With less than a week to go for the 2015 Oscars, the race for Supporting Actor is one of the strongest categories despite one frontrunner emerging ahead of the award show.
Five actors have been selected through many different awards organizations as the best of the year, including the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the Critics' Choice and now the Oscars.
The nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at this year's Oscars are:
Robert Duvall in The Judge
Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
Edward Norton in Birdman
Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
Here is a ranking of each nominee in terms of their likelihood of winning the Oscar.
5. Robert Duvall
Duvall became the oldest person to ever be nominated for the Best Supporting Actor award at the Oscars for his performance in The Judge. He has been nominated six times previously, winning once. An acting legend, Duvall gives another great performance in The Judge opposite Robert Downey, Jr. However, he simply hasn't received the acclaim of his fellow nominees to stand a realistic shot of winning this category, losing every other award he's been up for.
4. Mark Ruffalo
Ruffalo receives his second Oscar nomination for his fascinating, subtle turn as Dave Schultz in Foxcatcher. He has worked with many different people in the Academy over the years and is generally well liked, which can always help on top of his already acclaimed performance. He has the most subtle performance in this category by far, which usually does not lead to Oscar glory when there are so many bombastic, in your face performances among the other nominees.
3. Ethan Hawke
Hawke receives his fourth Oscar nomination with his performance in Boyhood, having previously been nominated once for acting (Training Day) and twice for writing (Before Sunset and Before Midnight). Playing the cool dad in Boyhood, he has a warm presence in a movie that is being touted as the potential Best Picture winner. He has not picked up any wins for his performance, however, and he is not as commanding as the next two contenders.
2. Edward Norton
Norton picks up his third Oscar nomination for playing Mike Shiner in Birdman. A pure actor showcase, Birdman allows Norton to go through all sorts of emotions, playing the stereotypical passionate actor who cares about the craft above anything else. His performance is a strong one and potentially could have won in a weaker year - one without the overwhelming frontrunner featured next.
1. J.K. Simmons
Simmons winning Best Supporting Actor may be one of the easiest calls of the night for many Oscar prognosticators. Playing a terrifying jazz instructor in Whiplash, he has picked up almost every Supporting Actor award there is this season, including the Golden Globe, the Critics' Choice, the SAG and the BAFTA. Simmons has created one of the most compelling villains of the year in a category that often rewards such performances. This is his first nomination at the Oscars.
Barring any huge upset, the Oscar should be Simmons' to lose, though there is always potential for a surprise, especially if voters really fall for either Boyhood or Birdman.
The 2015 Academy Awards will air live at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT on ABC.