Syracuse Betting Pool: Top Choices for Best Actress

With the days quickly passing until the arrival of the Academy Awards, the Syracuse, New York, betting pool, an informal group of a few friends, has begun placing bets for the potential winners of the Best Actress Oscar. From venerable actresses portraying famous world leaders to fresher faces portraying famous actresses, these women stand at the front of the pack.

Meryl Streep

Currently nominated for “The Iron Lady,” Streep has a pretty strong track record when it comes to the Oscars, having been nominated 17 times. This strong record, combined with her truly stunning performance as Margaret Thatcher, has her standing in a pretty good position to take home the statuette.

In her most recent acting endeavor, Streep actually seems to embody that most formidable of world leaders. This, combined with the strength of the film as a whole, makes her a leading contender.

Michelle Williams

However, Streep may just have a bit of competition with this young woman, who has come a long way since “Brokeback Mountain,” which first brought her to prominence. In “My Week With Marilyn,” Williams seems to actually embody Marilyn Monroe. We come to identify with and like one of the most famous — and tragic — film icons in many different ways.

Thus, although Williams doesn’t have quite the strong record Streep does, her stellar performance and the generally warm reception of the film itself means that she could give Streep a run for her money.

Viola Davis

All that being said, Viola Davis may yet be the surprise winner of this year’s Academy Awards. Though she has been in a number of well-respected films, “The Help” has really catapulted Davis to major player status. The film itself was enormously financially successful and generated quite a lot of positive reception from film critics. Davis’s spectacular lead performance, combined with the general prominence of the film and the rest of its cast, puts her in a good position to swipe the award from her more well-established competitors.

Though we have made some reasonably sound predictions, there is always that actor or actress who can easily throw a wrench in our predictions and take the entire ceremony by surprise. What is sure is that we will all be on the edge of our seats come Sunday night.

Check out coverage of the 84th Academy Awards on Yahoo! Movies

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