Over at The Hollywood Reporter on her Risky Business Blog, Anne Thompson informs us that all the buzz after the LA premiere of The Queen was about Helen Mirren and an inevitable Oscar win, and notes that the Miramax folks on hand looked like "deer in headlights" at the chatter. No one wants to be the early front-runner for the Oscars, then you have to try to sustain momentum over a long while.

Thompson gives the film a detailed, positive write-up, which might just be enough to compel me to see it. When first I heard "movie about the Queen after Diana died," I thought "Lifetime Movie." I'm glad to hear that the end result sounds pretty good, because I do like Helen Mirren a lot. However, of the actresses that seem most likely to garner a Best Actress Oscar nod, my chips are still on either Kate Winslet for Little Children or Annette Bening for Running With Scissors -- both powerful performances. I'm still holding out hope that Maggie Gyllenhaal might get some love for her performance in Sherrybaby, too. And don't discount the possibility of Penelope Cruz for Volver, which will surely be a front-runner for Best Foreign Pic and might just get a Best Director nod to boot.

Yeah, I know, it's early to be talking about Oscar buzz, and really, who cares, anyhow? And yet, Cinematical and every other film industry site out there will relentlessly cover the Oscars, won't we? Who's in front? Who's going to get a nom? Who will have the best cleavage? The hottest date? Okay, so those of you who care (and heck, even those of you who don't): Who's your early pick for Best Actress? Will it be Mirren as the dowdy Queen? Kate Winslet as the depressed stay-at-home-mom/adultress? Bening as the tragical nutcase of a mother? Cruz as the woman whose dead mother comes back? Or will someone else come from behind and leap into a nomination and maybe even a win?