Scott Thomas, Hershey in Oscar conversation

Barbara Hershey, “Black Swan”
Hershey adds to Natalie Portman’s paranoia in this psycho drama that is relentless in its darkness. Veteran actress has been nominated once before — for 1996 pic “The Portrait of a Lady” — and older Acad members could rally behind her.

Keira Knightley, “Never Let Me Go”
The film fell through the cracks, but there were some passionate supporters. Their best weapon with which to show the film some kudos love could be with a Knightley nom, as the crowded lead actress category might be too difficult for Carey Mulligan to navigate.

Kristin Scott Thomas, “Nowhere Boy”
With both a BAFTA and British Indie Film Award nom on her side, Scott Thomas could get the Acad’s attention. Her perf as John Lennon’s protective and loving mum provided entertaining insight into the teen roots of the Fab Four.

Sissy Spacek, “Get Low”
Although they had never previously shared a scene together, Spacek and Robert Duvall offer some of the greatest perfs of the past 40 years, and voters may find it comforting to see the two of them nominated together for this indie.

Hailee Steinfeld, “True Grit”
And a child shall lead them. In her first bigscreen feature, Steinfeld was hand-selected by the Coen brothers among hundreds of young girls. That should say something right there.

Olivia Williams, “The Ghost Writer”
In another fine Roman Polanski film that also featured stellar perfs from Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, Williams’ turn as a coy political wife helped give the pic a Hitchcockian verve that made it one of the year’s best.

More from Eye on the Oscars: The Actress:
Young actresses not looking for celeb status
Annette Bening | Sally Hawkins | Nicole Kidman | Jennifer Lawrence | Natalie Portman | Tilda Swinton
Lead actresses in the mix
Amy Adams | Helena Bonham Carter | Melissa Leo | Miranda Richardson | Jacki Weaver | Dianne Wiest
Supporting actresses in the mix

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