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Omar Sy - 'The Intouchables'
Pro: The Weinsteins' feelgood French culture-clash comedy is already an arthouse phenomenon – it's the highest-grossing foreign film of the year – and is reportedly generating word-of-mouth among the older Academy set. The film has its share of detractors, but everybody agrees that Sy's effervescent star turn is something special. Back in February, he won the Cesar Award at home, in an upset over – guess who? – Best Actor Oscar winner Jean Dujardin for “The Artist.”
Con: Sy faces two forms of internal competition: from French-language rivals Jean-Louis Trintignant and Matthias Schoenaerts and Weinstein stablemates Joaquin Phoenix and Bradley Cooper. His charm could win out in the former scenario, but not the latter; you need to be Harvey's top priority to the distance, and that's not going to happen here.
- Guy Lodge