Michael Caine in The Cider House Rules
PRO:The old hand; movie has notes voters love, of both nostalgia and drug addiction
CON: Plays a doctor, not a plastic surgeon; has already won in category (Hannah and her Sisters); is he British, or isn't he?
Tom Cruise in Magnolia
PRO: Must have been a relief playing this after having Stanley Kubrick bore the fuck out of you for two years.
CON: Wait! That was us, not Tom Cruise.
Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile
PRO: Go ahead -- you tell him he's lost.
CON: This would have worked much better with Peter Scolari in the part.
Jude Law in The Talented Mr. Ripley
PRO: Next HOT thing: tanned, fit, appears to have had recent plastic surgery.
CON: "Layabout socialite who wastes time in Italy" is not exactly among the cinema's greatest acting challenges.
Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense
PRO: Cute little kid precedent (Anna Paquin, Matt Damon)
CON: How far do you have to go to out-act Bruce Willis?
Toni Collette in The Sixth Sense
PRO: Plays the stuff fantasies are made of: a mom who understands No Matter What
CON: Will have to wear red; body of work includes Muriel's Wedding and Velvet Goldmine .
Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted
PRO: Won the Golden Globe; we love that final scene where she throws a sink through a window.
CON: Script, uninterrupted.
Catherine Keener in Being John Malkovich
PRO:We love her too; sex appeal holds up to Malcovich; could make great portal jokes in acceptance speech
CON:Only character of the five who is not selfless in heartwarming Academy way; character changes, inexplicably, halfway through movie
Samantha Morton in Sweet and Lowdown
PRO:The Academy loves women who can't talk (The Piano); Woody Allen Supporting Actress magic (Mira Sorvino, Dianne Wiest); possible short acceptance speech
CON: fun irony of watching her react, silently, to losing
Chloe Sevigny in Boys Don't Cry
PRO: Intense performance tapped by Boston Society of Film Critics
CON: "No Strap-On for Oscar' headlines too good to resist. Who the hell are the Boston Society of Film Critics?
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