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The Awards Forecast: Best Actress

Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

The past year was an absolutely incredible year for women in cinema. These five ladies represent some of the finest talent Hollywood has to offer, which is why it’s surprising that one actress has remained a frontrunner since her film bowed early last summer.

Cate Blanchett plays an unstable socialite in “Blue Jasmine,” the Woody Allen directed summer flick that proved to be a star-vehicle for its leading lady. Blanchett has been receiving rave reviews that have stuck with Academy members since the film premiered, and she is currently sweeping every show that serves as a predecessor to the Oscars.

Blanchett delivers a meticulously neurotic performance that is certainly worthy of praise, but that is not to say the other women she is nominated with do not deserve equal accolades.

Streep and Dench, in “August: Osage County” and “Philomena,” respectively, once again prove what power-house performances they both are.

Streep plays sizzling matriarch while Dench portrays a more subdued, heartbreaking woman in search of her long lost son.

Then there is Adams, who drives “American Hustle” with her stunning turn as the film’s leading lady. Finally being nominated in the Lead Actress category, Adams proves she can hold her own as a leading lady. She was mesmerizing and completely committed to becoming her character.

Bullock, too, brought her A-game in “Gravity,” where she spent most of the film alone on screen. She served at this space odyssey’s core and reminded audience members that we all get a little lost sometimes. She was human, raw and connected.

With the award season continuing the way it has, it will be no surprise when Blanchett’s name is read on Oscar night. And it’s not that she doesn’t deserve it, but perhaps just that the competition is entirely too impressive to have a clear frontrunner.

Who WILL Win: Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”

Who SHOULD Win: Amy Adams, “American Hustle”

Honorable Mention: Judi Dench, “Philomena,” for providing one of the most moving and heart wrenching performances in recent years.


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