Dave Karger
November 19, 2009 AT 10:38 PM EST

Two female-driven films — one aimed at art houses, the other at the heartland — hit theaters this week, and both have some awards hopes to speak of. Here are the categories where Broken Embraces and The Blind Side could be a contender.

BROKEN EMBRACES

Possibles

Best Actress, Penélope Cruz

The reigning Best Supporting Actress winner’s role in this Almodóvar film is not as dominating as was her part in Volver, which earned her a nod in this category three years ago. But she still brings her seductive mix of glamour and bite.

Best Original Screenplay, Pedro Almodóvar

As I’ve mentioned before, this year’s original-screenplay pickings are quite slim. And he’s won this category before.

Long shots

Best Picture

It’s got perhaps the best shot of any foreign film this year (along with The White Ribbon, perhaps). But is the Academy likelier to nominate an animated film or a documentary in its biggest race?

Best Director, Pedro Almodóvar

The film may not be as inventive as Talk to Her, for which he scored a nod in this race. But his singular touch should still earn some votes.

THE BLIND SIDE

Long shot

Best Actress, Sandra Bullock

It’s been a good year for one of this country’s top sweethearts (with the exception of All About Steve, of course). Comparisons to Erin Brockovich may help Bullock’s case, but she still seems like a better bet for a nomination at the Golden Globes.

Image credit: Emilio Pereda/Paola Ardizzoni

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