Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Playing a crumbling socialite, Blanchett could be the latest Woody Allen heroine to snag a nod — though none has won Best Actress since Diane Keaton for 1977’s Annie Hall.
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks, Dec. 13)
Thompson is said to be superb as the uptight creator of Mary Poppins. Plus, ”she’s well liked by the Academy,” says an Oscar expert.
Nicole Kidman (Grace of Monaco, Nov. 27)
The past winner plays a real-life princess with a tragic end — a package that could get the royal treatment from Oscar voters.
Sandra Bullock (Gravity, Oct. 4)
Winning for 2009’s The Blind Side gave Bullock Oscar bona fides. Expect another great performance as a grief-stricken medical engineer lost in space.
Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is The Warmest Color, Oct. 25)
The 19-year-old French actress was the talk of Cannes this year for her turn in a racy, controversial lesbian drama.
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County, Dec. 25)
Streep is always a possibility, especially when she’s playing the feisty matriarch in an adaptation of a Tony-winning play.