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With George Clooney et al, lead actor Oscar race is up for grabs

November 13, 2011 |  2:00 pm

George Clooney and Shailene Woodley in The Descendants
With George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gary Oldman and more, the race for lead actor at the Oscars appears to be wide open.

As the movie awards season progresses, the Gold Standard column will handicap the current state of the races in The Envelope and at 24 Frames — ranking them by likelihood of a nomination. Check back often for updates.

1. George Clooney, “The Descendants”
2. Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
3. Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”
4. Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”
5. Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
6. Michael Fassbender, “Shame”
7. Ryan Gosling, “The Ides of March”
8. Woody Harrelson, “Rampart”
9. Paul Giamatti, “Win Win”
10. Michael Shannon, “Take Shelter”

Bubbling under: Matt Damon, “We Bought a Zoo”; Daniel Craig, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”; Jeremy Irvine, “War Horse”; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “50/50.”

For your consideration: Tom Hardy, “Warrior.” We realize the similar “The Fighter” was just last year and that the prodigal son Hardy played often felt more like an archetype than a character, but can we find a little love in our hearts for Hardy’s mumbling, Method brooding?

Analysis: Subtlety (Oldman, Clooney) versus showy (DiCaprio, Dujardin) — all of them great, serving their films, as is Brad Pitt playing a very Brad Pitt-like Billy Beane in “Moneyball.” With these actors, along with a deep bench of indie standouts hoping for a spot in the lineup, this perennially strong category is, at the moment, up for grabs.


Gold Standard: Predicting the best picture race

Predicting the best director Oscar nominees

— Glenn Whipp

Photo: George Clooney and Shailene Woodley in "The Descendants." Credit: New York Film Festival

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