Anne Hathaway and James Franco will attempt to bring in a younger audience and higher ratings when they host the 83rd annual Academy Awards. The awards are the most sought after in the film industry and acknowledge the year’s best performances, both behind and in front of the camera.
While the show is three hours long, the most highly anticipated awards of the Oscars are given at the end of the night; best actor, best actress, and best picture. Below is a run-down of the nominees and what they’ve done prior to their nomination and what’s up next for them.
Javier Bardem “Biutiful”
Nominated for: His role as a terminally ill criminal trying to get his life in order for his family, before he succumbs to his disease.
Previous Awards: His third nomination: nominated in 2000 for his lead role in “Before Night Falls,” and won best supporting actor in 2007 for “No Country For Old Men.”
Where You’ve Seen Him Before: “Eat Pray Love,” “Vicky Christina Barcelona,” “No Country for Old Men.”
What’s Next: Being a father, his wife, Penelope Cruz, recently gave birth to a baby boy, and five movies are rumored to be coming out in 2012.
James Franco “127 Hours”
Nominated for: His portrayal of Aaron Ralston, a hiker who cut off his own arm to save his life.
Previous Awards: Franco’s first nomination.
Where You’ve Seen Him Before: “Freaks and Geeks,” “Pineapple Express,” “Spiderman,” “Date Night,” “Milk.”
What’s Next: Along with hosting this year’s show with Anne Hathaway, Franco is scheduled to be in “Your Highness” with fellow nominee Natalie Portman, and “Rise of the Apes” (a “Planet of the Apes” sequel). He recently signed on to star in “Oz: the Great and Powerful” where he’ll play the lead role, and continuing his higher education as a Ph.D. student at Yale.
Colin Firth “The King’s Speech”
Nominated for: His portrayal of King George VI, the English monarch who reaches out to a speech therapist for help with his stuttering.
Previous Awards: Firth’s second nomination: he was nominated in 2009 for his lead role in “A Single Man.”
Where You’ve Seen Him Before: “Love Actually,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” “Mamma Mia,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Shakespeare in Love.”
What’s Next: “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” with Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman.
Jesse Eisenberg “The Social Network”
Previous Awards: Eisenberg’s first nomination.
Where You’ve Seen Him Before: “Zombieland,” “Adventureland.”
What’s Next: The animated film, “Rio,” with Anne Hathaway, where Eisenberg voices Blu, a turkey who goes on an unexpected trip to Rio de Janerio, as well as the comedy “30 Minutes or Less” with Danny McBride and Nick Swardson.
Jeff Bridges “True Grit”
Nominated for: His role as a U.S. Marshal hired by a young girl to track down her father’s killer.
Previous Awards: His sixth nominaton: nominated in 1971 for actor in a supporting role for “The Last Picture Show;” in 1974 for supporting actor in “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot;” in 1984 for lead actor in “Starman;” in 2000 for supporting actor in “The Contender;” and won in 2009 for lead actor in “Crazy Heart.”
Where You’ve Seen Him Before: “The Big Lebowski,” “TRON,” “Iron Man.”
What’s Next: Bridges recently signed on to the movie adaptation of Joseph Delaney’s young adult novels called “The Last Apprentice.” The movie titled “The Seventh Son” is rumored to star newcomer Alex Pettyfer and fellow best actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence.
Most Likely to Win: Colin Firth
Annette Bening “The Kids Are All Right”
Nominated for: Her role as Nic, a lesbian mother of two children who deals with the repercussions of them meeting their biological father.
Previous Awards: Her fourth nomination: nominated in 1990 for her supporting role in “The Grifters;” in 1999 for her lead role in “American Beauty;” and in 2004 for her lead role in “Being Julia.”
Where You’ve Seen Her Before: “American Beauty,” “Running with Scissors,” “The Women.”
What’s Next: “Hemingway and Fuentes” with Anthony Hopkins, scheduled to release in 2012.
Nicole Kidman “Rabbit Hole”
Nominated for: Her role as a mother trying to recover after her daughter’s death.
Previous Awards: Her third nomination: nominated in 2001 for best actress in “Moulin Rouge;” won in 2002 for her lead role in “The Hours.”
Where You’ve Seen Her Before: “Moulin Rouge,” “Nine,” “Just Go With It,” “The Golden Compass,” “Stepford Wives,” “Practical Magic,” “The Others.”
What’s Next: Kidman and her husband, Keith Urban, recently welcomed a baby girl, Faith, into the world, and her movie “Trespass” is to be released later this year.
Natalie Portman “Black Swan”
Nominated for: Her role as Nina Sayers, a delicate ballerina who transforms her reality for her performance as the Swan Queen in Swan Lake.
Previous Awards: Second nomination for Portman, she was nominated in 2002 for her supporting role in “Closer.”
Where You’ve Seen Her Before: “No Strings Attached,” “V for Vendetta,” “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones,” “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” “Garden State,” “The Other Boleyn Girl.”
What’s Next: “Your Highness” with best actor nominee and host James Franco, and “Thor,” the latest comic book-to-movie franchise with Austrailian Chris Hemsworth.
Jennifer Lawrence “Winter’s Bone”
Nominated for: Her role as Ree Dolly, a 17-year-old trying to find her father after the family house is threatened to be taken away.
Previous Awards: Lawrence’s first nomination.
Where You’ve Seen Her Before: “The Bill Engvall Show.”
What’s Next: “X-Men” First Class, the Sundance favorite “Like Crazy.”
Michelle Williams “Blue Valentine”
Nominated for: Her role as Cindy, a wife and mother whose marriage is falling apart.
Previous Awards: Her second nomination, in 2005 she was nominated for best supporting actress in “Brokeback Mountain.”
Where You’ve Seen Her Before: “Dawson’s Creek,” “Shutter Island,” “Dick.”
What’s Next: She’s playing icon Marilyn Monroe in “My Week with Marilyn.”
Most Likely To Win: Natalie Portman
127 Hours: The story of Aaron Ralston, a hiker whose arm gets pinned underneath a boulder and must take matters into his own hands to save his own life.
Inception: A thriller that looks into a new type of corporate espionage where people can extract information from target’s dreams. But in “Inception,” Dom Cobb is asked to implant information instead of extract. And if he succeeds, he will be able to leave his dangerous profession for good.
Black Swan: Nina Sayers is an innocent, dependable ballerina who must transform herself entirely to play the Black Swan, but loses herself and her mind in the process.
The Fighter: The true story of two brothers who have dedicated their life to boxing. Dicky is Micky’s crack-addicted brother and trainer, who is both his greatest strength and greatest weakness.
Toy Story 3: The third and final installment of the “Toy Story” franchise, “Toy Story 3” hits an emotional note when Andy goes away to college and leaves his favorite toys behind. They must learn to adjust to their new placement at Sunnyside daycare center.
Winter’s Bone: Ree Dolly is only 17 and the primary care giver for her younger brother and sister. When she finds out her home is going to be taken away because of her father’s legal troubles, she must find him to keep her house and her family.
The Social Network: A look at the beginnings of the world’s biggest social networking site, Facebook, and it’s founder Mark Zuckerberg.
True Grit: A young girl hires a U.S. Marshal to track down her father’s murderer. Accompanied by a Texas Ranger, they venture into the wilderness to find him.
The King’s Speech: A look at King George VI and his relationship with a speech therapist who helps with his debilitating stutter.
The Kids Are All Right: Mothers and partners, Nic and Jules, must deal with their children’s decision to get to know their biological father and the shaken family dynamic that comes with it.
Most Likely to Win: The King’s Speech