While he hasn't done much lately, he was one of my favourite actors when I was a kid. I think he was the best Hercule Poirot on film -- I just watched Death on the Nile again last week and he was great. And as the Beeb says: he was a well-known raconteur. And I love any and all raconteurs.
If I could fix me up a week of twilight hours we'd sit on the point and watch the sun continually flounder. Bathed in gold we'd plug into some kind of power and connect with those days back before all of this went sour.
From what I've heard of Zellweger's role in Cold Mountain, it's more of a supporting performance. I think she's got to be considered the long-term favourite at this point because she's the biggest name amongst the probable nominees.