Oscar: Supporting actress
Why she’ll win: It’s been a long time since “My Cousin Vinny,” and, despite the fact that some still argue she wasn’t worthy of that Oscar, she’s been proving her salt for years — from a nomination for 2001’s “In the Bedroom” and beyond.
Maybe not: The film is dominated by a leading performance from Mickey Rourke that could suck up all the available accolades like a vacuum. Plus, it’s hard to say how the Academy feels about giving its highest honor to someone playing a stripper.
Critical quote: “Tomei gives a brave and scrupulously honest performance, one that’s most naked when Pam has her clothes on,” says Ty Burr of the Boston Globe.