Moviegoers have been pretty fortunate in 2015. This year, we’ve been treated to some incredible performances from actors in a simply amazing array of roles and films. The last twelve months has been one of those delightful periods when art and entertainment aren’t necessarily opposing forces, when a spectacular on-screen turn could be found in both quiet indies and big budget spectacles alike. Heck, the sheer diversity of the men who distinguished themselves this year is something remarkable, with talents both old and new emerging at the forefront of the Oscar chase. Leonardo di Caprio, Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp and Will Smith are getting the Oscar buzz, but here are some actors who we think are deserving of the nod for the 88th Academy Awards.
1. Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy has been on a roll this year. In the summer, his turn as Mad Max was the toast of Hollywood. Of course, his role in the movie is Supporting Actor fodder (at best); no, the chameleonic actor’s real challenge is this fall’s Legend, a gangster film that follows twin brothers in 1960s London (both played by Hardy himself) as they ascend to the top of the underworld. The reviews for the film as a whole have been lukewarm, but Hardy’s performance has been universally praised.
2. Matt Damon
A few years ago, it’d be easy enough to write off Damon’s chances for critical acclaim by virtue of the fact that his vehicle, The Martian, is straight up science fiction. Historically, the Academy has dismissed sci-fi pretty much altogether. That’s all changing, though, with films like Gravity scoring big in awards season. The Academy’s newfound love for the extra-terrestrial combined with glowing reviews for both the film and Damon’s largely solo performance make him something of a shoe-in for a nomination at the very least.
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