Every year there always seems to be one or two categories that is a foregone conclusion.  Now matter how some members of the media try to spin it, there is no drama, no suspense and even the other nominees know they aren't going to win the day the nominations were announced.  Those honorees are just dressing up and enjoying the show.  Welcome then, to the best actor race for the 83rd Academy Awards.  Before getting to the obvious winner, let's respect the other nominees and review the field, shall we?


Javier Bardem was something of a surprise nominee for his performance in the dark drama "Biutiful" knocking Ryan Gosling and Robert Duvall out of the race, but the former best supporting Oscar winner got a big boost from public endorsements from Julia Roberts, Kathryn Bigelow and Sean Penn. Even so, the nomination is absolutely the win for Bardem here.  

If you were to believe Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network" star would prefer to be home in Brooklyn instead of attending his first Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater.  Instead, the 27-year-old actor, who will now forever be linked to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, will have to try and enjoy himself on Oscar's biggest night.

Good luck trying to find anyone on either side of the Atlantic who isn't a fan of Colin Firth.  From his impressive body of work to his amazing charitable endeavors, Firth is considered a pillar in the acting community.  Just a year ago, many thought Firth had delivered the performance of his career in "A Single Man," but the Brit found himself in the shadow of Jeff Bridges' Oscar triumph.  As the monarch in question in "The King's Speech," don't expect him to sit quietly this time around.

Ironically, Jeff Bridges may actually deserve an Oscar for his interpretation of the classic literary character Rooster Coogburn in "True Grit" more than his work in last year's "Crazy Heart." The acting legend pretty much silenced all naysayers who insisted he could never step out from John Wayne's shadow in portraying the iconic role. Never doubt "The Dude."

James Franco
will have double duty on Oscar night. Not only will he be sweating over his first Academy Award nomination, but he's also co-hosting the show with ever adorable Anne Hathaway. The always busy Franco was simply amazing as trapped hiker Aron Ralston in Danny Boyle's "127 Hours," but this just isn't his year.  Something tells us, however, Franco won't be away from Oscar for long.

Winner:
Place your bets on Colin Firth as there is simply no upset contender in the wings. Franco and Bridges conceded the race to him long ago and, simply, it's time.

We'll find out the results when the 83rd Academy Awards are announced this Sunday at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT on ABC.  Visit HitFix for full coverage including red carpet galleries, a live blog of the show, best and worst, analysis, red carpet rewind and more. 

Also, follow Gregory Ellwood on twitter for the last Oscar and entertainment news year round at @HitFixGregory.

Other Awards Campaign predictions:

Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress

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