Oscar preview: Best Actor

Conventional wisdom: Rourke’s work in The Wrestler was among the year’s most applauded performances. But he’s got a rep as a crazy guy who might not be Academy Award® worthy. Then there’s Langella and a potential “lifetime achievement award” win for Frost/Nixon, and Penn and a potential “Suck it Prop 8!” win for Milk.

And the Oscar goes to: Ultimately, Hollywood loves a comeback. The establishment will welcome Mickey Rourke back into the fold, only to watch TMZ cut him to pieces for years to come. Ain’t fame a bitch?

Note: If you haven't done so already, make sure you enter our Oscar contest for a chance at free dinner and a movie from Creative Loafing. And don't miss our live-blogging of the show itself, starting 7 p.m. on Sunday night, right here on The Daily Loaf.

Now, we continue our countdown to Oscar night with a look at a major award up for grabs on Sunday. (Yesterday was Best Supporting Actress.) Today, we break down:


Nominees: Richard Jenkins, The Visitor; Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon; Sean Penn, Milk; Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Vegas odds: Rourke is even money, with Penn fractionally behind. Early fave Langella has fallen to 8-1, but even that far outpaces dark horses Pitt (20-1) and Jenkins (50-1).

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