Daniel Day-Lewis? Ben Affleck? Denzel Washington? Who made the cut?
Ben Affleck - 'Argo'
Pro: First off, "Argo" will be adored by SAG and the Academy's acting branch because of the huge cast of character actors who get a chance to shine. The movie finds Affleck playing Tony Mendez, a real-life CIA agent who helped six Americans escape Tehran, Iran during the Iranian Hostage Crisis back in 1980. Mendez is actually a pretty quiet guy and Affleck stays true to his subject's demeanor allowing the rest of the ensemble some of the film's more dramatic moments. It's may seems as though Affleck is taking a back seat, but it's a tricky act to pull off because his character still has to drive the main storyline. Is it showy enough to get the Academy's attention? Well...
Con: …that's Affleck's biggest problem. Not only is he overshadowed by other actors in this category, but you could argue his co-stars are more memorable than him. And while Affleck has won an Oscar already in the original screenplay category for "Good Will Hunting" (with fellow contender Matt Damon), he's much more respected for his work as a director than as a thespian. That can't help in a category as tough as this one.
- Gregory Ellwood