LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Julianne Moore scored her fifth Oscar nomination on Thursday - and some say her role as a professor with early onset Alzheimer's disease in Still Alice could finally bring her a golden statuette.
In her latest movie, the radiant 54-year-old redhead plays a woman who has everything - love, children and a career, but faces losing it all as she descends into the fog of dementia.
Moore already scooped up a Golden Globe for the role last weekend, on top of the one she won in 2013 for playing Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the HBO film Game Change and a shared Globe for best ensemble cast in 1994 for Short Cuts.
"Thank u everyone for the congratulations! i am so happy i can barely breathe," tweeted Moore, whose rivals in the best actress category include former Oscar-winners Reese Witherspoon and France's Marion Cotillard, along with Britain's Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike.
In Still Alice, co-directed by married partners Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, Moore plays a woman who gradually loses that which defined her: her intellect, her ability to communicate, her memories.
She loses her ability to speak, no longer recognises the building where she worked and cannot even find the bathroom in her own home. Her character eventually turns towards suicide. But the film - in which Alec Baldwin plays Moore's husband, and Twilight star Kristen Stewart and Kate Bosworth portray her daughters - works through restraint, rather than through spectacle.
Moore says she did a lot of research for the role. "I went to the Alzheimer's Association... they set me up with women all around the US who had been diagnosed," she said. The women told her how they felt marginalised, in particular after losing a job.
"It is so much a movie about life, love and mortality. And I'm looking a lot at mortality... when I went home, I was so happy to go home and have my husband and my children and my life, and my work," she said. "And I really felt I could take the time to appreciate it... that was the gift of this movie to my life," she added, in a question-and-answer session organised after a screening hosted by industry journal Variety.
The actress, who was first nominated for an Oscar in 1998, for Boogie Nights, added: "What does it feel like, all of a sudden realising the brevity of her time? How does it affect her relationships, how does it affect what she wants to do?"
Thursday's nomination is the first in more than a decade for Moore, who was shortlisted in 2000 for The End Of The Affair, and then earned a double nod in 2003 for The Hours and Far From Heaven.
If she should win her first Oscar on Feb 22, you won't see her with any notes in hand. "That looks so silly. You come up with a piece of paper and you're like, 'I knew it! I knew it!'" she told The Huffington Post after her Globes win for best actress in a drama, besting three of her four Oscar rivals. "I also feel like it's bad juju," she said. "I'm oddly superstitious, too."