be peaking, no one knows. Regardless, this will be a fun race and there is always an outside chance that a wild card could sneak in and take Oscar gold.