By Adam B. Vary
February 09, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST

For this year’s Oscars, the 20 acting nominees have posed for photographer Douglas Kirkland in what the Academy calls “Out of Character: Portraits of This Year’s Acting Nominees.” Clicking through them, two things quickly become clear: One, with rare exception, the men weren’t too keen on being creative with their poses. And two, with rare exception, the women were keen on doing anything but a straight-forward pose.

Basically, they’re like the fanciest school portraits ever. Here are my four favorites from the acting categories, starting with Best Supporting Actor (all credits to Douglas Kirkland and AMPAS): 

Nick Nolte (nominated for Warrior) just does not give a rip, and that is simply awesome.

NEXT PAGE: The standout Best Supporting Actress portrait

Taylor Hicks: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Help‘s Octavia Spencer looks like she’s positively glowing in this shot.

NEXT PAGE: The standout Best Actress portrait

Carson Daly: Mitch Haaseth/NBC

Much like her nominated performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there is something so unconventionally moody and pensive about Rooney Mara here.

NEXT PAGE: The standout Best Actor portrait

Goodman: Bill Matlock/NBC; Aguilera: Virginia Sherwood

Between this and his Funny or Die movie villain audition video, Jean Dujardin is officially the 2012 Oscar Nominee Who Is Having The Most Fun.

Click on over to Oscar.com to check out all 20 portraits, and then tell me below: Which is your favorite?

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