Following our all-too-public battles over the current state of the Best Picture and Best Actor Oscar race, today I take on Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil in assessing, guessing and blessing the leading contenders, as noted on the Gold Derby website (now part of the PMC family which also owns Deadline). And it certainly is shaping up to be a classic divide between some of the industry’s finest young stars vs the largest group of veteran actresses in this race in many years. Although it is still only November we have a good idea where all of this could lead, even if one of the so-called major contenders – Jennifer Lawrence as Joy – has yet to be actually seen. Of course that doesn’t stop O’Neil, even if I try to pound some common sense into him. Keep in mind this list comes from an aggregation of where Gold Derby pundits have placed these women, so again don’t blame me if your favorite didn’t make this particular cut. To watch our Best Actress Smackdown just click on the link above.