Oscar Watch: Supporting actor contenders

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Josh Brolin
"Milk"
Pros: The Academy might want to redeem itself after ignoring Brolin's memorable roles in the Coen brothers' "No Country For Old Men" and this year's "W."
Cons: Will the Academy really send "W." to the podium?
Josh Brolin
Robert Downey Jr.
"Tropic Thunder"
Pros: 2008 was quite a year for the Iron Man, and Downey Jr. is past due to collect an Oscar.
Cons: Will the comedy-phobe members of the Academy smile upon Downey Jr.'s role in this spoof comedy?
  Robert Downey Jr.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
"Doubt"
Pros: Did he or didn't he? Hoffman managed to make a sympathetic foe out of an alleged child molester.
Cons: While Hoffman beat out Ledger at 2006's awards with his "Capote" performance, this year belongs to Ledger.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Heath Ledger
"The Dark Knight"
Pros: The Academy could reconcile their "Brokeback Mountain" snub and let Ledger complete the awards-season hat trick, picking up trophies from the Globes, SAG and the Academy.
Cons: Oscar tends to frown upon comic book films. Not even Jack Nicholson made it onto the Academy's ballot for his turn as the Joker in 1989.
  Heath Ledger
Michael Shannon
"Revolutionary Road"
Pros: It's not unheard of for an actor to steal the movie with just a couple scenes and walk away with the Oscar. Remember Judi Dench in "Shakespeare in Love"?
Cons: Shannon nabbed neither a Globe nor SAG nomination: Will the Academy make up for the others' slights with an Oscar win?
Michael Shannon
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