Is this the most competitive category of the season?
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Ides of March"
Pro: A best actor Oscar winner in 2006 for "Capote," Hoffman has been nominated twice since in the supporting category. As a veteran campaign manager in George Clooney's political drama, Hoffman has one of his most captivating roles in years with a number of standout scenes opposite Clooney and co-star Ryan Gosling. Hoffman was also excellent in Bennett Miller's "Moneyball" as real-life baseball manager Art Howe.
Con: Hoffman is not a big campaigner and it's unclear how much support Sony Pictures will put behind anyone for "Ides." In theory, Hoffman should be a major contender to win, but these are two major question marks affecting his chances.