03/27/2000 at 01:00 AM EST
Richard Farnsworth, The Straight Story *
Sean Penn, Sweet and Lowdown
Kevin Spacey, American Beauty
, The Hurricane
This field is stronger than it has been in years; every one of these guys deserves to win. But, for reasons having to do as much with sentiment as with his brilliantly spare performance as a determined codger who rides his tractor mower from Iowa to Wisconsin, I'd love to see 79-year-old Richard Farnsworth come out on top.