Although onetime talk show host Greg Kinnear has appeared in a wide range of roles since landing a supporting actor nod for "As Good as It Gets" back in 1997, he has never competed in the lead race. Now Kinnear, 45, has found the kind of part that resonates with Oscar voters ¿ a real-life man taking on the system in court. In "Flash of Genius," it is an inventor who fights Ford over the patent rights to a windshield wiper. Playing the underdog in court proved to be a winning way for Tom Hanks ("Philadelphia") and Dustin Hoffman ("Kramer vs. Kramer") while it landed nods for George Clooney ("Michael Clayton") and Russell Crowe ("The Insider"). (Kerry Hayes / Universal Pictures)

Although onetime talk show host Greg Kinnear has appeared in a wide range of roles since landing a supporting actor nod for "As Good as It Gets" back in 1997, he has never competed in the lead race. Now Kinnear, 45, has found the kind of part that resonates with Oscar voters ¿ a real-life man taking on the system in court. In "Flash of Genius," it is an inventor who fights Ford over the patent rights to a windshield wiper. Playing the underdog in court proved to be a winning way for Tom Hanks ("Philadelphia") and Dustin Hoffman ("Kramer vs. Kramer") while it landed nods for George Clooney ("Michael Clayton") and Russell Crowe ("The Insider"). (Kerry Hayes / Universal Pictures)

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