You look back at last year’s Best Actress race and you can’t quite believe that anyone really thought that Meryl Streep might not take it for The Iron Lady. Viola Davis, good as she always is, did not play anyone’s idea of a lead role in The Help, and that’s why she didn’t get there. Glenn Close‘s nomination for her work in Albert Nobbs was strictly a career-retrospective gesture and only a little bit about her performance, which was overly poised and in fact rigid. Michelle Williams was certainly good enough in My Week With Marilyn, but she never came close to being a knockout — no one thought otherwise. And Rooney Mara‘s nomination for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was strictly about rounding out the field. But there’s was so much speculative hot-air bullshit thrown around last year (as it is every year) that people were actually saying, “Hmmm, who might win?”