2013 Best Actor Contenders
Daniel Day-Lewis? Ben Affleck? Denzel Washington? Who made the cut?
Martin Freeman - 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'
Pro: Peter Jackson's return to the golden Tolkien well is poised to be a popular hit just as many many voters will be settling down with their ballot papers. Whereas it's hard to ascribe a clear protagonist to The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo Baggins is very much the hero of the cosier narrative of The Hobbit – and likable British character actor Freeman (best known for creating the role American viewers associate with John Krasinski in The Office) is ideally cast.
Con: The Lord of the Rings trilogy may have collectively earned 17 Oscars from 30 nominations, but they received one measly acting nod between them – and that was for the venerable Ian McKellen. Even if voters are seized again by Middle Earth mania – and I suspect they'll feel the moment has passed – they're unlikely to take either Bilbo or Freeman too seriously against such heavyweight opposition.
- Guy Lodge