Oscar Race 2014: Your Cheat Sheet to the Best Actress Nominees

On March 2, the 86th annual Academy Awards will be presented at the historic Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, and one of the most talked-about races this year is the Best Actress category. The nominees were chosen from a pool of impressive, brave performances — and each of the five women up for the year’s most coveted trophy deserves to take home the prize. But who will it be? Let’s take a look at the nominees.

Source: Atlas Entertainment

Amy Adams, American Hustle

This crime comedy-drama features a slew of outstanding performances, and Adams’s turn as Sydney Prosser, a clever and talented con artist, has all of Hollywood buzzing.

Why she might win: Adams masterfully changes between Prosser and the British aristocrat she’s pretending to be, which makes for a truly compelling performance. And this is her fifth Oscar nomination in eight years, so some voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may feel that it’s the actress’s turn to be honored.

Why she might not: At the beginning of 2014, a lot of the buzz in the industry was centered on American Hustle. Now, there’s some backlash surrounding the film’s numerous accolades, and that could hurt Adams’s chances at Oscar glory.