Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
“What he pulled off was in a category of one.” This was what a director member of the Academy said, and it pretty much sums up the feelings of the majority. Day-Lewis will become the first performer to win three Oscars in the lead actor category for his role as the 16th U.S. president. No one else even comes close.
Runner-Up: Distantly, it’s Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables. His emotional, musical performance as Jean Valjean is much admired and even though he won’t win, it created a lot of goodwill that may pay off the next time he has an Oscar-nominated role.
Surprise: Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook. This is extremely unlikely, and Cooper has had some fun joking around about the speech he might give on Oscar night (spoiler: it would be a concession speech). But The Hangover star is perhaps the actor who benefited most from the nomination, earning respect not just as a pretty face, but as a star with sincerity and depth.
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