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THE OSCAR NOMINATIONS

Lead Actress

January 23, 2008

CATE BLANCHETT | "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"

Nine years ago, the 38-year-old Australian received her first lead actress Oscar nomination as the queen of England in "Elizabeth." And now she receives her second nomination in the category as the royal monarch in the sequel. The actress joins Bing Crosby, Peter O'Toole and Al Pacino as performers who have received two nominations as the same character. Blanchett, who won the supporting actress Academy Award three years ago for "The Aviator," received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for "The Golden Age." She also earned a supporting actress Oscar nod for "I'm Not There."

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JULIE CHRISTIE | "Away From Her"

The 66-year-old living legend, who was the epitome of the swinging London of the 1960s, earns her fourth lead actress nomination for her poignant performance as Fiona, a married woman with Alzheimer's disease. The British actress received the Academy Award for lead actress 42 years ago in "Darling." Christie was also Oscar nominated for 1971's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" and 1997's "Afterglow." A Golden Globe winner for "Away From Her," Christie has also won honors from several other organizations, including the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review and the Southeastern Film Critics Assn. She is also nominated for a SAG Award.

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MARION COTILLARD | "La Vie en Rose"

The 32-year-old French performer earns her first Oscar nomination for her transcendent performance as France's beloved "Little Sparrow," singer Edith Piaf. If Cotillard wins the Oscar, she'll be the first actress to win for a foreign-language role since Sophia Loren (1961's "Two Women"). Cotillard won the Golden Globe for lead actress in a comedy or musical and was named best actress by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., as well as the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Satellite Awards and the Seattle International Film Festival. She is also in contention for a SAG Award.

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LAURA LINNEY | "The Savages"

The 43-year-old Linney garners her second lead actress Academy Award nomination as Wendy Savage, an emotionally stunted middle-aged woman who finally grows up when she has to deal with her dying father. Linney, the daughter of playwright Romulus Linney, was nominated for lead actress for her role in "You Can Count on Me" and netted an Academy Award nomination for supporting actress for her role in the 2004 film "Kinsey."

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ELLEN PAGE | "Juno"

The Canadian actress receives her first Oscar nomination for her performance as a glib but vulnerable pregnant teen in the coming-of-age comedy. Page turns 21 three days before the Academy Awards -- if she wins on Feb. 24, she'll become the youngest lead actress in Oscar history. She has won honors from the Chicago Film Critics Assn. and the Florida Film Critics Circle, and won breakthrough performance female from the National Board of Review. She has also received Golden Globe, Spirit, Critics Choice and SAG award nominations.

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