Oscar Nominees: The Inside Story

Before the red carpet is rolled out, get to know some standout stars and find out what made their performances so special.

Patricia Clarkson

Nomination: Best Supporting Actress, Pieces of April
Why Her?: Clarkson added "poignancy" to the film, PEOPLE's Rozen wrote, with her performance as a mother dying of cancer who goes to visit her long-estranged daughter at Thanksgiving.
Did You Know?: Clarkson, 44, won a 2002 Emmy for her role as Ruth's sister on Six Feet Under.