Clooney, Damon, Day-Lewis, Firth and who else make the cut?
Johnny Depp, "Public Enemies"
Previous nominations or wins:
Nominee, Best Actor, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2004)
Nominee, Best Actor, "Finding Neverland" (2005)
Nominee, Best Actor, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2008)
Pros: First off, he's due - big time. His iconic transformation in "Edward Scissorhands" was almost 20 years ago. And the fact he didn't receive nods for at least one of the following -- "Donnie Brasco," "Ed Wood," "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and "Dead Man" -- is almost, well, criminal. As for this role, Depp brought sympathy to John Dillinger in Michael Mann's "Enemies" and his charisma carries the movie through some of its slower stretches. It will also be on wide release DVD during the season and could get love on the screener circuit.
Cons: Even though it's Mann's second highest grosser ever, "Enemies" is seen by a financial disappointment by many because of Depp's involvement. Critic's who went overboard on Mann's "Miami Vice" were much more tempered in their enthusiasm for "Enemies."