The film itself is fine. I'm a big fan of movies depicting British monarchs, so I'd have been OK seeing it even if there weren't buzz around Dench. I definitely prefer Mrs. Brown, as V&A was pretty predictable and sanctimonious at times. They did a nice job of depicting how awful her family was to Karim (and to her), as her affections for this man disrupted the normalcy of the royal family.
At this point in the season, Dench is most likely not going to crack the top five for Best Actress. But she does have a few things going for her: one, she's Judi Dench, and the Academy loves her. Two, it's a rather good performance from her, even if the film itself is only at 65% on Rotten Tomatoes. Three, it's been doing quite well at the box office (at least foreign), as it's taken in $60 million worldwide.
This wouldn't be the first time an actor was nominated twice for the same role. Coincidentally, Cate Blanchett did it for portraying another English Queen, Elizabeth I in Elizabeth, and then nine years later for Elizabeth: The Golden Age. I happen to think both she and Dench were robbed for the former of their two films.
Right now, although The Post has yet to screen (I believe the first will be for Academy members on Sunday in New York), the top five contending for Best Actress seem to be fairly firm at this point, with Meryl, Frances McDorman (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) and Margot Robbie (I, Tonya). Even though there will apparently be an embargo on reviews after The Post's screening this weekend, I'll keep an eye out for any prediction changes from pundits who were privy to reactions from the Academy.