Oscar Watch: Actor contenders

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Richard Jenkins
"The Visitor"
Pros: Character actor makes good on leading man role.
Cons: In recent history, an Oscar win has been preceded by both a Golden Globe and SAG nomination, but Jenkins failed to nab a nod from the HFPA.
Richard Jenkins
Frank Langella
"Frost/Nixon"
Pros: Langella took home a Tony for his work in the stage version, and he's in good company: Paul Scofield scored both a Tony and an Oscar for "A Man for All Seasons" in 1967.
Cons: A Tony win doesn't guarantee an Oscar victory.
  Frank Langella
Sean Penn
"Milk"
Pros: Even though the movie is bookended by his tragic death, Penn's Milk is a happy warrior, with the emphasis on happy. His optimistic performance could land the SAG winner his second Oscar.
Cons: Penn is 1 for 4 in making it up to the podium on Oscar night. Can he make it 2 for 5?
Sean Penn
Brad Pitt
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Pros: Pitt's pretty. OK -- not just that. He's ugly, too. And old. It worked for Charlize and Nicole.
Cons: It's been 13 years since Pitt's name appeared on the Academy Awards final ballot. Will his dry spell end in 2009?
  Brad Pitt
Mickey Rourke
"The Wrestler"
Pros: Everybody loves a comeback -- on the big screen and in real life.
Cons: But will the Academy dare to put the brakes on the ultimate comeback?
Mickey Rourke
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