Oscar Watch: Actress
Also in contention with two roles is Oscar favorite Emma Thompson, up for the lead with the Overture romantic comedy "Last Chance Harvey" and for support with Miramax's "Brideshead Revisited."
Meryl Streep has two roles, though in her case both are leads, and according to Academy rules she can only be nominated for one. She plays a crusading nun in "Doubt" and the crooning mother of the bride in Universal's "Mamma Mia!"
Angelina Jolie looks likely to have a shot with her own role as a mother, though one devastated by loss, in "Changeling." Also contending is Cate Blanchett ("Benjamin Button"), who has inherited Streep's mantle as Oscar voters' favorite thesp.
Four other particularly strong candidates are Anne Hathaway, earning stellar reviews as the troubled sister in "Rachel Getting Married"; Melissa Leo, an actor's actor who has her first toplining role in SPC's "Frozen River"; British vet Sally Hawkins in "Happy-Go-Lucky"; and Kristin Scott Thomas in SPC's "I've Loved You So Long," who was nominated for 1996's "The English Patient."
Not to be overlooked is Michelle Williams, who -- thanks to 2003's "The Station Agent" and 2005's "Brokeback Mountain" -- has emerged as one of the most respected young actresses. She could contend as a semihomeless woman in search of her dog in the indie "Wendy and Lucy" (Oscilloscope Pictures).
Virtually unknown in America, Rebecca Hall could easily follow in a long tradition of actresses who have earned nominations thanks to Woody Allen, here with "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." She'll be competing with co-star Scarlett Johansson.
Keira Knightley could earn her second nomination for "The Duchess," and Nicole Kidman could earn her third for "Australia."
Other contenders include Julianne Moore for "Blindness," Rosario Dawson for "Seven Pounds" and Dakota Fanning for "Secret Life of Bees."