In her role as Tea Leoni’s mother in James L. Brooks’ Spanglish (Columbia, 12.17), Cloris Leachman has all the great hilarious-obnoxious lines, I’m hearing, and generally knocks it out of the park. “She has all the classic Brooks lines…lines that turn in on themselves,” this guy is saying. “You know, like ‘sometimes having low self-esteem just shows good sense’?” I guess this means Leachman could be one of the five Best Supporting Actress contenders, as mothers with sharp tongues always seem to strike a special chord with people. And to think…Jane Fonda wanted this role for her big comeback vehicle, and she auditioned for it, but Brooks felt she wasn’t right for it. And now Leachman has nailed her best role since The Last Picture Show.