When the best actress race first began, the name Natalie Portman was on everyone’s lips. The critics spoke at length about Portman’s transformation into Jackie Kennedy. Then suddenly, she lost momentum and Emma Stone has taken over. Though a good performance, the types of award winning performances that take home Academy Award gold usually involve some kind of transformation or grandiose scene. Though not exactly like “The Artist” the amount of support surrounding Stone’s film is giving me déjà vu all over again. While Stone still does some heavy competition is does anyone realistically stand a chance?

Portman may still sneak away with a gold statue

Although a long shot, Natalie Portman still has a shot at an Oscar and here’s why. It is well documented that the Academy is predominately white men ages 60 and over. These same men are very aware and connected to the John F. Kennedy era and that nostalgia could help Portman. The Kennedys are America’s version of royalty and that legacy is something that could make a Portman win very appealing to the voting body. Portman’s role and portrayal is a lot more traditional in what the Academy looks for in a performance. It is a famous person portraying another famous person and then disappearing into the role. This role has both quiet and dramatic moments and has that one big scene which makes the audience gasp.

Portman has spoken in great length about this movie and has also campaigned while pregnant. For those that do not remember, she was pregnant the last time she won an Oscar.

Isabelle Huppert is a force to be reckoned with

Huppert has found most of her success in France but was able to gain enough recognition from American audiences in the film “Elle.” The character that she portrays is very immoral and reacts to a rape in a way that is not often attributed to the victim.

Huppert could be this year’s Emmanuelle Riva, with Emma Stone acting as Jennifer Lawrence. However, with the recent passing of Reva, it may have woken up Oscar voters who may not want to make the same mistake of awarding the young starlet over the well-established veteran. Huppert has always had the reputation of being kind of cold and nonchalant, but her Golden Globes speech showed that she does care about awards and has a softer persona then the on screen characters she portrays.

Also, Huppert was not eligible for Bafta Awards this year as her movie did not get released in time for the cut off. Though Stone is the favorite to win the Oscar, there are still some contenders that could stop her.