Jeff Bridges

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures  

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Jeff Bridges plays washed up, alcoholic, country music singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart. His performance has already earned him his first Golden Globe® award—and a moving standing ovation from his peers. The 60-year-old son of Hollywood legends Lloyd Bridges and Dorothy Dean Bridges has four previous Oscar nominations for his roles in The Last Picture Show (1972), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1975), Starman (1985) and The Contender (2001). This would be his first win.  
George Clooney

Credit: Paramount Pictures  

George Clooney, Up in the Air  
Professional downsizer Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) spends his life on a plane, traveling to every corner of the country to do companies' dirty work. When a young hotshot suggests a policy that could keep him grounded, Bingham must take a hard look at what he's missed while up in the air. Previously nominated for four Oscars, Clooney won his first in 2006 for his supporting role in Syriana.  
Morgan Freeman

Credit: Warner Bros.  

Morgan Freeman, Invictus  
It's 1995, and Nelson Mandela is in his first term as president of South Africa. He's looking for something to unite his country that was ripped apart by apartheid—why not the Rugby World Cup? Freeman brings Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela to the big screen in this real-life tale. 

Invictus marks Freeman's fifth Oscar nomination. He won his first Oscar in 2005 for his supporting role in Million Dollar Baby.  
Colin Firth

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Colin Firth, A Single Man  
Tom Ford's directorial debut A Single Man tells the story of George (Colin Firth), an English professor trying to cope with the sudden death of his partner. Fresh off a Golden Globe® nomination, this is the first Oscar nomination for the critically acclaimed British actor. Firth is best known for his roles in Bridget Jones' Diary, Love Actually and Mamma Mia!, but,  he first stole our hearts as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.  
Jeremy Renner

Credit: Summit Entertainment  

Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker  
You may recognize him from films such as SWAT, North Country and 28 Weeks Later. This year, Jeremy Renner is a red carpet fixture thanks to his role as an elite Army bomb squad commander in Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker. This is Renner's first Oscar nomination.