Best supporting actor nominees

Christian Bale won the best Oscar for supporting actor. We take a look at his role in The Fighter and the nominees he beat.

Christian Bale

Christian Bale in The Fighter

Age: 36

Nominated for: The Fighter

The character: Dicky Eklund is boxer Micky Ward's older half-brother, mentor, and also an albatross, not helped by his crack addiction.

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: None.

He said: "With playing Dicky, I was just running like crazy. I could just run for hours on end and I felt really healthy."

The critics said: "This is the best Bale has ever been, juggling pathos with a sense of humour I presumed lost after American Psycho. If The Fighter takes home one award, it'll have Christian Bale's name on it." Filmjunk

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo

Age: 43

Nominated for: The Kids Are All Right

The character: Paul, a laid-back restaurant owner, who is contacted by the teenage children he fathered by sperm donation.

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: None

He said: "In some ways, he's a child himself. He hurt people, but he hasn't really hurt people. He's helped people to grow. I don't think you can hold someone like him, a child, responsible for something that's outside their understanding."

The critics said: "Ruffalo is superb as a free spirit who has gotten through life on his carnal appeal, and the actor finds the right balance between oafishness and sincerity in playing the man who serves as a catalyst for the family's upheaval." Screen Daily

Geoffrey Rush

Geoffrey Rush

Age: 59

Nominated for: The King's Speech

The character: Lionel Logue, the unconventional Australian speech therapist who treats King George VI.

Previous Oscar wins: One (best actor for Shine, 1996)

Previous Oscar nominations: Three

He said: "From the diaries that we got to read, we realised both Lionel and the Duke of York had whimsical and twinkling senses of humor that you don't often see in the news-reel footage."

The critics said: "On paper, Geoffrey Rush's 'Henry Higgins'-like role is perhaps the showiest, but he subtly underplays the part of a maverick Aussie man-of-the-people and works extremely well with Colin Firth's more mannered yet troubled royal." Screen Daily

Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner

Age: 40

Nominated for: The Town

The character: James "Jem" Coughlin, Doug's best friend and a member of Doug's team.

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: One

He said: "I was asking for an accent coach, but Ben [Affleck] didn't want to do that. He kinda just sent me a bunch of ex-cons and prisoners on audio tapes."

The critics said: "Renner is convincing, even if the part is standard stuff." Time

John Hawkes

Actor John Hawkes

Age: 51

Nominated for: Winter's Bone

The character: Ree Dolly's threatening uncle Teardrop, who helps in the search for her missing father.

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: None

He said: "I really enjoyed the challenge of Teardrop and I wasn't sure how I would do it, but I knew there was a lot there to try to figure out and it would be great to try and pull off."

The critics said: "[The] supporting cast are also fantastic, especially John Hawkes, as Ree's feral uncle." Evening Standard

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Oscars 2011

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