© 2010 Paramount Pictures
1. Christian Bale, The Fighter *WINNER
Based on a true-life tale, Christian Bale plays former New England Welterweight Champion Dicky Eklund, who helps his younger half-brother Micky Ward (played by Mark Wahlberg) become a boxing champion in The Fighter. Bale won a Golden Globe® for his performance and has also been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award®. This is his first Oscar® nomination.
Bale's big break came in 1987's Empire of the Sun. Since then, he's played a wide variety of roles in films such as The Dark Knight, American Psycho, The Prestige and 3:10 to Yuma.
© 2010 Roadside Attractions
2. John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
When a 17-year-old girl must track down her meth-dealing father to save her family's home, she turns to a man few want to cross—her Uncle Teardrop. Actor John Hawkes has received his first Oscar nomination for his portrayal of this dangerous man, born from the pages of Daniel Woodrell's 2006 novel by the same name. Hawkes' role as Teardrop has also earned him a Screen Actors Guild nomination.
Hawkes has previously appeared in films such as American Gangster and Me and You and Everyone We Know, as well as television shows Deadwood and Lost.
© 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures
3. Jeremy Renner, The Town
Fresh off his 2009 Best Actor nomination for his role as an elite Army bomb squad commander in The Hurt Locker
, Jeremy Renner returns to the red carpet with a Best Supporting Actor nomination for playing a Boston-born bank robber in The Town
. Renner also received a Golden Globe nomination for this role.
In The Town
, Renner took direction from and starred with Ben Affleck, who interviewed him for Oprah's 2010 primetime Oscar special. See what they had to say about their Oscar moments, fatherhood and more.
4. Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Mark Ruffalo stirred up a happy family—and caught the Academy's attention—as a sperm donor getting to know his two biological children and their mothers in The Kids Are All Right. Ruffalo has already received the New York Film Critics' Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor for this role and received a number of nods, including a Screen Actors Guild nomination. This is his first Oscar nomination.
Ruffalo has appeared in more than 30 films, including Shutter Island, Zodiac, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and You Can Count on Me. In 2012, he will assume the role of The Hulk in The Avengers.
© 2010 The Weinstein Company
5. Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech
As Lionel Logue in The King's Speech, Geoffrey Rush brings to life the true story of a speech therapist who helped King George VI learn to stand tall and speak without stammering. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe in this role.
The beloved star of such films as Pirates of the Caribbean and Ned Kelly, Rush is no stranger to the Academy Awards. He won Best Actor in 1997 for his role in Shine. In 1999, he was nominated in a supporting role for his work in Shakespeare in Love. Two years later, he received another Best Actor nomination for Quills.