The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced its nominations for the 2013 Oscars celebrating 2012 in film.
The nominees for Best Actress are:
- Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
- Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
- Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
- Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Naomi Watts, The Impossible
This is another two-horse race with a potential spoiler. The leading contenders are Chastain and Wallis, while Lawrence has a chance to steal the victory. Jessica Chastain has a number of things working in her favor. She was the breakout star of 2011, and last year's Zero Dark Thirty handed her a thank-you role on a silver platter, Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to The Hurt Locker about the successful hunt for Osama bin Laden. Since it's unlikely that Bigelow will win Best Picture again, it's Chastain who benefits from the recognition the Academy is still likely to award Zero. There's also the latest child sensation Quvenzhane Wallis, a big part of the reason Beasts of the Southern Wild has proven so irresistibly enticing. The fact that she's the youngest ever nominee only serves to underscore the talent she represents. Jennifer Lawrence, meanwhile, has a chance to benefit from the Academy's continuing love affair with actresses who have proven to be popular favorites and decided to star in more serious material. Moreso than Silver Linings Playbook costar Bradley Cooper, she has a real shot at walking away with a trophy.
The Oscars will be handed out on February 24.