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Yidio Oscars 2012 Predictions: Who Will Win Best Actor?

Yidio Oscars 2012 Predictions: Who Will Win Best Actor? In the Yidio Oscars Spotlight, we take a look at the key races at this year's Academy Awards. Today we look at the Best Actor Category, where one awards show veteran faces off with a new face from France.

Best Actor

Though it seemed that we had a favorite just a few months ago, another name has crept in down the stretch and possibly taken over as the likely winner.

Past Winners

A category that often awards those playing biopic roles, we saw Jamie Foxx win Best Actor for "Ray," Philip Seymour Hoffman win for "Capote," and Sean Penn win for "Milk." Last year saw Colin Firth win for his role as King George VI in "The King's Speech." You can also bet on Daniel Day-Lewis winning when he's nominated, but he's off this year, so the category is open to someone else.

The Nominees

Demian Bichir - "A Better Life"

George Clooney - "The Descendants"

Jean DuJardin - "The Artist"

Gary Oldman - "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Brad Pitt - "Moneyball"

What Critics are Saying

This category mostly comes down to two names. While Pitt was impressive in "Moneyball," Bichir was emotional in "A Better Life" and Oldman was riveting in "Tinker," it is Clooney and DuJardin who are getting all the attention.

Clooney was the early favorite in this category, and deservedly so: his performance throughout "The Descendants" was strong, but his goodbye to his wife toward the end of the film was breathtaking. It was simple, understated, but still intensely emotional and honest.

However, "The Artist" came in late and gained some steam, and with it came Jean DuJardin. The French actor was effortlessly charming in the silent film, but also conveyed some moments of real despair and emotion. To be able to pull of this stylistic role so perfectly is no small feat.

In terms of wins, both actors took home a Golden Globe as "The Descendants" was placed in the Drama category, with "The Artist" in the Comedy category. Since then, DuJardin has won both the SAG and BAFTA awards.

Prediction

DuJardin seems to be the favorite if the SAG and BAFTA awards are any indication. However, Clooney is a darling of the Academy, so don't be surprised if he steals the spotlight back from DuJardin.