Is this the most competitive category of the season?
Benedict Cumberbatch, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Pro: The most unheralded of the supporting "Tinker" crew, Cumberbatch is also the most mesmerizingly good. The "Atonement" star doesn't have one standout scene in "Tinker" he has at least three. These are powerful moments where Cumberbatch makes you feel the insane stress his character, Peter Guillam, feels assisting Gary Oldman's George Smiley in his clandestine investigation and where he has to throw away his personal life for the greater good of his country. It's fantastic work that will not be forgotten by the acting branch.
Con: Simply, Cumberbatch of the few contenders this season that if he doesn't get in it's a travesty. On a side note, it's still unclear whether his supporting role in "War Horse" will help or hurt his chances here.