Only two men in Oscar history have ever received acting nominations for two different performances in the same year: Al Pacino (for 1992’s Scent of a Woman and Glengarry Glen Ross) and Jamie Foxx (for 2004’s Ray and Collateral). Though I don’t expect anyone to join that list this year, I do find it funny that good buddies George Clooney and Matt Damon are competing against each other in this season’s Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories. In the lead race, Clooney headlines Up in the Air with a quintessential star turn, while Damon shows off his droll comedy stylings in The Informant! And in the supporting contest, there’s Clooney’s goofball performance in The Men Who Stare At Goats, while Damon gets serious as a South African rugby player in Invictus. I’ve only seen three of these four performances, but my hunch is that Clooney’s stronger shot is for Best Actor while Damon seems a better bet for Best Supporting Actor. But that doesn’t mean a little trash-talking isn’t in order. Back in Toronto, Damon told me how he plans to take down his pal as the awards season progresses.

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