Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
The Social Network, an Aaron Sorkin-adapted film that chronicles the founding of Facebook, stars Jesse Eisenberg as the company's ruthlessly ambitious co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg. This is the first Oscar nomination for the New York-native, who has already been nominated this year for a Screen Actors Guild Award® and a Golden Globe.
This young star made his big-screen debut in 2002, appearing alongside Kevin Kline in The Emperor's Club. Eisenberg has achieved critical success over the years for his roles in The Squid and the Whale, Adventureland and Zombieland, but it wasn't until his breakout role in the Social Network that moviegoers took notice as well.
James Franco, 127 Hours
James Franco is attending this year's Academy Awards as both a nominee and a host. He will share hosting duties with actress Anne Hathaway, while also being recognized for his performance in 127 Hours as mountain climber who is forced to take desperate measures in order to survive.
Franco began his acting career as a TV star, appearing in the short-lived but critically acclaimed series Freaks and Geeks. He subsequently earned the title role in the 2001 biopic James Dean, for which he won a Golden Globe and nominations for an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He later moved on to the big screen, showcasing his talents in fan-favorites such as Spider-Man and Pineapple Express. In 2008, Franco won an Independent Spirit Award for his supporting role as the boyfriend of politician Harvey Milk in Milk.
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