If the voting took place today, the final slot in the Best Actress category would go to one of these two women Kris Tapley of InContention.com and Tom O'Neil of the L.A. Times suggest. Cruz appears in this year's foreign critical darling (and frontrunner for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, assuming it is it's country's nominee) Volver directed by Academy favorite Pedro Almodovar.
In sizing up the Best Actress race, Tapley offers the following four supposed "locks",
Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren, The Queen
Kate Winslet, Little Children
Annette Bening, Running with Scissors
O'Neil predicts that Cruz will win the award from at least one of the three important critics groups: National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle or Los Angeles Film Critics Circle. Because Streep is an obvious choice for the Golden Globes Best Actress Comedy or Musical category (The Devil Wears Prada), O'Neil thinks Cruz is assured of a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Actress in a Drama category.
O'Neil opines that the entire race may turn on the "babe factor." If that's the case, and Cruz is nominated, expect her to have the best chance to win, O'Neil says
No idea when (or if) Matt Smith at Market Street Cinema is getting Volver.