Sans Winslet, no clear-cut favorite in this race

You can’t always bet according to “For Your Consideration” ads. When the Academy promoted Kate Winslet’s performance in “The Reader” to the lead actress category, despite the Weinstein Co.’s supporting actress campaign, the surprise move shut the door on a rerun of Winslet’s double win at the Globes and opened another for the remaining contenders.

Amy Adams (“Doubt”), Penelope Cruz (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), Viola Davis (“Doubt”) and Marisa Tomei (“The Wrestler”), who were all nominated for the Globe, now have that much more of a chance to win the Oscar. Arguably nabbing the nom spot previously predicted for Winslet in this category is Taraji P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), who was snubbed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. — though not by the Screen Actors Guild or the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.

Among this year’s Oscar supporting actress nominees, Cruz had the strongest showing in the critics awards, earning kudos from Los Angeles, New York and the National Board of Review, among others.

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