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Who will take the gold? Fox411's Dr. Oscar's offers Best Actor predictions

The Academy Awards are often described as Hollywood’s Super Bowl. This year, that may actually be an understatement. 

But rest assured. If you’re looking for some guidance as you prepare for your office Oscar pool, you’ve come to the right place. For the past four years, Fox 411 has provided some of the most accurate predictions on the web. This year, we plan to do it again.

Today, we take a look at the Best Actor category. Let's take a look at the odds.

BEST ACTOR

THE NOMINEES: Demian Bechir in “A Better Life,” George Clooney in “The Descendants,” Jean Dujardin in “The Artist,” Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

PREDICTION: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”

The popular choice seems to be George Clooney, and with good reason. He delivers what is arguably his strongest performance to date in “The Descendants,” a critically and commercially successful film. He won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) last month. A 2005 Best Supporting Actor winner for “Syriana,” this is his third Best Actor nomination in five years. He’s widely respected in the movie industry for both his talent and his integrity. So how could be possibly lose? 

The answer is twofold. First, many voters probably feel that his role in “The Descendants” wasn’t that much of a stretch for him; the character was quite similar to others he has recently portrayed. Second, his great success actually works to his disadvantage. Fame, fortune, good looks, beautiful women – he has it all. Members of the Academy may ask whether he really needs the Oscar, regardless of how deserving he may be.  It sounds silly, but voter envy can be a real liability for someone like Clooney. His good friend Brad Pitt in “Moneyball” faces the same problem. 

That leaves voters with nowhere to turn but to the “Artist” himself, Jean Dujardin. He carries an entire film with virtually no audible dialogue. His facial expressions, movements and mannerisms create a complete and fascinating character. He has a big breakdown scene which voters will surely remember. Plus, he benefits from his film’s status as the Oscar frontrunner. His performance is the heart of “The Artist,” and it may seem unfair to reward the picture and not him. Dujardin was the surprise winner (over Clooney) at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and just nabbed the British Academy Award, as well. It looks like he’ll be dancing away with the Oscar next.

Check back this week for more of Dr. Oscar's predictions. Tune into Fox411.com Sunday at 7 p.m. to watch our live coverage of the Oscars red carpet.

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