EW Staff
February 18, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Who’ll win the Best Actress Oscar in 2005?

Before the nominations were announced, all the talk focused on Million Dollar Baby‘s Hilary Swank and Being Julia‘s Annette Bening, who competed against each other five years ago (after Bening picked up the SAG Award for American Beauty, Swank landed the Oscar for Boys Don’t Cry). But once Vera Drake earned nods in three top categories, its star, Imelda Staunton, suddenly rose to the level of possible winner. (If reviewers were voting, she’d probably take home the statue, having won 13 critics’ prizes to Swank’s nine.) Although it’s possible to win this prize for indie films (see Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, and Swank), it’s tough when the movies in question haven’t even topped $5 million in box office, as is the case for both Vera and Julia. (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘s Kate Winslet and Maria Full of Grace‘s Catalina Sandino Moreno, meanwhile, can boast bigger theater receipts but quieter buzz.) So after this awards season’s final round, expect many puns about Swank landing the knockout punch.

You May Like