Over the last few weeks, we have been taking a look at the performances and films that could find themselves in the Oscar mix come the start of next year. There are already a whole host of films that are surrounded in very loud Oscar whispers.

Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies

Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies

The supporting categories can be quite exciting - expect this year when J.K. Simmons won every award going for his performance in Whiplash - and there are already a whole host of great actors being tipped for possible Oscar glory.

We take a look at some of the names and performances that could well be in the mix. Who do you think is going to be in contention? Who do you think will win?

- Tom Hardy - The Revenant

Tom Hardy is a huge favourite here at FemaleFirst, we would love nothing more than to see him snag an Oscar nomination, and win the thing outright... 2016 could well be his year.

Hardy is set to return to the big screen in the new year with The Revenant, which sees the actor reunite with Leonardo DiCaprio and team up with director Alejandro González Iñárritu for the very first time. We have only had one teaser trailer for the film and it is already tipped to be a major player during the awards season.

The Revenant will be the first film for Inarritu since the Oscar success of Birdman and would be the second consecutive year that one of his projects was in the Oscar race - should it pick up the nominations that everyone is expecting.

Hardy first worked with DiCaprio in Inception and now these two great actors are set to team up again - I really cannot wait to see them in action. Based on a true story, the movie follows frontiersman Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) who seeks revenge on John Fitzgerald (Hardy), the traitorous partner that left him for dead.

This would be the first Oscar nomination of Hardy's career should he find him in the mix wat the beginning of next year - I am going to nail my colours to the mast now and say that Hardy is going to be the one to beat!!!

- Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies

The Best Supporting Actor could well have a very British feel to it, should all of those tipped actually get nominated, and Mark Rylance could well be in the mix.

It has already been a busy year for Rylance with The Gunman and TV mini-series Wolf Hall under his belt and he is set to return to the big screen later this year with Bridge of Spies. Bridge of Spies is already one of the most anticipated films of this autumn and will see Rylance team up with Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg.

Set during the Cold War, the movie follows lawyer James Donovan who is thrust into the centre of the conflict when he is recruited by the CIA. Rylance will take on the role of Russian spy Rudolf Abel, who is used as a bargaining tool to get an American pilot back from the enemy.

Bridge of Spies really is promising to be a tense political thriller and I cannot wait to see these great actors in action. Bridge of Spies is expected to be in the Oscar race and it would be great to see this great actor be recognised by the Academy for the first time.

- Robert De Niro - Joy

During his career, Robert De Niro has been nominated for an Oscar seven times - winning for Raging Bull and The Godfather: Part II - and could well be in the mix once again.

Joy is one of the 2016 films that is being tipped for success and will see De Niro team up with director David O. Russell once again; they have already worked together on Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.

The movie is set to follow the story of Joy Mangano, a single mother of three who went on to build a business empire. De Niro is set to play Joy's father in the film as he reunites with Jennifer Lawrence.

If only one actor from Joy can be nominated in this category then we may be a toss-up between De Niro and Bradley Cooper, who is also working with Russell and Lawrence again.

It has been over thirty years since De Niro last won an Oscar - he was last nominated in this category in 2013 for his performance in Silver Linings Playbook. Is it his time to win once again?

- Samuel L. Jackson - The Hateful Eight

Samuel L. Jackson has been a long-time collaborator of Quentin Tarantino and the two are set to reunite once again for the upcoming The Hateful Eight.

Of all the actors that we are talking about today, The Hateful Eight is the movie that we have seen the least of but it is a film that is already surrounded in strong Oscar whispers... that could be because Tarantino's last two movies were well received by the Academy.

Inglourious Basterds was nominated for eight Oscar - including Best Picture - and won Best Supporting Actor. Django Unchained was nominated for five Oscars - including Best Picture - and won Best Supporting actor and Best Original Screenplay.

Many are expected to see The Hateful Eight in the running in many categories when the nominations are announced - like Joy, there could be more than one actor from this film in this category as Kurt Russell could well be in the running.

The Hateful Eight is another Western and will see Jackson take on the role of bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren alongside Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tim Roth.

During Jackson's long and illustrious career, he has only bagged one Oscar nomination - Best Supporting Actor for his fantastic work in Pulp Fiction back in 1995. I think it is high time that he was in the running once again.

- Benedict Cumberbatch - Black Mass

Earlier this year we saw Cumberbatch in the Oscar race for the first time when he picked up a Best Actor nod for his performance in The Imitation Game... twelve months on and he could be in the running again.

It would be great to see another Brit in the Oscar hunt and Cumberbatch could find himself in the mix for his work in the upcoming gangster flick Black Mass.

Directed by Scott Cooper, Black Mass tells the true story of Whitey Bulger, one of the most infamous criminals in U.S. history who became an FBI informant.

Johnny Depp is set to take on the central role in the film and Cumberbatch will star alongside him for the first time as state senator Bill Bulger and brother of Whitey. Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, Corey Stoll, and Juno Temple are just some of the other names on the cast list.

Black Mass is not as heavy a favourite as some movies to be in the Oscar race, but we could see it pop up in a few categories. It would be great to see Cumberbatch in the mix for a second consecutive year.

- Seth Rogen - Steve Jobs

Another movie that has many people talking is biopic film Steve Jobs, which sees Danny Boyle back in the director's chair. He has assembled a terrific cast list and Seth Rogen is set to take on the role of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

This looks set to be a role that will show off Rogen's dramatic talents as well as allowing him the comedic freedom. The movie explores the rise of Jobs and the difficult relationships he forged behind the scenes.

Jonah Hill has successfully made the transition from comedy star to serious actor - picking up Oscar nominations for Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street - and it looks like Rogen is set to follow in his footsteps.

We all know how much the Academy loves a biopic film and we could see the likes of Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet all in contention for gongs as well.

Should Rogen be recognised with a nomination, it would be the first Oscar nomination of his acting career.

Other potential contenders include Michael Keaton (Spotlight), Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight), Bradley Cooper (Joy), and Harvey Keitel (Youth).

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