This is the surprise pick in the Oscar race: Mexican actor Demian Bichir in "A Better Life," about an immigrant in Los Angeles.
George Clooney in "The Descendants" gives an uncompromising performance. He is in a two-man race for the award.
The French actor Jean Dujardin is captivating, daring and tragic in the silent film "The Artist." I remembered this film long after the others.
I called Gary Oldman's performance in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" "brilliant." But it may be too subdued for Academy voters.
And Brad Pitt in the Oakland A's story "Moneyball" keeps adding to his resume. But no home run.
George Clooney certainly took some chances. But my choice for a full bucket is Jean Dujardin in "The Artist." He is the best actor of the year.