Renee Zellweger (Chicago)

Best Actress

2003 wins: Golden Globes (musical/comedy)

Oscar pedigree: Nominated: “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001)

Zellweger on her “Chicago” audition: “Rob tricked me! At one point, it was just the two of us in a room and we started playing around with songs. I thought it was just a wonderful moment between new friends. I had no idea he was checking me out to make sure I wasn’t gonna stink.”

What we said: “Zellweger measures up well enough in the song-and-dance department, but convinces more in Roxie’s initial persona as a borderline innocent than later, as she becomes more calculating and cold-hearted.” — David Rooney (Dec. 10)

What they said: “Zellweger makes the transformation manifest. She starts out as frightened as a rabbit, like a tremulous Altman heroine, but as Roxie pulls herself together and becomes the mistress of her own duplicity, the screen blooms with that Zellweger zest.” — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

This could be the night: As the centerpiece of the “Chicago” engine, if the film does well, so might she.

Then comes the rub: Will three acting noms from the same film split the vote?

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