Of late, the Best Actress lineup looks like that of a beauty pageant and this year is no exception. The comely Jennifer Lawrence far out in front for her performance in "Silver Linings Playbook." The overwhelming majority of our Experts predict this one-time nominee to become the second youngest winner at age 22, just one year older than Marlee Matlin when she won in 1986 for "Children of a Lesser God." (See latest odds here)
Three of her closest rivals -- Marion Cotillard ("Rust and Bone"), Naomi Watts ("The Impossible") and Jessica Chastain ("Zero Dark Thirty") -- often grace the covers of fashion magazines. (Track changing odds in this race by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.)
Last year, Meryl Streep ("The Iron Lady") became only the second women over 45 to claim this prize in the past 15 years. While she is a longshot to pick up her 15th Best Actress bid for "Hope Springs," 2006 champ Helen Mirren ("The Queen") could contend again for "Hitchcock." Even she, at age 67, dons a bathing suit at one point in the picture.
Looking to reap her first Oscar bid is Emannuelle Riva ("Amour") who, at 85, would be the oldest- ever nominee (Jessica Tandy was 80 when she won for "Driving Miss Daisy" in 1990).
Then there is newcomer Quvenzhane Wallis ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") who was all of six when she made her film debut. She would be the youngest nominee ever in this race, a record currently held by Keisha Knight-Hughes who was 13 when she contended for "Whale Rider" in 2004.