Penélope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
*Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Mo'Nique may not be the most universally loved actress, but she's unbeatable as Precious's scourge of a mother. Watching this searing drama, Academy members probably had the actress short-listed for this award; then at the end Mo'Nique explodes into an aria of rage and self-pity that Callas would have envied. We're guessing that if the votes in all categories were made public, we'd see that Mo'Nique won by the widest margin.