It is difficult to recall who last year's other nominees for Best Supporting Actress Oscar even were thanks to the full-throated and heartbreaking turn Anne Hathaway gave in Tom Hooper's adaptation of the Les Miserables musical. The night was all hers, and rightfully so. But this year, the race is an absolutely fascinating one, featuring two previous Oscar winners (one a longtime A-lister the other an adored It Girl), an under-sung character actress, one acclaimed octogenarian, and one ingénue recognized for her first-ever film role.

Hailing from such buzzed about features a Blue Jasmine, American Hustle, Nebraska, August: Osage County and 12 Years a Slave, each of these actresses has earned plenty of ink over the last few months. But only one will win on Oscar night. Whose in it to win it and who will have to say, "Just getting the nomination is such an honor?" Allow me to break it down.

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DARK HORSE: Sally Hawkins
In Blue Jasmine, the English actress transformed herself into a lower class single mom, looking for love in all the wrong places. She was terrific, proving a perfect foil to Cate Blanchett's broken title character. But while Blanchett's brilliant portrayal of a downward spiral has her pegged as a frontrunner in the Best Actress race, Hawkins is destined to be left in the dust in Supporting. It's not that she's not deserving; it's just not her year. I mean, have you seen the competition?

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