Clooney, Damon, Day-Lewis, Firth and who else make the cut?
Michael Stuhlbarg, "A Serious Man"
Previous nominations or wins: None.
Pros: Not necessarily a star-making performance, but certainly a career-making one as the professor whose family and career may be coming to an end in the Coen's dark comedy. The Tony nominee and Drama Desk winner may benefit from the significant number of Academy members based in New York. As a "working actor," SAG members may also embrace his breakthrough.
Cons: To say he's unknown in Hollywood is pretty much an understatement. Plus, unlike other celebrated newcomers like "An Education's" Carey Mulligan, he hasn't benefited from the same amount of publicity as the Coens are the centerpiece of the "Serious Man" campaign