NOMINEES: ANNETTE BENING, "THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT" NICOLE KIDMAN, "RABBIT HOLE" JENNIFER LAWRENCE, "WINTER'S BONE" NATALIE PORTMAN, "BLACK SWAN" MICHELLE WILLIAMS, "BLUE VALENTINE" MATTHEW: Bening provides the vital emotional core of this picture and delivers, perhaps, the most authentic and nuanced performance of the year, proving you don't have to go big to get it right. CATHARINE: I know my pick is a long shot to win, but Lawrence's compelling Ree Dolly has a tough demeanor and a code of honor that rivals that of "The Wire's" Omar Little. But instead of skinning a squirrel to stave off hunger, Omar would just walk down to New York Chicken. KATE: Williams takes the character of Cindy, a tired, lonely and sad woman, and exposes many of her flaws in following the path that she believes is "normal." This could have been approached in a very stereotypical way, but Williams did a stellar job displaying a more introspective side to the character. JORDAN: This is the most difficult category for me -- everyone was spectacular. I'm going with Portman, since hers was THE powerhouse performance of the year, male or female -- and extra points for sprouting wings. Williams is a (very) close second, though. ELLIOTT: Portman's strong performance was the capstone of this thrilling film. AMANDA: It was obvious to me that Portman put everything she had into this role. She made me feel like I was going crazy right along with her.
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