Is this the most competitive category of the season?
Colin Firth, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Pro: Last year's best actor winner for "The King's Speech," Firth could land his third nomination in three years after also being recognized for "A Single Man" in 2010. Firth doesn't have to do the heavy lifting this time around, but as "ladies man" Bill Haydon he is able to stir the pot in a number of superb scenes. In particular, he has one showdown with Gary Oldman's investigative George Smiley that proves Firth is in the middle of an absolutely fantastic run of performances.
Con: Having just won for "Speech," will the actor's branch reward him when other members of the "Tinker" ensemble may be just as or more worthy? Still, if "Tinker" can land a second supporting actor nomination, I'd still bet on him.