And the 2012 Oscar contenders are…

By Daniel Montgomery

HollywoodNews.com: When is it too early to start considering who’s ahead in the Oscar derby? Never! While it was less than three months ago that “The King’s Speech” took top honors at the Oscars, the 2011 race has already begun with many contenders, even sight unseen, generating buzz about their prospects. Indeed, there is already a lively discussion underway in our forum.

Topping the list is Meryl Streep who stars as the polarizing British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.” The Weinstein Company just picked up this biopic for distribution stateside. Streep, who has racked up a record 16 Oscar nominations, last contended in 2009 for her performance as French chef Julia Child in “Julie & Julia.” She lost that race for Best Actress to Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”). That marked her twelfth consecutive defeat. The second of her two Oscar wins was way back in 1982 for “Sophie’s Choice.” That was nod number four for Streep who had won the supporting award with her second bid in 1979 for “Kramer vs. Kramer.”

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