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Joaquin Phoenix - “Her”
Pro: If we learned anything from Marlon Brando and Mo’Nique, it’s that the Academy loves talented actors who play hard to get. Phoenix is the latest proof of this: during his anti-campaign for “The Master” last year, the eccentric star made it clear how little he cares for the Oscars and everything they stand for, yet he was still rewarded with his third nomination. Why? Because he was mezmerising in the film. If he’s similarly impressive as a lovelorn writer in Spike Jonze’s offbeat comedy – where he’ll get to show his more vulnerable side – there’s no reason it can’t happen again.
Con: The film is still a question mark. Even if it lives up to expectations, will it be too small or too strange to find a significant following in the Academy? And is there an expiry date on the industry’s patience with Phoenix’s curious public persona?