Remember the days when the winners of Best Actor and Best Actress used to always get a standing ovation? While it still happens from time to time, it’s no longer a guarantee. This year, we can pretty much guarantee the Best Actor winner will bring everyone in the Shrine Auditorium to their feet. It is a courageous performance that has deserved the accolades that have been bestowed upon it. Though this is the easiest category to predict, there are four other extremely worthy performances deserving of their nominations. Here they are:

Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

Let’s kill whatever little suspense there is over the victor. Colin Firth will handily walk away with this award. First, he gives a terrific performance. Second, he was nominated last year. Third, he is respected by people everywhere for his acting prowess. Fourth, he has won every single major Best Actor award to date, and fifth, he hails from The King’s Speech, the film that leads the Oscars with 12 nominations. The Academy loves stories about a person overcoming an obstacle and Firth’s King George VI fits the bill. Firth is both hilarious at times and moving at times in the film, spewing obscenities to help him avoid stuttering one minute, and choking up in front of an audience the next. When Firth wins though, he should seriously consider giving half the award to Geoffrey Rush. Every good actor needs another to push him, to make him better. Rush does just that. You won’t find a film this year that features better performances.

Though Firth will undoubtedly win, he is in the company of some great actors. Javier Bardem is brilliant as usual in a very conflicted role in Biutiful. We have yet to find a Javier Bardem movie where he does not shine and steal the show. Anyone? Bridges had the uneviable task of playing the John Wayne character in True Grit, yet somehow finds a way to make it his own. Congrats to him for his second straight nomination. Franco is pretty good in 127 Hours, though we think he could have made the role a little darker. And then there’s Eisenberg, who is really the breakthrough talent of the year. Despite playing the role of a ruthless, condescending, and backstabbing future billionaire, Eisenberg finds a way to inject the character with just enough humanity to make the audience care about him. Eisenberg also wins the award for Best Smirk hands down. I’m CEO, bitch!