The Best Actress locks are Black Swan‘s Natalie Portman, Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right (no Julianne Moore unless Focus takes Scott Feinberg‘s advice and pushes Bening and Moore together) and Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone. There are three prime contenders for the two remaining slots — Anne Hathaway for Love and Other Drugs , Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine and Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole (a.k.a. The Griefersons).

No offense, but the guys who posted this Movieline Best Actress chart on 10.20 didn’t quite understand all the ramifications and considerations that I’ve pointed out in today’s piece.

Lesley Manville needs to play it smart and go for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Another Year — she’ s a near-cinch to win if she does this. Sally HawkinsMade in Dagenham performance doesn’t match the quality of her work in Happy Go Lucky — let’s face it. When Naomi Watts (portraying Valerie Plame) is outed as a CIA agent in Fair Game, she goes into a strange gopher hole of denial that doesn’t feel all that compelling or admirable. And whatever fervor may have existed for Diane Lane‘s Secretariat performance has gone away due to ebbing box-office, I’m afraid.