From Casey Affleck to Forest Whitaker, with a double-dose of Christian Bale
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Hugh Jackman - "Prisoners"
Pros: Jackman gives his best work to date in this thriller, intense in his choices, grounded in his delivery of the performance. He's coming off his first nomination so he's certainly hot as of late and residual love is always a good thing in an Oscar race.
Cons: However, "Prisoners," which is doing well at the box office by the way, is still very much a studio thriller in the eyes of many (even if it makes some significant non-studio choices along the way). It's tough to shed that skin sometimes and particularly in a rough year for any stragglers looking for a leg up.
- Kristopher Tapley