Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
While many of the teenyboppers will recognize Jennifer Lawrence for her role in The Hunger Games, more mature audiences will appreciate her efforts in David O. Russell's mental disorder comedy Silver Linings Playbook. Lawrence out-shined her co-star Bradley Cooper and left her mark as the most outstanding aspect of the Best Picture contender. Her performance was so strong that I see her as a legitimate leader in the Best Actress race if it were to end right now. But with most of her competition coming from films that have yet to be screened, it's still too early to call.
Other Major Contenders: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Other Possibilities: Helen Mirren (Hitchcock), Naomi Watts (The Impossible), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone)