There is so much Oscar talk buzzing around at the moment as a whole host of films and performances are already winning over the critics on the festival circuit.

Movies such as Gravity, 12 Years A Slave and August: Osage County are already being tipped, but which performances are going to be in the running for Best Actress. We take a look at some of the early contenders.

Judi Dench - Philomena

Shockingly Judi Dench has never won a Best Actress Oscar... but all that could be about to change after her turn in Philomena.

The movie, which is based on a true story, has lit up the festival circuit and has had critics falling over themselves to praise Dench's central performance.

Dench takes on the role of Philomena Lee; who has spent her life searching for the child she was forced to give away.

The movie is based on the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, and sees the fantastic Stephen Frears return to the director's chair.

Philomena is set to be one of the most emotional movies of the autumn, as Dench really drives this film forward with a powerful and heartbreaking performance.

Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine

Cate Blanchett is another actress who is yet to get her hands on a Best Actress Oscar, but she will be returning to the big screen with Blue Jasmine.

Blue Jasmine sees the actress team up with director Woody Allen for the first time in this comedy/drama.

The movie follows Jasmine, who is going through a mid-life crisis, as she arrives to impose upon her sister.

Woody Allen has made some great movies in recent years, and Blue Jasmine is promising to continue that fine trend.

Blanchett leads an all star cast but it is the actress who really shines in this movie. She really is at the peak of her powers with a terrific performance.

Sandra Bullock - Gravity

To say that everyone is talking about Gravity would be a bit of an understatement; it's a movie that has really taken the festival circuit by storm.

Sandra Bullock teams up with George Clooney for what is set to be one of the best sci-fi movies of year; and it looks set to be a major awards contender.

Bullock may already have a Best Actress Oscar under her belt, but she could well be battling it out for another as she delivers another fine performance.

The movie follows two astronauts as they find themselves stranded in place after an accident during a routine space walk.

Not only is this a technical marvel but the performances are just fantastic as we see the characters face mortality and death as they drift through the darkness.

Kate Winslet - Labour Day

Another British actress who could very well find herself in the running is Kate Winslet, as she is back with her new film Labour Day.

Winslet has picked up a whole heap of nominations throughout her career - finally winning for The Reader.

Labour Day sees her team up with director Jason Reitman as she plays a single mother who shelters an escaped convict.

Winslet has delivered some terrific performances over the years but this is really up there with her best.

She plays a character that is so beaten down by life and yet there is a grit to her that you cannot help but admire.

Winslet and Josh Brolin make a fantastic acting team, and this film should gather some nominations come awards season.

Emma Thompson - Saving Mr Banks

The Academy loves a biopic movie/performance and one of the actresses that could be recognised is Emma Thompson.

She is set to play author P.L. Travers in Saving Mr Banks; the film follows Travers as she heads out to meet Walt Disney who wants to adapt Mary Poppins for the big screen.

Thompson is just fantastic in the role of Travers; a woman who is fiercely protective of her work and is not just going to allow Disney to walk all over her.

Emma Thompson has always been a fine actress and it would be great to see her in the Oscar mix once again.

Also watch out for Amy Adams (American Hustle), Meryl Streep (August: Osage Country), Nicole Kidman (Grave of Monaco) and Naomi Watts (Diana)

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