Who: Christian Bale

What: The Machinist

Why: He lost about 60 pounds in making this film, and for those inclined to vote for someone who can completely reshape their body, Bale’s your guy.

Who: Jeff Bridges

What: The Door in the Floor

Why: Bridges is a longtime Academy fave with four noms already on his resume.

Who: Gerard Butler

What: Phantom of the Opera

Why: While he doesn’t get much to do in most of the film except stalk Emmy Rossum, the last 20 minutes proves his Phantom- worthiness.

Who: Jim Caviezel

What: The Passion of the Christ

Why: Going through all those physical hardships must be worth something, no?

Who: Billy Crudup

Popular on Variety

What: Stage Beauty

Why: Actors love to see others play actors, even if it’s from the 17th century.

Who: Thomas Jane

What: Stander

Why: Few saw it, but those who did say Jane was outstanding.

Who: Kevin Kline

What: De-Lovely

Why: His portrayal of Cole Porter captured all the mood swings and eccentricities of the songwriter. Plus, the film was a big hit with older auds.

Who: Bill Murray

What: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

Why: Everyone wants Murray to have an Oscar and after missing out with “Lost in Translation,” he’ll be given every opportunity to make the cut.

Who: Al Pacino

What: The Merchant of Venice

Why: Because he’s Al Pacino.

Who: Sean Penn

What: The Assassination of Richard Nixon

Why: Like USC football, he’s still the champ until someone knocks him off.

Who: Adam Sandler

What: Spanglish

Why: Just for his patience in putting up with Tea Leoni’s character for as long as he did. Come to think of it, even a nom wouldn’t be enough.

Who: Billy Bob Thornton

What: Friday Night Lights

Why: Exhibiting both spit-flying mania on the sidelines and resolute calm off the field, Thornton always manages to impress.

Who: John Travolta

What: A Love Song for Bobby Long

Why: Travolta has starred in so many C-level thrillers that the fact he’s stretching his acting chops might have some resonance.

Who: Denzel Washington

What: The Manchurian Candidate

Why: Though his co-stars — Streep and Schreiber — probably have a better chance, Washington can never be counted out.