Oscars' tightest race is Best Supporting Actress category

NEW YORK (WABC) -- With Oscar Sunday less than two weeks away, some of the leaders of the pack of nominees have begun to emerge. But one field that's still wide open is the contest for Best Supporting Actress.

The top prize for Best Picture is also up for grabs, but this one is anyone's guess. Alicia Vikander and Kate Winslet have each won two trophies during this awards show season, with the latter nailing a key role as perhaps the only person who had the ear of Steve Jobs and the only only who can get the genius behind Apple to be half-way decent.

"She really made him toe the line," she said of her character. "And helped him in a way to be the best version of himself that he could be, in terms of personal relations."

As "Carol," Cate Blanchett has the showier part as a socialite who is divorcing her husband and seducing a clerk played by Rooney Mara, but there's so much Oscar buzz for both women that it is hard to believe Mara actually passed on the period drama at first because she had just made four films back-to-back.

"I didn't think I sort of had anything left to give to a part," she said.

The performance by Sweden's Vikander in "The Danish Girl" is her first to be recognized with a nomination, and she's working opposite last year's Best Actor Eddie Redmayne.

Vikander's career is just beginning, but Jennifer Jason Leigh, another nominee for Best Supporting Actress, feared her career was over.

"Absolutely, I mean, I really sort of made peace with the fact that I had a good run and worked with a lot of great directors and was probably done in a certain way," she said. "All it takes is a call from Quentin Tarantino, and you know, everything changes ."

And that's exactly what happened, as the actress earned her first nomination as one of "The Hateful Eight."

The fifth nominee in the category is Rachael McAdams, who won high praise from the reporter she plays in "Spotlight." Sashsa Pfiefer says that McAdams captured her mannerisms in a way that was uncanny.
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