Best actor Oscar nominees

February 20th, 2009 - 11:20 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, Feb 20 (DPA) The Oscars will be announced here Sunday night (Monday morning in India). The following have been nominated for the best actor Oscar:
Richard Jenkins, “The Visitor”: Jenkins, 61, is a veteran character actor who has appeared in countless supporting roles in television and film productions. After decades as an actors’ actor, Jenkins finally got widespread recognition in “The Visitor” for his role as a lonely economics professor whose life is changed when he finds a couple of undocumented immigrants living in an apartment he owns in New York. Jenkins previously appeared in movies such as “Snow Falling on Cedars”, “Shall We Dance?”, “North Country” and “Six Feet Under”.

Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon”: An accomplished actor on stage and screen, Langella won a Tony award for playing the role of Richard Nixon in the play on which the “Frost/Nixon” movie is based. A 70-year-old Italian-American from New Jersey, Langella was best known as a theatrical actor for most of his career, but has gradually been increasing his screen time in recent years, and was acclaimed for his roles in “Good Night and Good Luck” in 2005 and “Superman Returns” in 2006.

Sean Penn, “Milk”: One of the most respected actors in Hollywood, Penn is often said to be among the best of his generation. A dedicated and outspoken left-wing political activist, Penn, 47, was nominated this year for his convincing portrayal of Harvey Milk, the first openly-gay US politician who organised San Francisco’s gay community, before his murder by a conservative political rival. Penn has previous Oscar nominations for “Dead Man Walking”, “Sweet and Lowdown” and “I Am Sam”. He won the Oscar in 2003 for “Mystic River”.

Brad Pitt, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”: Pitt is a Hollywood icon who is almost as well known for his relationships with Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie as he is for his acting roles. In Button, Pitt, 44, ends any debate about his acting with a masterful performance as a man who is born old and grows younger. His other notable movies include “Interview with the Vampire”, “Se7en”, “Twelve Monkeys”, “Fight Club”, “Troy”, the “Ocean’s Eleven” series and “Mr & Mrs Smith”.

Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”: Known for his unconventional approach to Hollywood, Rourke trained as a professional boxer and only switched to acting after doctors told him to take a break from prize-fighting. He earned acclaim in movies such as “Rumble Fish” and “Nine 1/2 weeks”, but quit Hollywood at the height of his success to see if he could succeed in the boxing ring.

He found it hard to return to the film world after his boxing comeback failed. But his role in the stylized movie “Sin City” in 2005 earned rave reviews. In “The Wrestler”, Rourke plays a role that is close to his heart as a washed-out wrestler who continues to fight against doctors’ orders because it’s the only thing he knows.

Oscar bet: Hollywood loves a good comeback and they don’t get much better than Mickey Rourke’s. Hollywood also loves Sean Penn and a good political drama. So the race is between these two.

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