Oscar Predictions: Best Actor

Two of the nominees have been in the Best Actor race before but have yet to win (though George Clooney has a supporting award) while the other three are Oscar newcomers. 

Jean Dujardin has racked up Best Actor wins at Cannes, the Golden Globes (Musical/Comedy), SAG and BAFTA for his role as George Valentin, a silent film star whose career is on the wane when talkies arrive. “The Artist” is the frontrunner for Best Picture and the winner of that top Oscar usually claims at least one acting prize.

In “The Descendants,” George Clooney plays a father raising his two daughters after his wife’s boating accident. His performance won him the Golden Globe (Drama) and Critics’ Choice Award. This marks his third time in this race. He also contends this year for Adapted Screenplay (“The Ides of March”). He won Supporting Actor for “Syriana” in 2005, the same year he was nominated for writing and directing “Good Night, and Good Luck.” 


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Baseball movies don’t have the strongest history at the Oscars, but “Moneyball” star Brad Pitt has become quite popular with the academy as of late. In the last five years he has been nominated for Best Actor (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) and starred in three Best Picture nominees (“Benjamin Button,” “Babel,” and “Inglourious Basterds”).

Gary Oldman is a veteran actor who has given acclaimed performances in films like “Sid and Nancy” and “The Contender” as well as the blockbuster “Batman” and “Harry Potter” franchises. However, it was his subdued performance in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” that earned him his first Oscar nomination. 

Demian Bichir, a well-known actor in his native Mexico, is showcased in “A Better Life” as a gardener in L.A. trying to protect his son from gangs and immigration agents. Considered an underdog throughout awards season, he received a surprise SAG nomination, which translated to success with Oscar voters.

Click on the pundits below to see a breakdown of their rankings in this race.

Click on each of the categories below for the overview of that race.

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