1. Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia (lock)
2. Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side (lock)
3. Gabourey Sidibe - Precious (lock)
4. Carey Mulligan - An Education (lock)
5. Emily Blunt - The Young Victoria (wild card)
Helen Mirren - The Last Station, Marion Cotillard - Nine
If someone had told me, even a month ago, that Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock(!) would be 1 and 2 in this race, I probably would have referred them to the nearest shrink. But alas, there you have it. I never would have thought I'd be rooting for Streep in THIS particular performance, but given the choice between her and Bullock, I prefer Streep (but only slightly, mind you). I think it's interesting that everyone has suddenly decided that Mulligan is safer than Sidibe. I would argue that they're both still locks, as they have been for some time now. If one is weaker than the other, it's Mulligan whose film peaked way too early. Mo'Nique's sweeping of the precursors has brought Precious back into the conversation, whereas An Education is kind of being forgotten. At any rate, the top four slots are solid bets. The last slot, which most are giving to Mirren (and they may be right), I've decided to give to Emily Blunt. The Last Station didn't really get that much more of a release than The Young Victoria. If they're choosing between their British thesps in films that nobody saw, I could feasibly see them tossing more votes to Blunt, who is sure to get a nomination eventually (so why not now?) as opposed to Mirren who won very recently. I played around with the idea of predicting Tilda Swinton for Julia and I might have done it if more critics had gone for her. It's just not happening, though. In a perfect world, Swinton would be locked and loaded for a second very well deserved win. If it happens, I'll be happy to be wrong. I'm just not feeling the possibility.