Sandra Bullock "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
Jessica Chastain "The Help"
Vanessa Redgrave "Coriolanus"
Octavia Spencer "The Help"
Shailene Woodley "The Descendants"
Commentary - This category, unlike its Best Supporting Actor counterpart, has a lot of contenders, but they have either not been seen, or if they have, we're not sure what the Academy will think. There is one thing I do know: someone from The Help could easily get in, and if I were betting my money it would be on Octavia Spencer, who is hilarious and emotional, and a true scene stealer in a huge ensemble piece. Viola Davis could also get in depending on where they put her, right now I personally have her in the Lead category. I also think Jessica Chastain has a great shot, considering how many awesome performances she has had, The Help being her most dynamic, and the most popular, although she is definitely not a secure as Spencer. Vanessa Redgrave is apparently great in Coriolanus, and her legendary status could help her a lot. But to be honest the film is getting so-so reviews, and may not have the muscle to sustain through the long season. Shailene Woodley is awful on the Secret Life of the American Teenager, so I was pleasantly shocked when I read that she is simply fantastic in Alexander Payne's latest, The Descendants. Younger actresses have done better in this category compared to lead, and if this film is as well-liked by the Academy as I think it will be, then she could be the season's breakout star. Finally I am going into the unknown, with the pick of Sandra Bullock. Stephen Daldry's films are well liked, and if there is still good will from her Blind Side win, I could see her getting in.