The best Oscar 2009 Best Actor Nominees were a varied lot. You cheered for some of them while undoubtedly wondering just why the heck some were nominated in the first place at all! These Oscar-nominated actors remind all of us once more that we are just the mere mortals who play in their demi-god world of Silver Screen immortality...because they let us.

  1. Mickey Rourke. The best Oscar 2009 Best Actor Nominee was Mickey Rourke for his faithful, loving and extremely realistic portrayal of a struggling washed out wrestler. Rourke's emotional portrayal of the old wrestler was displayed prominently in the character's estranged relationship with his young-adult daughter (played by Evan Rachel Wood) and his infatuation and yearning for Marisa Tomei's character, the stripper with a heart of semi-gold. If you ever wanted to become a pro wrestler (which would also immediately beg the question, Why?), seeing Rourke's performance may just discourage you due to the hard life that comes with it.

  2. Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt played the title character in the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons," a movie that was in fact based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story of the same name. Pitt is the second-best Oscar 2009 Best Actor Nominee because he had to put himself into an "out there" mentality to play his character. His character was a man who was born as an old man (if that even makes sense...) and then ages...backwards. Needless to say, to play this kind of unorthodox role, Pitt had to show his acting chops, and he proved he was more than just Mr. Angelina Jolie (but only by a little bit).

  3. Frank Langella. Dracula himself is another noteworthy best actor nominee because the nomination in 2009 marked his very first time being nominated. That was quite some time it took Langella to be an Oscar nominee, seeing as how it was his first nomination at the age of 71. He was nominated for his performance as former president Richard Nixon in the movie "Frost/Nixon," directed by former "Happy Days" fellow Ron Howard. For this role, Langella had to do real character acting to delve deep into the pro-capitalism and smaller government-minded Nixon.

  4. Richard Jenkins. Richard Jenkins is the fourth-best best actor nominee because of his portrayal of the disillusionment in man. He stars as a professor of economics who is transformed by chance while on a trip to New York. This was Jenkins' first really big award nomination, which is curious since he has been around for a really long time.

  5. Sean Penn. The final actor on this list of the best Oscar 2009 best actor nominees is perennial contender Sean Penn. He starred as the hero to gays everywhere, Harvey Milk. Milk is credited with bringing the high accomplishment of the alternative lifestyle of homosexuality into the political mainstream by being the first openly gay politician. Sure, he only accomplished this in San Francisco--when he probably would have trouble in red states--but it was trailblazing for its little corner of the world just the same.