1. Ben Affleck
The just-opened Argo, a fact-based thriller about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, is already getting raves, not just for Affleck's understated performance as a top CIA extractor, but for his skill at calling the shots. Affleck already showed he had directing chops with 2007's Gone Baby Gone and 2010's The Town, both set in his native Boston. But Argo puts him on a global stage. That sound you hear is Oscar buzzing.