The supporting categories are set to have some of the most exciting battles at this weekend's Oscars as they are loaded with talent and terrific performances.

Sylvester Stallone in Creed

Sylvester Stallone in Creed

The Best Supporting Actor may have been surrounded by controversy because of the Idris Elba snub but it is set to be one of the hardest to call. You could have filled his category twice over and you could make a strong case for everyone nominated to win.

Sylvester Stallone (Creed), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Christian Bale (The Big Short), and Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight) are all in the mix but is looks like it might be between Stallone and Rylance; they have been sharing the major gongs on the award's circuit so far.

- Sylvester Stallone - Creed

Creed

Sylvester Stallone returned to the iconic role of Rocky Balboa at the beginning of the year with Creed, which kicked off a brand new chapter in this much-loved boxing franchise.

The movie saw Balboa take on the role of trainer rather than a fighter as well as facing his own personal health battle - for me, Stallone steals the show and gives one of the acting performances of his career. We see a very different side to the character of Rocky in this film and it is great to see him in a very different and more vulnerable light.

This Best Supporting Actor nomination is the only nod for Creed, with many believing that it was a movie that deserved to pick up more. Creed may only have one nomination, but Stallone is in with a real chance of winning on Sunday.

This is the third Oscar nomination of Stallone's career having been nominated for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for Rocky... however, he has never won. Could 2016 be his year?

Stallone has already got a Golden Globe Award, Critic's Choice Awards, and National Board of Review in recent weeks and he is the slight favourite going into the weekend.

- Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies

Mark Rylance is another actor who has done well on the award's circuit, picking up a Bafta earlier this month for his performance in Bridge of Spies.

Ever since Bridge of Spies hit the big screen in the autumn of last year, Rylance's performance has been winning over critics and audiences and he was tipped to be a frontrunner in the Oscar race.

Rylance takes on the role of Rudolf Abel in the film, a Soviet spy who is arrested and held by the CIA in the hope of swapping him for a captured U.S. pilot. The movie sees Rylance star alongside Tom Hanks with Steven Spielberg in the director's chair.

Rylance gives the performance of his career in Bridge of Spies and it is great to see him finally in the Oscar mix. Rylance has already enjoyed a career that has spanned over thirty years and he is best known for his TV and theatre work - I think we are going to be seeing more of him on the big screen over the next few years.

This is the first Oscar nomination of Rylance's career and he is one of three British actors to be recognised in this category - Christian Bale and Tom Hardy are also in the mix for their performances in The Big Short and The Revenant.

As well as winning at the Baftas, Rylance also picked up Best Supporting Actor nominations at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards - losing out to Stallone and Idris Elba.

Who will win? Best Supporting Actor is one of the toughest categories at this year's Oscars and possibly could be one of the most unpredictable. Apart from Bale, all of them would be a first time Oscar winner and all of them do deserve to triumph. However, I do think it is Stallone's year and I would like to see him win for a touching and powerful performance in Creed.

The Oscar winners will be announced on Sunday 28th February.


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