Every year, Oscar pundits go hog wild debating whether or not said performance in ______ film is award-worthy.
Some actors, like Tom Hanks or Daniel Day Lewis, are thoroughbreds at lapping up love from the Academy, while other times you get wild cards like Adrian Brody or Roberto Benigni seemingly gate-crashing the ceremony with their anonymity.
However, in some years there builds such a consensus about a particular actor that it seems inevitable they'll take the gold. According to awards tracking site Gold Derby, there is currently a 95% expert consensus that says Colin Firth will be delivering an eloquent acceptance speech for "The King's Speech," where he plays a stammering George VI.
While Firth winning may seem like a done-deal, we took a good look at this year's Best Actor Oscar race and came up with a whopping eight actors who may wind up giving Firth a strong run for his money.
James Franco, "127 Hours"
PRO: Lost appendage sympathy.
PRO: On screen all by his little old self.
PRO: Has the seal of approval from the real Aron Ralston.
PRO: He was robbed an Oscar for his role in "East of Eden." Oh wait, that's James Dean.
CON: Arm seemingly sewed back on at General Hospital.
CON: His co-stars are a watch, a water bottle and a microwave burrito.
CON: Audiences mistake the title for a running time.
Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"
PRO: It's all about the eyepatch.
PRO: John Wayne won for playing Rooster Cogburn, why not The Dude?
PRO: Coen Brothers. Western. Nuff said.
CON: After last year's "Crazy Heart," win, how many Oscars can a guy win playing southern drunks?
CON: The role's already been decorated with an Oscar.
CON: Cogburn keeps getting hit with "Tron" light discs from the next theater.
Ryan Gosling, "Blue Valentine"
PRO: Gosling plays a mean ukulele.
PRO: Academy still owes him one for "Half Nelson!"
PRO: "The Notebook" should help with the lady voters.
PRO: It's high time a member of the Mickey Mouse Club won an Oscar.
CON: Viewers get motion sickness from the movie's shaky-cam aesthetic.
CON: With Gosling and Michelle Williams in baggy clothes, Brooklyn setting and soundtrack by Grizzly Bear, this might be hipster overdose.
Robert Duvall, "Get Low"
PRO: Loves the smell of napalm in the morning.
PRO: There are roughly 6000 people in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and something like 5900 of them are over age 80. You figure it out.
PRO: Might put a horse's head in all the Academy voters' beds if they refuse.
CON: Playing a grizzled old man… how big of a stretch was this, exactly?
CON: Too old to hear his name called if he wins.
Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"
PRO: Most people now think he, not Mark Zuckerberg, invented Facebook.
PRO: Besides giving a killer performance, he can protect the Awards audience from zombies.
PRO: Could accept the Academy Award in bathrobe and flipflops.
CON: Most Academy voters aren't members of Facebook.
CON: Promised director David Fincher he would not talk about Fight Club.
CON: Might be mistaken for Michael Cera.
Javier Bardem, "Biutiful"
PRO: Already got one, plus he's married to Penélope Cruz… what does he give a s***?
PRO: Director Alejandro González Iñárritu has a knack for nabbing Oscar nods for his cast.
CON: The film looks really gloomy and grim… couldn't Bardem have played the lead in "Yogi Bear" instead?
CON: He's not rockin' a crazy hair-do like he did in "No Country for Old Men."
CON: There's a sequel already in the planning stages called "Uguly."
Mark Wahlberg, "The Fighter"
PRO: Playing real-life Cinderella story of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward. Oscar loves biopics.
PRO: Legit Boston accent.
PRO: Residual performance quality just from acting opposite Amy Adams.
PRO: Vibrations good like Sunkist, many wanna know who done this.
CON: Can't hear his performance over David O. Russell & Christian Bale's screaming.
CON: "Planet of the Apes."
CON: Say hi to your mother for me.
Leonardo DiCaprio, "Inception"
PRO: Voters may believe if they give him the Oscar, he'll explain the ending to them.
PRO: After all these years, Leo finally looks old enough not to get carded at a bar.
PRO: The guy's body of work, mixed with his lack of Oscar and the box office bucks this movie made, would make it wise not to count him out.
CON: Wait, did this movie make any sense?
CON: Seriously, was this movie a dream or not?