(jennifer lawrence in "silver linings playbook")
We're just four days away from the first acting awards of the 2013 Oscar season, and trust me, there are more than a few people in Hollywood holding their breath this week to see who shakes out on top. In the contest for Oscar's Best Actress, this is one of those rare years in which there are no runaway favorites, so this year's race is wide-open.
Which means, as with our guesses for the Best Actor nominations a few days ago, we're just going to have to guess which ladies will get one of the five highly-coveted Oscar nods.
(keira knightley in "anna karenina")
Probably the two most obvious picks, at this point, would be Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook" and Keira Knightley for "Anna Karenina".
(helen mirren in "hitchcock")
But right on the heels of Lawrence and Knightley are a trio of previous Oscar winners, Helen Mirren for "Hitchcock", Marion Cotillard for "Rust and Bone" and Helen Hunt for "The Sessions". Could one of these three women win her second Oscar?
(naomi watts, with tom holland and samuel joslin in "the impossible")
Another likely nominee could be Oscar veteran Naomi Watts for "The Impossible". Watts has never won an Oscar, and has only been nominated once before, but she's well-respected in her factory town, and many will feel she's due for some Oscar love.
(emmanuelle riva in "amour")
Perhaps the biggest surprise nominee could be 85 year-old French actress Emmanuelle Riva for "Amour". Riva made her first movie in 1958, and from all accounts, in this film she gives an emotionally gut-wrenching performance as a woman suffering from the ravages of old age and a stroke. Don't be surprised if Oscar decides to recognize a veteran actor for her long career and distinguished body of work, not to mention this particular performance.