June is still two days away, but with the 2011 movie season edging close to the halfway mark, it's becoming painfully apparent Hollywood is in for one humdinger of a competitive awards season. The fireworks won't really begin until the Venice/Telluride/Toronto triumvirate of festivals at the beginning of September, but with studios setting their fourth quarter release dates, hot Cannes titles getting acquired and buzz leaking about what contenders have already been screened it's hard not to see the wheels already in motion. Taking all that into account, here are 10 topics of interest that should hold you over until August. And besides, it's never really to early to talk Oscar, is it?
It's a year of ingenues
We'll talk about Ms. Streep's chances at finally winning a third best actress prize in a minute, but 2012 is clearly looking like the younger ladies could dominate both acting races. The list of contenders includes Elizabeth Olsen ("Martha Marcy May Marlene"), Felicity Jones ("Like Crazy"), Jennifer Lawrence ("Like Crazy"), Kristen Stewart ("On the Road"), Michelle Williams ("My Week with Marilyn"), Kirsten Dunst ("Melancholia"), Bryce Dallas Howard ("The Help"), Jessica Chastain ("The Help," "Take Shelter"), Keira Knightley ("A Dangerous Method"), Scarlett Johansson ("We Brought a Zoo"), Evan Rachel Wood ("The Ides of March") and Anna Kendrick ("50/50"). Needless to say, the roles for ladies have much improved over the past 12 months.
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