Is this the most competitive category of the season?
George Clooney, "The Ides of March"
Pro: As a presidential candidate who may not be the savior he seems to be, Clooney brings an unexpected spark to his own directorial effort. Clooney is also a five-time nominee and won in this same category for "Syriana" in 2006. He's also received raves for his leading role in Alexander Payne's "The Descendants."
Con: Clooney is very good in "Ides," but his co-stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti likely have a better shot in this category.