Sandra Bullock "Gravity"
Viola Davis "Won't Back Down"
Helen Hunt "The Surrogate"
Kiera Knightley "Anna Karenina"
Laura Linney "Hyde Park on the Hudson"
Other Contenders - Carey Mulligan "The Great Gatsby", Julianne Moore "What Maisie Knew", Kristen Wiig "Imogen", Amy Adams "Trouble With the Curve", Meryl Streep "Great Hope Springs", Nicole Kidman "My Wild Life", Helen Mirren "The Door", Virginia Madsen "The Magic of Belle Isle", Marion Cotillard "Lowlife", Rachel McAdams "Untitled Terrence Malick Project", Uma Thurman "Savages", Quvenzhane Wallis "Beasts of the Southern Wild", Penelope Cruz "Into the World", Dakota Fanning "Effie", Abbie Cornish "The Girl", Elizabeth Olsen "Liberal Arts", Diane Keaton "Darling Companion", Gwyneth Paltrow "Thanks for Sharing", Judi Dench "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", Melanie Lynskey "Hello I Must Be Going", Judy Davis "The Eye of the Storm"
Commentary - It is interesting that in almost all of the early predictions I have glanced over, that there already seems to be a consensus growing around several names. First and foremost are the two leads of The Surrogate are garnering a lot of post-Sundance buzz, and apparently, Oscar winner Helen Hunt is surely going to be a force in this year's race. The rest of the names have not been seen, but have a lot of buzz. Viola Davis may be back if Never Back Down isn't too pedestrian, and although Meryl has another film in the race, she could pull a Colin Firth and win the next year. Sandra Bullock could be back in the race, as she is apparently in every scene, and playing aginst type in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity. Kiera Knightly could also return to the race, pairing up again with Joe Wright for Anna Karenina. Finally, while I think Meryl, Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, Kristen Wiig and others are hot on the tails, that Laura Linney will return as well, with her role as Margaret Suckley in Hyde Park on the Hudson. She is great in everything she does, and the film looks to be a big factor in the race overall.