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Chris Cooper in Adaptation
PRO: Really sank teeth into role.
CON: It's not nice to take work from Robert Downey, Jr.
Ed Harris in The Hours
PRO: With Pollock and The Hours has perfected art of portraying self-pitying New York artist.
CON: Will be unavailable to receive award due to clarinet gig at Michael's Pub.
Paul Newman in Road to Perdition
PRO: Will bring own popcorn.
CON: Will bring own salad dressing, salsa, and steak sauce.
John C. Reilly in Chicago
PRO: Also trotted out woeful, overlooked persona in The Hours, and, um, we forget . . . .
CON: Isn't being married to Renee Zellweger and Julianne Moore reward enough?
Christopher Walken in Catch Me if You Can
PRO: Possessed by the ghost of Frank Sinatra in campy, rat pack-y role.
CON: Will split votes with himself for Kangaroo Jack.
Kathy Bates in About Schmidt
PRO: The best hot tub since Eddie Murphy did James Brown.
CON: The fear she may not be acting.
Queen Latifah in Chicago
PRO: From the year's hottest musical: the woman who actually sang.
CON: May split votes with co-star Zeta Jones ("They both/they both/reached for/reached for/the Oscar/They both reached for/the Oscar")
Julianne Moore in The Hours
PRO: The ultimate Bush administration heroine: she drives a gas-guzzler and says 'no' to drugs.
CON: Showiest work done by her make-up artist.
Meryl Streep in Adaptation
PRO: Takes great acting chops to convince critics it sucks to work at The New Yorker.
CON: Sophisticated writer a little too shocked to find drugs in South Florida.
Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago
PRO: They owe her one for Traffic; best actress with Greek letter in name since Delta Burke.
CON: Saddam Hussein a menace who must be stopped.
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