By Francisco Salazar ( | First Posted: Mar 27, 2013 09:55 AM EDT

(Photo : Weinstein Company)

This year the Best Actress category is gearing up to be one of the most competitive in years. Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet have all become top contenders for this year's race but two seem to actresses have already emerged in front of these four Oscar winners. Australian duo and best friends Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman have topped many pundits lists as the top two Oscar contenders.

Both actresses will star in biopics based on princesses. Watts will star in Diana based on Princess Diana's life. The film will tell the story of the last two years of Princess Diana's life: her campaign against land mines and her relationship with surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan. The movie is directed by German director Oliver Hirshbiegel who is best known for the Academy Award nominated film "Downfall" based on the final days of Adolph Hitler. The film has not obtained distribution but it is expected to premiere at Cannes Film Festival where it may be bought.

Watts was nominated for the Academy Award this past year for her role in "The Impossible." Many voters campaigned for her to win but she ultimately lost to Lawrence. Watts was also nominated in 2004 for "21 Grams" but on that occasion lost to Charlize Theron.

Kidman has also generated buzz for her role as Grace Kelly in "Grace of Monaco." The film tells the story of former Hollywood star Grace Kelly's crisis of marriage and identity, during a political dispute between Monaco's Prince Rainier III and France's Charles De Gaulle, and a looming French invasion of Monaco in the early 1960s.

Oscar guru Harvey Weinstein recently picked the film up and plans to release it on December 27 in the midst of Oscar season. The film is directed by French helmer Oliver Dahan who is best known for his film "La Vie en Rose." He led Marion Cotillard to her Oscar win where she played Edith Piaf.  

Kidman is no stranger to the Oscars as she has been nominated three times and won in 2002 for her portrayal as Virginia Wolf in "The Hours." She was also nominated for "Rabbit Hole," and "Moulin Rouge."

In recent years the Academy Awards have given the Best Actress accolade to women who portrayed real life people. In 2012, Streep received her third Oscar for her role as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." In 2010 Sandra Bullock won for her as Leigh Ann Touhy in "The Blind Side" and in 2007 Helen Mirren won for her role as Queen Elizabeth the second in "The Queen."

The Academy Awards will announce nominations on Feb. 10th.

Do you think Kidman and Watts are front runners?

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