Clooney, Damon, Day-Lewis, Firth and who else make the cut?
Colin Firth, "A Single Man"
Previous nominations or wins: None.
Pros: His role as a gay man dealing with the death of his longtime lover during the 1960s has already won him the Venice Film Festival Best Actor Award. Firth's performance is so good most critics credit it for elevating director Tom Ford's feature debut into something special. Firth has won many friends in the industry having worked on the studio and indie side on both sides of the Atlantic.
Cons: Hard to imagine him not getting nominated, but if Academy members don't warm to Ford's stylized film or it severely disappoints at the box office, he may not get in. But, again, that would be a huge snub.