Why Anyone (Not Just Sylvester Stallone) Could Win This Year’s Oscar For Best Supporting Actor

The Oscars are just around the corner, and many films are incredibly worthy of the prize this year, from movies with dazzling visual effects and top-notch animated films to just Leonardo DiCaprio in general. We’ve already given you our predictions on who will take home those golden statues on Sunday, but let’s take a closer look at the Best Supporting Actor category.

The nominees for Best Supporting Actor are always some of the most interesting characters in film. While a leading role usually has to be relatable and powerful, supporting performances can be those unique background guys that play a pivotal part in the hero’s journey. They are the ones you don’t forget. Just look at last year’s winner, J.K. Simmons. When you think of Whiplash, do you think of Miles Teller’s strong performance and drum skills, or do you think of Simmons yelling at and tormenting young musicians until their hands bleed?

While our money is on ol’ Sly Stallone winning this year, it could really be anyone’s game. Despite the film focusing on Apollo Creed’s son struggling with his namesake, the movie was still very much about Rocky’s struggle with loneliness at the end of his life, and the performance was nothing short of heart-wrenching. Seeing as how he also won the Golden Globe for his performance, he’s definitely a front-runner.

Then of course, we’ve got Christian Bale, gunning for his next Best Supporting Actor award after 2010’s The Fighter with The Big Short. His perfect depiction of hedge fund manager Dr. Michael Burry makes him a top contender for winning. Tom Hardy earned his first nomination for The Revenant, his character being a despicable guy defined by the ways he justifies his awful actions.

Next up is Mark Ruffalo, making the Best Supporting Actor list for contributing to Spotlight‘s “standout scene of unfettered indignation.” Finally, Bridge Of Spies supporting actor Mark Rylance, whose role is “an example of screen acting at its most subtle, poignant and exquisitely calibrated.”

With so many talented actors up for this year’s honors, we just can’t wait until Sunday to find out who will win.