The list of nominees is quite impressive this year. Let's go through them one by one:
Javier Bardem for "Biutiful" - I have not seen this film yet but have read glowing reviews for both the film and for Javier's performance. Javier has already won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his work in "No Country For Old Men" in 2008 and is considered one of the finest actors of our time. I will review "Biutiful" and Javier once I see it.
James Franco for "127 Hours" - I have seen this film. Four times to be exact. It is my favorite movie of the year. James' performance, which carries the entire film, is nothing short of stunning. His transformation from a carefree young man out for a day of hiking to a man facing his own demise to a man who does the unthinkable to survive is truly a study in courage. He makes you laugh, cry, cringe, and ultimately cheer for Aaron Ralston and his ordeal and survival. James completely owns the role and so deserves this nomination.
Jesse Eisenberg for "The Social Network" - I want to see this film again. Jesse Eisenberg does something amazing here - he takes what could be one of the most boring characters to ever be in a film and makes him come alive. You may hate him or envy him but you feel something. He is supported by a wonderful young cast who make this story of ingenuity, genius, and betrayal well worth watching. Jesse also completely owns the role and is probably mistaken for Mark Zuckerberg all the time.
Colin Firth for "The King's Speech" - I have seen this film as well. Three times to be exact. Colin Firth takes another character who could have been dull on film and makes him three dimensional and so appealing that the audience I first saw it with cheered at the end. His portrayal of the stutter that afflicted King George VI never feels put on or gimmicky. It truly seems as if Colin Firth has always spoken like that. Colin is George VI and has my vote this year for Best Actor of 2010.
Jeff Bridges for "True Grit" - Now, I have loved Jeff Bridges my entire life so this is very hard for me to write. I did not love this movie and I did not love his performance. It felt forced and too much like a caricature for me. The best performance in this film was done by the youngest member of the cast, Haliee Steinfeld, and Jeff did a good job supporting her but as a leading actor role, I feel he fell short. His win last year was so deserved - I hope he does more roles like that one.