Clooney, Damon, Day-Lewis, Firth and who else make the cut?
Michael Sheen, "The Damned United"
Previous nominations or wins: None.
Pros: A long track record of celebrated roles in "The Queen," "Music Within" and "Frost/Nixon." Sheen's portrait of iconic British soccer/football coach Brian Clough is one of his most layered and charismatic performances to date.
Cons: If the movie doesn't perform well any chance of a nod will disappear quickly. It's hard to imagine such an English centered role getting recognized by the Academy. Especially considering how little Americans know about the history of UK football.