Will Win: Amy Adams – Charlene Fleming in “The Fighter”
Probably best known for her role as an out-of-place princess in Disney’s “Enchanted,” Adams amazed critics with her performance as the spunky yet tender Charlene. The actress proved that she won’t be typecast as the naïve damsel-in-distress, and her performance is proof of her vastly-underrated acting abilities. Her role as Fleming has already earned her nominations for a Golden Globe, SAG Award and a BAFTA Award.
Should Win: Helena Bonham Carter – Elizabeth, Duchess of York/Queen Elizabeth in “The King’s Speech”
While “The King’s Speech” has earned great critical appraise in both the United States and Great Britain, U.S. critics appear to have overlooked Bonham Carter’s masterful portrayal of Queen Elizabeth. The refreshingly non-creepy role did earn the actress a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Supporting Role, but her performance has by and large been overshadowed by Amy Adams.
Dark Horse: Hailee Steinfeld – Mattie Ross in “True Grit”
At only 14 years old, the previously unknown actress blew away audiences and critics alike with her incredible performance as the tough-as-nails yet ultimately naïve Mattie. While Steinfeld has earned a great deal of praise from audiences for the role, most critics seem to have overlooked her performance in favor of her co-stars, which will probably prove to be a severe handicap on Feb. 27.