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Dr. Oscar's Academy Award Nomination Predictions: Best Actor

And Dr. Oscar's Predicted Academy Award Nominees Are...

Clint Eastwood, “Gran Torino”

Richard Jenkins, “The Visitor”

Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon”

Sean Penn, “Milk”

Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”

Eastwood, Langella, Penn and Rourke can all count on making the cut. It’s the fifth slot which seems to be unclear.

Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is a viable contender, having been acknowledged in the Golden Globe and SAG races. However, I can’t imagine many Academy actors ranking Pitt as their number one or two choice, especially with such fierce competition. I suspect that even the most ardent supporters of “Benjamin Button” will rank Pitt in a lower position on their ballots, which will leave him out in the cold.

Leonardo DiCaprio gives the best performance of his career in “Revolutionary Road” and has a good chance, though he’s hurt by his omission in the SAG race and by lack of support for the film.

This gives an opening for dark horse contender Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor.” It’s an understated performance, the kind that voters usually overlook. Still, the veteran character actor has received glowing notices for his first leading role, and I think just might land enough high-ranking votes to squeak into the category.

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