October 29, 2008 at 09:02 PM EDT

It seems like every year around this time we start talking about Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett’s chances at an Academy Award. In fact, the pair have been nominated for 10 Oscars combined in the last dozen years. This season is no exception: Winslet has two December releases (Revolutionary Road and The Reader), while Blanchett is the lead female in the eagerly-awaited The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. But this year there’s a third Kate in the picture: Kate Beckinsale, who plays an ambitious newspaper reporter in next month’s indie Nothing But the Truth. It’s a strong, non-glamorous performance, complete with tough prison scenes (her character goes to jail when she won’t reveal one of her sources), and it’s directed by Rod Lurie, who guided Joan Allen to a Best Actress nod for The Contender.

So at this point, there’s a chance, though slight, that three nominees in the same category (Best Actress) will have the same first name. It’s happened only once before, when Fatal Attraction‘s Anne Archer, Throw Momma from the Train‘s Anne Ramsey, and The Whales of August‘s Ann Sothern all received Best Supporting Actress nods in 1988. Unfortunately, the prize ended up going to one of the two non-Annes: Moonstruck‘s Olympia Dukakis. Can a triple-team of Kates gang up and topple Queen Meryl come next February?

addCredit(“Winslet: François Duhamel; Blanchett: Merrick Morton”)

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