Best Actress Oscar Nominations Include One Amazing Underdog

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and as predicted, The Artist continues to be a Hollywood favorite. (Anyone want to take bets on how many studios are frantically pulling together silent-film scripts right this minute?) Hugo also raked in several nominations and is a contender for top movie, rounding out the utterly unsurprising Best Picture category.

In fact, there's only one category I'm particularly interested in this year. I guess I didn't see a ton of movies in 2011 (or what's probably more accurate is that I saw a bunch of crappy movies in 2011), because I don't really have a dog in the Best Picture/Best Actor/Best Director hunt—but I definitely have a favorite in the Best Actress category.

Even though I don't think she has a shot at winning.

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The Best Actress list is quite the diverse collection of characters this year:

Glenn Close
, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

My prediction? It's going to come down to
Meryl Streep or Viola Davis, no doubt about it. Personally, my money's on Davis—which would be awesome because if she does win, she'll be the second African American actress to score an Oscar in this category. (Halle Berry was the first for 2001's Monster Ball.)

My personal favorite, however, is 26-year-old
Rooney Mara for her amazing performance as Lisbeth Salander. She might not have the same level of Hollywood experience as the other ladies in this list, but you can't deny that she poured every bit of herself into this particular role.

I mean, let's see ... she cut off nearly all her hair, bleached her eyebrows, had each of her ears pierced four times, and
had her brow and right nipple pierced. She prepped for the part by learning to skateboard, ride a motorcycle, and kickbox; underwent dialect and computer training; and moved to Stockholm well before the movie started filming to absorb the city's culture. And that was after she got the part! During the weeks-long casting process, she was ordered to show up to an audition hungover, so they could see what she looked like "a little more strung out." So she went out and got shitfaced and spent the night barfing. COME ON, THAT'S DEDICATION.

In all seriousness, I was amazed by her energy in the film, and she nailed so many tiny details (the eye contact—or lack thereof—in particular was unnervingly on-point). I'll be shocked if she actually wins, considering her competition, but Rooney Mara definitely deserves her place among the greats this year.


Who's your pick for Best Actress?



Image via DragonTattoo.com

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