JIM BROADBENT FOR HIM The respected British veteran’s touching performance opposite Judi Dench in Iris won a Golden Globe; with acclaimed supporting turns in Moulin Rouge and Bridget Jones’s Diary, perhaps it’s his year. AGAINST HIM Being a respected British veteran may not be all that’s needed — have enough voters seen his low-grossing film to give him a win? 3-1 ODDS

ETHAN HAWKE FOR HIM Surprise nominees sometimes become surprise winners (as Pollock’s Marcia Gay Harden did last year); though his screen time as Training Day’s rookie made this a leading role, many actors view his work opposite Denzel Washington as the definition of generous support. AGAINST HIM He’s also the rookie in this race; it’s not his turn yet. 8-1 ODDS

BEN KINGSLEY FOR HIM His role as the spring-loaded gangster in Sexy Beast was the kind of showy, explosive supporting turn of which most fiftysomething actors dream. AGAINST HIM The part may be too monochromatic (albeit perfectly played) for voters, and the film itself may have opened too long ago to get him his second statuette. 4-1 ODDS

IAN MCKELLEN FOR HIM His magisterial performance as The Lord of the Rings’ wizard Gandalf gave the film unexpected emotional gravitas — and aren’t voters still embarrassed about that ’98 Best Actor trophy going to Roberto Benigni instead of McKellen for Gods and Monsters? (We are.) AGAINST HIM Even Star Wars’ Alec Guinness couldn’t snag an Oscar for a fantasy flick. 2-1 ODDS

JON VOIGHT FOR HIM Voters who look beyond the latex, the wig, and the vocal mannerisms may reward him for turning Howard Cosell into the richest supporting character in Ali; his work is the definition of doing a lot with a little… AGAINST HIM …maybe too little. Actors have won with fewer than Voight’s 13 minutes of screen time, but not many. 20-1 ODDS

THE LOWDOWN McKellen becomes the Lord of the Kodak Theatre. (Now, remind us why Steve Buscemi isn’t in this race?)