The Oscars are just around the corner and it's time to figure out who has the best chance of taking home some hardware.
The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor has gone to some of the biggest legends in the industry, including Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman. And on Feb. 28, another name will be added to that list.
The five men nominated for Best Supporting Actor have their own pros and cons as far as their chances of winning the coveted Oscar, including the frontrunner. But let's break down who has the best chance of winning, from least to most likely.
5. Christian Bale - The Big Short
Bale was one of the standout members of The Big Short, which explains why he was the only actor from the film who was nominated here. Playing Michael Burry, a hedge fund manager with Asperger's, Bale's performance is showy and filled with mannerisms. However, Bale already won in this category in 2010 and he has yet to win any major precursors against his competition. Unless voters go all in on The Big Short, Bale will probably have to stay in the audience this year.
4. Tom Hardy - The Revenant
Hardy was arguably the biggest surprise inclusion among the acting nominees this year. The only precursor nomination he received was at the Critics' Choice Awards, a group that routinely has zero overlap with Oscar voters. But Oscar voters clearly fell in love with The Revenant upon seeing it, giving it 12 nominations in total, the most this year. Hardy's performance as the villainous John Fitzgerald is the type that wins this category often, but his relative lack of screen time may hurt him, especially if this is just a coattail nomination riding the Leonardo DiCaprio wave.
3. Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight
Ruffalo has the showiest role in Spotlight, playing passionate Boston Globe journalist Michael Rezendes. The actor has a big speech at the climax of the film that may impress some voters, and if they like the film enough he may be a surprise winner. He is clearly well respected in Hollywood, as this is his third Oscar nomination in six years. Voters may wish to award him for his wide-ranging performances over the years, but he has yet to win anything major for Spotlight, so it's not looking great.
2. Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Rylance was the presumptive frontrunner ever since Bridge of Spies came out in October. His understated, mannered performance as Soviet spy Rudolf Abel has won him a slew of critics awards, as well as the BAFTA, Britain's version of the Academy Awards. Rylance is a very respected stage actor and this is his first nomination at the Oscars. It seems likely that if the frontrunner weren't in this category, Rylance would be taking home the trophy. But alas...
1. Sylvester Stallone - Creed
There's no beating Rocky. Despite having a full Hollywood career since the '70s, Stallone has yet to supplant his role as underdog boxer Rocky Balboa. In Creed, Stallone returns to a role he made famous in 1976, which was ironically the last time he was nominated for an Oscars. But it's in Creed that Stallone gets to flex his acting chops in a way audiences haven't seen before. His emotional arc throughout the film as an aging boxer training a young buck while going through his own personal struggles is a compelling one, and Stallone being able to pull out such a great performance after years of stinkers perhaps helps him even more. You should expect a standing ovation on Oscar night.
The 2016 Oscars air Sunday, Feb. 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.