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Benedict Cumberbatch - “The Fifth Estate”
Pro: In the words of “Zoolander”’s Mugatu, Cumberbatch is so hot right now – from “Sherlock” to “Star Trek Into Darkness” to “August: Osage County,” the young British actor’s star couldn’t be rising any faster. And he received strong notices in Toronto for his performance as Julian Assange in Bill Condon’s ripped-from-the-headlines biopic – we all know how much the Academy loves seeing famous people play other famous people.
Con: Cumberbatch’s reviews were better than those for the film itself, which opened Toronto without much ceremony – and in a category this competitive, the strength of your vehicle is a factor. Also, the Academy is generally quicker to latch on to female ingénues than up-and-coming male stars.