The son of actor James Brolin receives his first Oscar nomination for his role as conservative San Francisco Supervisor Dan White, who assassinated gay Supervisor Harvey Milk and the city's mayor, George Moscone, in 1978. Though passed over for a Golden Globe nod, Brolin, 40, was named best supporting actor by the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review of Motion Pictures and is a Screen Actors Guild contender.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. "Tropic Thunder"
The 43-year-old earns an Oscar nomination for his comedic turn as an Australian thespian who takes Method acting a bit too far. He was nominated for an Academy Award for lead actor for 1992's "Chaplin." Downey received a Golden Globe nom for "Thunder" and is in contention for the SAG and BAFTA awards.
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN "Doubt"
The Oscars have become a habit for the 41-year-old Hoffman. After winning the best actor award for "Capote" (2005), he was nominated for supporting actor for 2007's "Charlie Wilson's War" and now picks up his second supporting nod as a priest suspected of abuse. Nominated for Golden Globe and Critics' Choice awards, Hoffman is also up for SAG and BAFTA awards.
HEATH LEDGER "The Dark Knight"
A year to the day since his death at 28, the Aussie actor earns a nomination for his no-holds-barred turn as Batman's nemesis the Joker. Ledger has won several awards for "Knight," including Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., Critics' Choice and Golden Globe plaudits. He is up for SAG and BAFTA honors. Ledger got a lead actor Oscar nom for 2005's "Brokeback Mountain."
MICHAEL SHANNON "Revolutionary Road"
The Chicago theater actor, 34, is nominated for his terrifyingly honest portrayal of a mathematician who suffered a breakdown. Shannon, who has worked with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater as well as performed on the London stage, has portrayed complex, often dangerous characters in the films "Bug," "Shotgun Stories" and "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead."
AMY ADAMS "Doubt"
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