5. George Clooney in The Descendants- Clooney as usual for him fails to find conviction in his performance. He has a strange lack of consistency and has some very bad moments that are suppose to be his money scenes.
4. Brad Pitt in Moneyball- Brad Pitt gives a fine leading performance here that is effectively charming and entertaining.
3. Demian Bichir in A Better Life- Demain Bichir gives a heartfelt and incredibly moving performance that only ever relies on bringing out genuine emotions in every moment of his film.
2. Jean Dujardin in The Artist- Jean Dujardin gives simply a wonderful performance that is a unique achievement to behold. He never fails to entertain as well as create a powerful portrait despair as well it is truly great work.
1. Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy- Gary Oldman has the greatest of challenges with his almost emotionless part, yet he makes a compelling and very convincing characterization. His performance improves for me each time I have watched it. A very difficult decision to be sure and I certainly thought between these top two for quite a while. Both give superb performances, and again I have no real reason for picking Oldman over Dujardin, I think they are equally good in their challenging roles, but I am forced to pick one.
Ryan Gosling in Drive
Brendan Gleeson in The Guard