Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

The awards season is always one of the most exciting times on the movie calendar and the Oscars 2013 is set to celebrate the greatest movies and performances of the last twelve months.

And while the 2013 Oscar ceremony may still be quite some time away we are taking a look at some of the stars who could find themselves up for Best Actress - and this is going to be a very tough category this year.

- Keira Knightley: Anna Karenina

The performance by Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina in the Joe Wright directed movie is already being tipped as one of the early Oscar faves.

The actress picked up a nod for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice but was scandalously overlooked for Atonement.

But she could well find herself in the running with the best performance of her career to date - playing a woman desperate to be loved only to fall from grace as society shun her for her choices.

It is a powerful and emotional performance from Knightley as it is not hard to see why this lavish production of the Leo Tolstoy has everyone talking.

- Carey Mulligan: The Great Gatsby

Another Brit who may also find herself in the running come the beginning of next year is Carey Mulligan for her performance in The Great Gatsby.

We should have been enjoying The Great Gatsby at the end of the year but, rather disappointingly, the movie has been pushed back until next year.

Mulligan takes on the role of Daisy Buchanan in the big screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel.

An Education was Mulligan's big break through role and since then she has gone from strength to strength as she has carefully picked her roles.

- Viola Davis: Won't Back Down

It was a two horse race last year between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis for the Best Actress gong but Davis could pick up a nod two years on the trot for her role in Won't Back Down.

Davis teams up with Maggie Gyllenhaal in the movie which follows two mothers who fight to change their children's failing inner city school - and it is based on true events.

Won't Back Down is a powerful story about a fight against adversity and Davis gives another powerhouse performance - could this finally be her year?

- Marion Cotillard: Rust And Bone

But right at this very moment there is one movie that is perhaps being talked about more than any other and that is Rust and Bone.

Jacques Audiard seems to have captured the imagination and hearts of all that have seen it as Marion Cotillard returns to the big screen.

It was with La Vie En Rose and the role of Edith Piaf that saw Cotillard with the Best Actress Oscar and she is back to a smaller and more powerful movie that the blockbuster projects she has worked on of late.

And Rust and Bone could well see her pick up a second gong as she teams up with Matthias Schoenaerts in this powerful drama about love.

- Laura Linney: Hyde Park On Hudson

While Bill Murray has been tipped for an Oscar nod for his role in Hyde Park On Hudson it is widely recognised that it is the actresses in the movie that really steal the show.

So bearing that in mind Laura Linney could find herself to be a major challenger to the Best Actress gong when the Oscar finally roll around.

Linney has enjoyed a long and illustrious career and if perhaps one of the most underrated actresses of her generation - but one of the best.

She takes on the role of Margaret Suckley in the film and begins a love affair with her cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Other actress to keep an eye out for over the coming months include Maggie Smith in Quartet, Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook and Naomi Watts in The Impossible.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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