Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Mirren – Hitchcock
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts – The Impossible
Rachel Weisz – The Deep Blue Sea
But I agree it is not the sort of performance that usually gets in. But it is more fun for me to imagine we get ANYTHING but the SAG nominees, that's for sure.
Just my dream:
And the last name I'd to see a big surprise. Someone like Michelle Williams, Mary Elisabeth Winstead, Keira Knightley, Emayatzi Corinealdi, Linda Cardellini, Jennifer Garner... (add the name you like, but not Riva , Mirren or Watts)
Also, what the hell could be more depressing than Away From Her and Julie Christie nearly won an Oscar for that, and in my opinion that was a very un-Oscary movie and Christie was unsympathetic in it, to me anyways. But her "plight" and "situation" in the movie was sympathetic of course, as is Riva's. If Christie could get in a cold movie about Alzheimer, I think Riva could make it too.
I mean, was anyone predicting Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart? Honestly. I'm not predicting Rachel Weisz right now, but I wouldn't be shocked if she got it since she at least won NYFCC and showed up at the Golden Globes. Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason for predicting someone other than it being a gut prediction and there's nothing wrong with that. There's no need for long winded analysis for every single choice/prediction made.
I can just see this year being one where no one realizes they like an out there performance becuase it isn't getting talked about and then it just gets in.
But yes, it really helps if, like Maggie G., you're already in a movie that all of AMPAS has to see anyway so they'll get a good look at you. Marcia Gay Harden was a good example - the film was being talked about as the cool alternative choice, and Ed Harris in particular was talked about, and of course she missed Golden Globes and SAG but it was SUCH an Oscarbaity performances and of course their fave role in the category is supportive wife, plus she really was a lead, so that was a perfect storm for her happening. James Coburn too - everyone saw Afflcition because of Nick Nolte, and if you saw it, you couldn't help but see that Coburn did amazing work even if the precursors failed to. How funny how both Gay Harden and Coburn both ended up WINNING in the end with no TV precursor support.
And Gosling also had a SAG nomination, if I'm not mistaken.
I think the Edward Norton American History X nod is the biggest Lead shocker for me though. especially because of how controversial the movie was and the fight over it with the director too. And now, that website has him winning the Oscar with the re-do!?!? Like, wow. Where did that performance come from to get into the race. I remember NOTHING about it, other than the backstory of it getting made and stuff. Total blindside with that getting in the race.
Well, at least he was already an Oscar nominee at the time and it was a really buzzed about role. Plus, he was considered to be like the next big thing in Hollywood.