Adriana Barraza
Film: “Babel”
Role: Barraza plays overburdened nanny Amelia, whose attempts to reconcile responsibility to employer with those to her own family end badly for her.
Globes history: First nom
Voters say … “I had never heard of her, but I thought she was amazing. She was totally believable in that part.”

Cate Blanchett
Film: “Notes on a Scandal”
Role: School teacher Sheba Hart, whose indiscretions with a pupil leave her beholden to the ill will of Judi Dench.
Globes history: Four previous noms, including a win in 1999 for “Elizabeth.”
Voters say … “I think it’s hard to take your eyes off of her on screen. Her dueling with Judi Dench was just something to see.”

Emily Blunt
Film: “The Devil Wears Prada”
Role: Emily, the longer tenured — and longer suffering — assistant to Meryl Streep’s diabolical Miranda Priestly.
Globes history: First nom
Voters say … “She’s one of the little surprise packages this year. She just came from out of nowhere and had a lot of impact.”

Jennifer Hudson
Film: “Dreamgirls”
Role: Hudson plays Effie White, one of the original Dreamettes who is pushed aside by Beyonce Knowles.
Globes history: First nom
Voters say … “She obviously has an incredible voice.”

Rinko Kikuchi
Film: “Babel”
Role: Deaf and distraught Japanese teenager Chieko
Globes history: First nom
Voters say … “She looked like somebody who just put her fate entirely in the hands of the director — ‘You tell me what to do, and I’m just going to go for it.’ It was just a terrific performance.”

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