Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman

Best actor is always one of the most exciting categories at the Oscars and we have seen the likes of Jean Dujardin, Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges winning in recent years.

And it looks set to be as competitive as ever as some of the biggest names in Hollywood will battle it out for one of the most coveted prizes in film.

We take a closer look at the men that have been nominated and the performances that they have been recognised for.

Daniel Day Lewis

Ever since it was announced that Daniel Day Lewis would be playing Abraham Lincoln he has been tipped for even more Oscar glory.

He already has two Best Actor Oscar wins to his name and now it looks like a third on is just around the corner as the critics have been raving about his central performance in Lincoln.

The movie sees him team up with director Steven Spielberg to play Lincoln as he battles to end the American Civil war and abolish slavery.

Day Lewis has already won a string of awards for his performance and could well win the Golden Globe later today.

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman is a real fave in the FemaleFirst office and he has delivered the performance of his career as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

The actor shows off his vocal prowess on the big screen for the first time as he teams up with Tom Hooper to bring the popular stage musical to life on film.

He delivers a powerful and emotional central performance and a heap of award nominations have headed his way in the last few weeks - including a Bafta and Golden Globe nod.

This is Jackman’s first Best Actor Oscar nomination and hope fully it will be the first of many.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper has been a revelation in 2012 as he delivered a performance in Silver Linings Playbook that no one was expecting.

In the movie, which is an adaptation of the Matthew Quick novel, he plays a man who is trying to get his life back on track after a stint in a mental institution.

He finds that fine balance between emotion and humour and gave a riveting and engaging performance that saw him become more than just a comedic actor.

Silver Linings Playbook is a fantastic film and has picked up a whole host of Oscar nominations but Cooper really has been rewarded with a Best Actor nod - really deserved.

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington has not been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar since he won back in 2001 for Training Day.

But this year he is back I the mix for his central performance in Flight, which is directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Washington takes on the role of airline captain William ‘Whip’ Whitaker who saves an aeroplane from crashing. But an investigation suggests that he might have been the reason that the plane got into trouble.

Washington has produced some great performances over the years and this really shows this fine actor at his very best and it is his best turn since American Gangster.

Joaquin Phoenix

The Master was one of the early frontrunners for Oscar success and while the movie may have been overlooked the acting has not.

The movie saw the return to the big screen for Joaquin Phoenix as he took on the central role of Freddie Quell - a movie that teamed him up with Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

While the movie itself was a bit lacking Phoenix delivered another great performance as Quell, a man who struggles to leave the horrors of the Second World War behind him.

Phoenix has a way of really engaging the audience with every role and that is a tradition that he continues with this role.

The Oscar winners will be revealed 24th February

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