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Oscars 2013 Predictions: Best Actress Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Emmanuella Riva, Quvenzahne Wallis 'Too Close'

Critics may have already coined the winner in the Best Actor category of Sunday's 85th Academy Awards, but the award for Best Actress is still up in the air, according to ABC.

By Crystal Henderson, EnStars on Feb 22, 2013 02:06 PM EST
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"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Silver Linings Playbook"


Directed by David O. Russell, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. The story of a man with bipolar who embarks on a complicated relationship with a troubled young woman whose husband has died. (Photo : The Weinstein Company)
"Amour"
"Amour"

Directed by Michael Haneke, starring Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignan. The story about an elderly couple facing their mortality. New York Times' critic Manohla Dargis raved about the film: "A masterpiece about life, death and everything in between... Moving, subtly brilliant performances [by] Ms. Riva (best known for HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR) and Mr. Trintignant (A MAN AND A WOMAN)...Critics' Pick." (Photo : Artificial Eye )
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Directed by Behn Zeitlin, starring Quvenshane and Lowell Landes. The story of a six-year-old girl who lives in an isolated Louisiana and how her imagination helps her save her father and the region's residents face an approaching disaster. (Photo : Fox Searchlight)

Critics may have already coined the winner in the Best Actor category of Sunday's 85th Academy Awards, but the award for Best Actress is still up in the air, according to ABC.

The category includes Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence who have both already won Oscars and Golden Globes in their respective categories in the past. They are up against Naomi Watts, 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva and 9-year-old Quvenzahne Wallis.

"There are a lot of other races that are a lot more competitive. I think best actress could be a surprise... So I think if there is any huge upsets in a major category, [best actress] is the one to watch," Thom Geir, a senior editor for Entertainment Weekly said.

Lawrence, who is nominated for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, beat Chastain and Watts for the Screen Actors Guild award. She also nabbed the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

Riva, who will turn 86 years old on Sunday, won the BAFTA award. If she wins for Amour, she'll be the oldest Best Actress winner in history.

While neither Watts nor Wallis have won any of the big awards this season, they both are strong contenders, Scott Feinberg, an awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter told ABCNews.com.

Wallis, was only 5 when she auditioned for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild. The movie features a six-year-old girl who lives with her father in an undesirable southern Delta community, called "Bathtub." Many of the residents in the neighboorhood start fleeing due to an oncoming Hurricane. Her character, "Hushpuppy" has to deal with the pressures of leaving her father in search of her mother.

If Wallis wins, she will be the youngest actor to win an Academy Award in an acting category. The movie is also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

"I think that I've been sort of in the Oscar prognostication for over a decade at this point and I don't remember a closer race than the best actress category," Feinberg said. "I think there's an argument that can be made for every one of the nominees."

Seth MacFarlane is scheduled to host the awards show. It will air in more than 225 countries worldwide on Sun. Feb. 24 on ABC at 8:30pm eastern time. 

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