BEST PERFORMANCE: “Carol” (2014)
Rumored to be “prickly” in the industry, the talent of Rooney Mara is anything but that. She bulldozed by some big names for her first nomination for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” She was also an early frontrunner for “Carol” in 2015 before category fraud and Oscar buzz cooled her campaign. There will be five (yes, five) Mara works coming in 2017 including the already screened “Una” from Telluride, but more notably “The Secret Scripture” from Jim Sheridan, “Mary Magdalene” from Garth Davis and “Weightless” from Terrence Malick. We’re ready to see the sparks fly.