Is this the most competitive category of the season?
Paul Giamatti, "The Ides of March"
Pro: A former nominee in this category for "Cinderella Man," it might surprise you that the Emmy, Indie Spirit, Golden Globe and SAG winner still hasn't held his own Academy Award yet. Like co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman he plays an experienced campaign manager in George Clooney's political thriller and steals every scene he's in (except when Hoffman is also in frame and there it's pretty much a draw between the two).
Con: If "Ides" was a bigger critical and box office hit Giamatti could sneak in, but it's gonna be very tough to pull off in such a crowded field.