Get sick on screen, cough a little too hard, and you've got a nomination all locked up.
Here are some of the frontrunners for nomination consideration, who will suddenly feel much better if they're announced among the chosen this Thursday.
Marion Cotillard in Rust and Bone (above). The French favo ... More >>
He's the year's third Lincoln, but this one's not a vampire hunter or an Oscar winner in heavy prosthetics.
Played by Bob Stillman, he's one of the tapestry of characters in Paula Vogel's Civil War Christmas , a lovely musical drama set on Christmas Eve of 1864.
Can you imagine the speech?
"The first time I won, I thought it was a nice gesture on your part and you were basically rewarding me for giving it the old Hollywood try, but I wasn't actually sure if you liked me.
"You know, really liked me.