2010 Oscar Buzz: Which Actors Wowed Us?

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Other contenders include Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg – both as a hero and a villain – in "The Social Network," and Paul Giamatti, in "Barney's Version," who plays a television producer revisiting his past over several decades.

There's also Mark Wahlberg, as welterweight Micky Ward in the biopic "The Fighter," and Jim Broadbent in "Another Year." Johanson also cited Russell Crowe for his "very believable performance" in "The Next Three Days."

Best Picture

Johanson's best bets are two movies about not giving up – "The King's Speech" and "127 Hours."

Also on her list are "Black Swan," for its depiction of the ballet world in a totally unique way, and "The Social Network" for its "very of-the-moment way of peeling back the mystique about the Facebook phenomenon, a technology we use all the time."

Johanson also likes Oscar-nomination chances for "True Grit," "Made in Dagenham" and "Another Year," directed by Mike Leigh, who's an Academy favorite. "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "Toy Story 3" may also have a shot.

With so many possibilities, why are so many people, year after year, disappointed with the Oscar results?

"What's unfortunate is that winning an Oscar is not always about the performance or the work," said Johanson. "What often determines who gets the statue is voters' deciding to make up for slights years earlier. Instead of giving the award to the right actor back then, they often wait for that actor's next role, and give them the Oscar belatedly."

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