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I don't see what her being a woman or not has to do with whether she's the lead or not. She doesn't have that much dialogue or screen time in the film compared to Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell or Walton Goggins. Saying that she drives the plot so she's the lead is like saying that Hitler or the Ark of the Covenant is the lead in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Whether someone is a lead or not is totally arbitrary, and I think it has a lot to do with splitting votes now that I think about it. Like, if I'm voting for both Jaimie Foxx and Tom Cruise in Collateral, I don't want to put them in the same category because people who want the film to win a bunch of stuff will split their votes between the two and some other jackass will win, but if you put them in different categories then they have a better chance of both winning, and in that case you tend to put the bigger star in the Lead category. Similarly, when you put someone like 1996 Kevin Spacey, who I believe was only really known at that point for his role in Seven, in the lead category, some big star (I think it was Nicolas Cage that year) is probably going to shove him to the side and win, but he has a good chance in that supporting category. Maybe. That would be my assumption.