Like the other races, at least four of these nominations are pretty much sewn up. Jeff Bridges is getting rave reviews for Crazy Heart, and although he hasn't gotten too much critical support, I think the Academy will give him this award because the next two in line have already won. Speaking of them, George Clooney has received an uber amount of support from critics, but his subtle role may not appease Academy members looking for a more emotional range. Morgan Freeman is also in for his role as Nelson Mandela, and to be honest, I would not count him out. The Academy loves actors who play real people, and they love Morgan Freeman. The next two spots will most likely go to newcomers. Colin Firth, I feel, is a lock for his career-turning performance in A Single Man. That leaves the fifth spot open. I personally think that the love and support for The Hurt Locker, and the SAG nod will pull Jeremy Renner into that spot. But don't count out Daniel Day-Lewis, Viggo Mortensen, and Michael Stulhbarg, who are right on his tail. To Recap:
Jeff Bridges "Crazy Heart"
George Clooney "Up in the Air"
Colin Firth "A Single Man"
Morgan Freeman "Invictus"
Jeremy Renner "The Hurt Locker"