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For Your Consideration: 10 Underdog Actresses That Deserve Oscar's Attention This Year

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire October 9, 2012 at 1:30PM

Instead of dipping into the already repetitive waters of October Oscar talk (the only real recent update being that "Lincoln" seems like a sure bet for a slew of nominations after its "secret screening" at the New York York Film Festival, including best picture and acting nods for Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones), this column will take the next two weeks as an opportunity to discuss a few names that aren't getting as much talk as they may deserve (though here's updated weekly predictions to supplement that).

Take This Waltz
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea
Music Box Films picked up Terence Davies's "The Deep Blue Sea" out of last year's Toronto International Film Festival and released it early this year. Hopefully, they will send some screeners to remind voters of the phenomenal work of Rachel Weisz, who stars in "Sea" as the wife of a British judge caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot. But it's more likely Weisz will get lost in a sea of more established contenders this late in the game, suffering the same fate of Gillian Anderson - a non-nominated hopeful for another Davies film, "The House of Mirth," back in 2000.

Michelle Williams, Take This Waltz
Michelle Williams is quickly establishing herself as one of her generation's greatest actresses with yet another award-worthy performance in Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz." As a Torontonian woman questioning her generally happy marriage when she meets a sexy artist on a business trip, Williams manages the difficult task of making both likeable and relatable a woman who makes some very questionable decisions. If she manages it (though it would be a big surprise at this point), Williams could earn her third consecutive best actress Oscar nomination for the role, after "Blue Valentine" and "My Week With Marilyn." Though mind you she was just as deserving for non-nominated work in "Wendy and Lucy" and "Meek's Cutoff," and she'll likely manage many more nominations in the future if "Waltz" doesn't take to Oscar voters.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed
You've probably seen Mary Elizabeth Winstead in films like "Final Destination 3," "The Ring Two" and "Live Free or Die Hard" but you might not recognize her in James Ponsoldt's "Smashed." Winstead plays Kate, a woman who decides to get sober after deciding that her alcohol abuse (which she shares with her husband, played by Aaron Paul) and is spiralling out of control. Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film out of Sundance and is planning a push for Winstead. If it ends up happening, it would be more than deserved for a performance that proves this actress is worth more than supporting roles in sequels.

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This article is related to: Academy Awards, Your Sister's Sister, Ginger and Rosa, Compliance, Take This Waltz, The Deep Blue Sea

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