This year’s Best Actor nominees are a formidable group and very much in the news right now. Here’s the latest goss:

Congratulations to Javier Bardem, whose missus – Penelope Cruz – gave birth to a baby boy just the other day. Daddy Bardem is otherwise talked of as having been offered ‘a major role’ in the next Bond movie. I’ll keep an eye on this and let you know.

If you believe the online rumours, Jeff Bridges is said to be teaming up with Winter’s Bone star and fellow Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence as well as Alex Pettyfer for an adaptation of Joseph Delaney’s best-selling series The Last Apprentice – better know in the UK as The Wardstone Chronicles. I think Jeff Bridges is amazing in any role he takes on, but, dude, don’t you think he should have had an Oscar for The Big Lebowski?

Speaking of the Coen brothers, the siblings are already working on their next movie – the remake of 1960s Brit crime caper Gambit – and have got none other than Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz on board (the original starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine). The Coens are only scripting this one – Michael Hoffman will be directing.

Colin Firth is otherwise the favourite to win the Best Actor Oscar for his role as George VI. Even Helen Mirren’s put her money on him. Ironically, Colin has said he doesn’t like the royal family.

Elsewhere, Jesse Eisenberg is said to have recently partied with Mark ‘Facebook’ Zuckerberg. Well, almost. They were at the same New York venue…

Oscar nominee James Franco is soon heading to Broadway to be Nicole Kidman’s gigolo lover in a revival of Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird Of Youth.

I’ve also heard that Franco has recently become a bar owner as well and will be hosting an ‘after after after after party’ for his mates on Oscars night. Only thing is, nobody knows the exact location of this mystery LA bar.

And the nominees for Best Actor in a leading role are:

Javier Bardem  – Biutiful

[swf]http://uk.player.filmtrailer.com/v3.1/&mid=5476&channel_user_id=441100180-1&repeat=1&volume=0[/swf]
Jeff Bridges  – True Grit

[swf]http://uk.player.filmtrailer.com/v3.1/&mid=5561&channel_user_id=441100180-1&repeat=1&volume=0[/swf]
Jesse Eisenberg  – The Social Network

[swf]http://uk.player.filmtrailer.com/v3.1/&mid=5022&channel_user_id=441100180-1&repeat=1&volume=0[/swf]
Colin Firth  – The King’s Speech

[swf]http://uk.player.filmtrailer.com/v3.1/&mid=5557&channel_user_id=441100180-1&repeat=1&volume=0[/swf]
James Franco  – 127 Hours

[swf]http://uk.player.filmtrailer.com/v3.1/&mid=5644&channel_user_id=441100180-1&repeat=1&volume=0[/swf]

So, who will win?

Bardem won an Oscar in 2008 for No Country for Old Men. Bridges has been nominated several times and won last year for Crazy Heart. The youngsters, Jesse and James, are ones to watch as they keep getting more and more interesting roles. But I’m with Dame Helen – my money is 100 percent on Colin Firth.

We’ll find out for sure on Sunday 27 February!

Come back next week for my lowdown on this year’s nominees for Best Foreign Film and Best Feature Documentary.

Let us know who you think should win this year’s Best Actor Oscar on our Facebook wall – and you could win a film DVD or Blu-ray.

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