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Miss Portman won best actress over a field that included Miss Bening at the Spirit Awards, where “Black Swan” led with four prizes, including best picture and director for Darren Aronofsky.

The supporting-actress ranks offer really strong competitors, among them Miss Leo’s “The Fighter” co-star Amy Adams as boxer Micky Ward’s scrappy girlfriend. Momentum for “The King’s Speech” also could propel Helena Bonham Carter to an Oscar win as George’s devoted wife, Queen Elizabeth, while 14-year-old newcomer Hailee Steinfeld has good prospects as a dauntless teen pursuing her father’s killer in “True Grit.”

The best-director Oscar comes down to Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech” and David Fincher for “The Social Network.”

Mr. Fincher, a previous Oscar nominee for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” won best director at the Globes. First-time nominee Mr. Hooper, best-known previously for classy television productions, won the filmmaking prize from the Directors Guild of America, whose recipient has gone on to take the directing Oscar 56 times in the past 62 years of the guild’s awards.