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Blame it on the biopic.

Faced with an overabundance of lead actor candidates — thanks to a raft of solid biography vehicles — experts and insiders are throwing up their hands and heaving a collective “Who knows?”

In a season where big winners are anybody’s guess, Jamie Foxx may be one of the few sure things. His inspirational turn as blind musical genius Ray Charles in “Ray” touches on time-tested voter hot buttons.

Also taking on a real-life disabled character is Javier Bardem in “The Sea Inside.” The film’s high emotion plays in Bardem’s favor. The Spanish actor expresses Ramon Sampedro’s reactions with often nothing more than a wink, smile or scrunched up brow, a trait sure to be noticed by actors branch of the Academy.

Others in the biopic field include Bobby Darin impersonator and two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey in “Beyond the Sea”; Johnny Depp as “Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie; Don Cheadle as hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, who saved millions of Rwandans from a tribal massacre; and Liam Neeson as the controversial sex author in “Kinsey.”

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Leonardo DiCaprio, as eccentric multimillionaire Howard Hughes in “The Aviator,” could benefit from across-the-board goodwill toward Martin Scorsese, a respected vet who’s gone 0-for-Oscar so far in his career.

Tom Cruise will be looking for his fourth Oscar nom, this time as a contract killer in “Collateral,” a film that may be gathering steam. It landed on the top 10 list with the National Board of Review, which awarded Michael Mann its director honors.

Paul Giamatti, as the frustrated writer hosting a bachelor party sendoff in Alexander Payne’s wine country paean “Sideways,” seems to have touched a nerve with voters for his quirky, real portrayal.

And in a performance that many are hailing as this year’s under-the-radar choice, Kevin Bacon portrays a pedophile trying to restart his life after 12 years in prison in “The Woodsman.”

KEVIN BACON
Character: Walter
Actor’s Age: 46
Previous Oscar noms: 0*
2004 award noms: Independent Spirit Awards
Previous Awards: 0
Actor’s total B.O. since 1994: Estimated $615 million
Film: The Woodsman
Distributor: Newmarket Film Group
Rating: R
Release date: Dec. 24
Opening weekend B.O.: $53,985
Opening weekend per-screen avg.: $8,998
B.O. cume-to-date: $197,623
Director: Nicole Kassell

JAVIER BARDEM
Character: Ramon Sampedro
Actor’s Age: 35
Previous Oscar noms: 1*
Previous Oscar wins: 0
2004 award noms: Golden Globes (actor, drama); Broadcast Film Critics Assn.
Actor’s total B.O. since 1994: Estimated $103 million
Film: The Sea Inside
Distributor: Fine Line Features
Rating: PG-13
Release date: Dec. 17
Opening weekend B.O.: $55,000
Opening weekend per-screen avg.: $2,391
B.O. cume-to-date: $142,474
Director: Alejandro Amenabar

DON CHEADLE
Character: Paul Rusesabagina
Actor’s Age: 40
Actor’s total B.O. since 1994: Estimated $974 million
Previous Oscar noms: 0*
2004 award noms: Golden Globes (actor, drama); Broadcast Film Critics Assn.; SAG
Film: Hotel Rwanda
Distributor: MGM
Rating: PG-13
Release date: Dec. 22
Opening weekend B.O.: $100,091
Opening weekend per-screen avg.: $14,299
B.O. cume-to-date: $426,803
Director: Terry George

TOM CRUISE
Character: Vincent
Actor’s Age: 42
Previous Oscar noms: 3*
Previous Oscar wins: 0
2004 award noms: 0
Actor’s total B.O. since 1994: Estimated $1.55 Billion
Film: Collateral
Distributor: DreamWorks
Rating: R
Release date: Aug. 6
Opening weekend B.O.: $24,701,458
Opening weekend per-screen avg.: $7,748
B.O. cume-to-date: $100,170,152
Director: Michael Mann

JOHNNY DEPP
Character: James M. Barrie
Actor’s Age: 41
Previous Oscar noms: 1*
Previous Oscar wins: 0
2004 award noms: Golden Globes (actor, drama); Broadcast Film Critics Assn.; SAG
Actor’s total B.O. since 1994: Estimated $805 million
Film: Finding Neverland
Distributor: Miramax
Rating: PG
Release date: Nov. 12
Opening weekend B.O.: $220,524
Opening weekend per-screen avg.: $27,566
B.O. cume-to-date: $24,676,372
Director: Marc Forster

LEONARDO DICAPRIO
Character: Howard Hughes
Actor’s Age: 30
Previous Oscar noms: 1*
Previous Oscar wins: 0
2004 award noms: Golden Globes (actor, drama); Broadcast Film Critics Assn.; SAG
Actor’s total B.O. since 1994: Estimated $1.02 Billion
Film: The Aviator
Distributor: Miramax
Rating: PG-13
Release date: Dec. 17
Opening weekend B.O.: $858,021
Opening weekend per-screen avg.: $20,927
B.O. cume-to-date: $31,541,390
Director: Martin Scorsese

JAMIE FOXX
Character: Ray Charles
Actor’s Age: 37
Previous Oscar noms: 0*
2004 award noms: Golden Globes (actor, musical or comedy, “Ray”; supporting actor, “Collateral”); SAG
2004 Award Wins: National Board of Review (actor, “Ray”); Broadcast Film Critics Assn. (actor, “Ray”)
Actor’s total B.O. since 1994: Estimated $420 million
Film: Ray
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Rating: PG-13
Release date: Oct. 29
Opening weekend B.O.: $20,039,730
Opening weekend per-screen avg.: $9,990
B.O. cume-to-date: $71,611,065
Director: Taylor Hackford

PAUL GIAMATTI
Character: Miles Raymond
Actor’s Age: 37
Previous noms: 0*
2004 award noms: Golden Globes (actor, musical or comedy, “Sideways”); Independent Spirit Award; Broadcast Film Critics Assn; SAG
2004 Award Wins: New York Film Critics Circle
Actor’s total B.O. since 1994: Estimated $1.3 billion
Film: Sideways
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Rating: R
Release date: Oct. 22
Opening weekend B.O.: $207,042
Opening weekend per-screen avg.: $51,760
B.O. cume-to-date: $22,404,206
Director: Alexander Payne

LIAM NEESON
Character: Alfred Kinsey
Actor’s Age: 52
Previous Oscar noms: 1*
Previous Oscar wins: 0
2004 award noms: Golden Globes (actor, drama); Independent Spirit Awards; Broadcast Film Critics Assn.
Actor’s total B.O. since 1994: Estimated $885 million
Film: Kinsey
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Rating: R
Release date: Nov. 12
Opening weekend B.O.: $169,038
Opening weekend per-screen avg.: $33,808
B.O. cume-to-date: $6,734,321
Director: Bill Condon

KEVIN SPACEY
Character: Bobby Darin
Actor’s Age: 45
Previous Oscar noms: 2*
Previous Oscar wins: 2
2004 award noms: Golden Globes (actor, musical or comedy)
Actor’s total B.O. since 1994: Estimated $1.09 billion
Film: Beyond the Sea
Distributor: Lions Gate
Rating: PG-13
Release date: Dec. 17
Opening weekend B.O.: $45,264
Opening weekend per-screen avg.: $7,544
B.O. cume-to-date: $1,899,765
Director: Kevin Spacey