Last update: 9/22
1. Natalie Portman, Black Swan (prev: 1)
A previous nominee in the supporting category for Closer, Portman’s performance has received raves out of both Toronto and Venice with many critics already calling her a lock for the win. As long voters aren’t too turned off by the sexual and physical intensity of the film, she’s in.
2. Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right (prev: 3)
The film is an official arthouse hit, with Bening receiving career-best reviews. With both Bening and co-star Julianne Moore competing in the Best Actress category they could easily split votes. Even if that happens I expect Bening with still be nominated and could very well win.
3. Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole (prev: 9)
It appears that Kidman has finally found her comeback vehicle; critics and audiences loved it when it premiered in Toronto, and it gives Kidman the kind of meaty, dramatic role that Oscar loves.
4. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone (prev: 6)
Each year needs a newcomer, and Lawrence is 2010’s brightest new star. Her performance is still in the minds of voters, and as long it stays that way (winning some critics awards would definitely help) she should break the top 5.
5. Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs (prev: 5)
Early word is that Hathaway is a surefire Oscar nominee for her work on this Edward Zwick film, and she is an actress loved both by Hollywood and the general public. Her nomination for “Rachel Getting Married” means she’s already on Oscar’s radar, something that is in and of itself a feat.
6. Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right (prev: 7)
7. Lesley Manville, Another Year (prev: 8 )
8. Sally Hawkins, Made in Dagenham (prev: 22)
9. Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine (prev: 4)
10. Carey Mulligan, Never Let Me Go (prev: 15)
11. Naomi Watts, Fair Game (prev: 10)
12. Diane Lane, Secretariat (prev: 14)
13. Tilda Swinton, I Am Love (prev: 18)
14. Gwyneth Paltrow, Country Song (NEW)
15. Hilary Swank, Conviction (prev: 21)
16. Emma Stone, Easy A (NEW)
17. Maria Bello, Beautiful Boy (NEW)
18. Kirsten Dunst, All Good Things (NEW)
19. Hiam Abbass, Miral (prev: 13)
20. Rachel Weisz, The Whistleblower (prev: 20)
21. Helen Mirren, Brighton Rock (NEW)
22. Angelina Jolie, The Tourist (NEW)
23. Reese Witherspoon, How Do You Know? (prev: 23)
24. Helen Mirren, The Tempest (prev: 12)
25. Helen Mirren, The Debt (NEW)
Robin Wright, The Conspirator (prev: 2) – moved to 2011
Keira Knightley, London Boulevard (prev: 11) – moved to 2011
Jennifer Connelly, What’s Wrong With Virginia? (prev: 16) – moved to 2011
Hailee Stienfeld, True Grit (prev: 17) – moved to supporting
Frieda Pinto, Miral (prev: 19)
Gemma Arterton, Tamara Drewe (prev: 24)
Elizabeth Banks, The Next Three Days (prev: 25)