The 2014 Oscars nominations are in and these are the stars in the running to take home the coveted Academy Award for Best Actor...
NAME: Christian Bale
FILM: American Hustle
OSCAR HISTORY: 1 win in 2011 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for The Fighter (2010)
Perhaps best known for playing Batman in The Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises, Bale has a trophy cabinet full of awards. But could this be Oscar number two? Critics seem united in their praise for Bale’s performance of con man Irving Rosenfeld in American Hustle. And with a superhero theme to the ceremony, well, it’d just be rather peachy wouldn’t it?
NAME: Chiwetel Ejiofor
FILM: 12 Years A Slave
OSCAR HISTORY: This is Ejiofor’s first Oscar nomination, following two Golden Globes and one Bafta nomination this year.
Ejiofor has starred in big-name hits Inside Man, Salt and American Gangster, as well as being nominated at this year’s Golden Globes for his part in BBC2 series Dancing on the Edge. However, it’s his role as Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave that appears to have cemented Ejiofor's presence on the Hollywood scene and he’d be a popular winner.
NAME: Leonardo DiCaprio
FILM: The Wolf of Wall Street
OSCAR HISTORY: 3 nominations, for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Best Actor in a Supporting Role 1994), The Aviator (Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role 2005) and Blood Diamond (Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role 2007).
DiCaprio can seemingly do no wrong as he continues to jump from one successful film to another – Inception, J Edgar, Django Unchained, The Great Gatsby… the list goes on. His part in The Wolf of Wall Street sees him living the high life as stockbroker Jordan Belfort and a gold statue at the end of it would seem rather poetic.
NAME: Matthew McConaughey
FILM: Dallas Buyers Club
OSCAR HISTORY: This is McConaughey’s first Oscar nomination, following his Best Performance by an Actor win at this year’s Golden Globes for Dallas Buyers Club.
McConaughey certainly put everything into the role of Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club, dramatically changing his appearance through extreme weight-loss to portray the cowboy who has been diagnosed as HIV positive. With words like "remarkable" and "astonishing" floating around among the critics, this could be McConaughey’s year.
NAME: Bruce Dern
OSCAR HISTORY: 1 nomination in 1979 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Coming Home (1978).
What do you do if you think you’ve won a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes prize? Why you travel from Montana to Nebraska on foot of course. Bruce Dern has been highly praised for his portrayal of booze-addled Woody Grant, who goes on a road trip with his son (played by Will Forte).
The Oscars ceremony takes place on Sunday 2 March