It’s the most wonderful time of the year—when we movie lovers try to second-guess the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. buy cheap DVDs Step one: Guess who’ll get nominated in the acting categories (announced Wednesday, Jan. 25). I will do you one better and point you in the direction of other films demonstrating how riveting these could-be-nominated performers are. BEST ACTRESS Viola Davis is probably a shoo-in for a nomination for her exquisite performance in The Help as a maid in the 1960s South. Without A Trace Seasons 1-7 DVD Boxset She was previously nominated (in the supporting category) for an equally lovely turn in Doubt. Also worth a look is her work in another parable of bigotry, Far from Heaven. If Meryl Streep is onscreen, she’s probably a contender, Desperate Housewives The Seasons 1-8 DVD Box Set as she is for her spot-on embodiment of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Check out two of her previous nominated performances—also, coincidentally, for impersonations—in Julie & Julia, in which she joyously portrays Julia Child, and in The Devil Wears Prada, a thinly disguised take on Anna Wintour. Michelle Williams put on a famous face this year, too, in an acclaimed performance as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn. See her in a very different light as a tough pioneer traveler in Meek’s Cutoff, and as an unhappy wife in Blue Valentine. Tilda Swinton brings the chilly again as a distant mother in We Need to Talk About Kevin. She won Best Supporting Actress for a similarly icy character in Michael Clayton; it’s an abundance of emotion that gets her into trouble in I Am Love. Finally, Kirsten Dunst may be looking at her first Oscar nod for Melancholia, but she’s no stranger to awards-baiting flicks. She played the young monarch in Marie Antoinette and a Golden Age starlet in The Cat’s Meow. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Though comedy doesn’t tend to attract nominations in the lead categories, it can sometimes bubble through in the supporting arena, as with Octavia Spencer. Her turn in The Help is more dramatic than most of her past work, like small but memorable appearances in The Soloist and Drag Me to Hell. Breakout 2011 star Jessica Chastain might be nominated for her own highly amusing spin through The Help, or for much more serious performances in The Debt. Or The Tree of Life. Or Take Shelter (all except the latter already on DVD). If Janet McTeer is nominated, it will be for an Oscar-traditional dramatic role in Albert Nobbs—though one with a funky twist, like her other Oscar-nominated performance in Tumbleweeds as an oddball mom.
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