Oscarthon: Best Actor

1. Jeff Bridges (0 for 4) for Crazy Heart

"One of the things that’s appealing about country music, in general, is that it’s dealing with human emotions that people can relate to. We can all relate to not only the fear of failure, but the fear of success and what we do to ourselves when we get successful. Once you get to the top of the mountain, there’s only one place to go. You roll down." -canmag
After missing out all the way back to The Last Picture Show Bridges will win his first Oscar this year- the only question is the standing ovation. In a role very similar to Mickey Rourke's in The Wrestler, but much more palatable, he's somehow a world-weary Kris Kristofferson and The Dude wrapped together. It just sort of works, and you can tell he's sung once or twice before.

2. George Clooney (1 for 4) for Up In The Air
"It’s a bit close to home and to my own persona so I knew I’d have to take that baggage on as well, but if you’re a grown-up and able to look at how other people look at you, you say, 'Well, OK I can do that.'" -telegraph
Hey you know who apparently hates giving interviews? Seriously, that was the most relevant quote I could find to the role. Anyway, Clooney looked like a solid bet in September, with a self-aware, world-weary performance, until Bridges emerged with one more self-aware and world-wearier.

3. Colin Firth (0 for 0) for A Single Man
"He’s putting up every barrier he can. He desperately needs to mask the chaos that’s going on; he’s a total mess, everything’s completely out of control. Hence the need to create an appearance of perfect control, which is so excessive that it can only be neurotic, and I think some people have misinterpreted it as a piece of tomfool decoration on a movie. It’s not only consistent with the character and the film, it’s essential to it. You take this guy’s cufflinks off and he’ll fall apart." -cinemasource
This is the only one I haven't seen, as it left theaters too quickly. But if there's a spoiler afoot anywhere, it's the BAFTA-winning Firth.

4. Morgan Freeman (1 for 4) for Invictus
"The biggest challenge I had, of course, was to sound like him. Everything else is kind of easy to do – to walk like him. He has a few tics and things that I noticed and I picked those up. I didn’t have any agenda as it were in playing the role other than to bring it as close to reality as I possibly could. The agenda is incorporated in the script and all I had to do was learn my lines." -moviesonline
Yawn. Apparently Nelson Mandela himself said he'd want Morgan Freeman to play him, and so it went. Wake me up if they ever make Long Walk To Freedom, it might hold more weight.

5. Jeremy Renner (0 for 0) for The Hurt Locker
"I’ve never been so affected or so interested in a project. I just thought that EOD was a whole world that had never been explored in cinema. On paper, he was one of the best-written characters I’d seen in a long time. I had so many questions and answers, at the same time, to what made this guy tick and I was just so curious I couldn’t wait to figure it out." -incontention
Renner adds several shades to what seems like a typical "cowboy" soldier role as The Hurt Locker progresses, and is my favorite performance of the year. Also I just realized he was the bad guy in S.W.A.T. and it blew my mind.

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