And by "next Best Actress," I don't mean second best. I mean this woman will win the Oscar for Best Actress in a few months.
You've seen Marion Cotillard in Big Fish and A Good Year. You may have seen her in A Very Long Engagement. And you probably haven't seen her in any of the French Taxi movies. She's great in everything (not to mention stunningly beautiful), but she delivers one of the best performances I've ever seen in La Vie en Rose.
I saw the film at the Atlanta Film Festival back in the spring. Back then, the previous Oscars were still fresh in everyone's minds... no one cared much about next year's. She started to change that, though. The more people that saw this film at festivals or sneak screenings or in other countries, the more her hype grew. It hasn't slowed down... and I think she will win the Academy Award.
There is an interesting interview over at the New York Times, so check it out.
Other potential Oscar winners this year could be Cate Blanchett for Best Supporting Actress in I'm Not There, Javier Bardem for Best Supporting Actor in No Country for Old Men and Benicio Del Toro for Best Actor in Things We Lost in the Fire. Although, anything could happen. I'm not making final predictions for a while. Don't count Cate Blanchett out for either Actress category, though, and keep an eye on Casey Affleck and Daniel Day-Lewis.