Why he will win: As with his Oscar-winning supporting turn in “Inglorious Basterds,” Waltz manages a near impossible mix of congenial menace; it’s both fun to watch and is masterfully nuanced.
Best scene: Even standing still with his back to the audience, refuting a taste for sweets, Waltz’s Dr. King Schultz commands the screen right before the movie’s climatic shootout: Will he or won’t he erupt in violence? With Schultz, waiting for the answer is always a thrill.
Critic’s quote: “Waltz is superb here. His Schultz is gloriously understated in the way he deflects the amorality around him, and his clipped diction is itself a brilliant type of comic timing,” says Stephanie Zacharek, National Public Radio.