Oscar Race 2014: Your Cheat Sheet to the Best Actor Nominees

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American Hustle

From former teen heartthrobs to seasoned character actors, the men nominated for Best Actor in this year’s 86th Academy Awards have all turned in some of the most memorable and critically acclaimed performances of their careers. Who will take home the coveted trophy? We’ll find out on March 2, but we can still theorize in the meantime.

Christian Bale, American Hustle

In American Hustle, Christian Bale plays Irving Rosenfeld, a con artist who teams up with the FBI.

Why he might win: Bale gained 40 pounds and donned a horrendous toupée to play Rosenfeld — and the Academy loves to reward actors who go to extremes to play a character. Plus, the film has earned him some of the best reviews of his career.

Why he might not: Many were surprised that Bale was even nominated. He also won the Supporting Actor trophy in 2010 for The Fighter, so voters may be hesitant to vote for him over another actor so soon.

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