Last week we took a look at the movies that could find themselves in the running for Best Picture Oscar at the beginning of next year - and there are already quite a few that are already surrounded in Oscar whispers.

Mr Holmes

Mr Holmes

Today we shift our focus to Best Actor and again there are already quite a few contenders that look like they have thrown their hat into the ring early.

We take a look at some of the runners and riders as we try to pick who will be left standing by the end of the awards season.

- Ian McKellen - Mr Holmes

Hard to believe, but during his stellar acting career, Ian McKellen has never got his hands on an Oscar and has only received one Best Actor Oscar in the past.

However, 2016 could be the year that he finally triumphs as he takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes like we have never seen him before. Mr Holmes sees McKellen reunite with director Bill Condon - who he worked with on Gods and Monsters, for which he was Oscar nominated.

The movie looks at Holmes as an old man looking back on his life; the case he solved and didn't, as well as him questioning his own mortality... this really is very different Sherlock Holmes movie than we have ever seen before.

Mr Holmes screened out of competition at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, where it was met well by the critics and McKellen's central performance heavily praised.

However, Mr Holmes is hitting the big screen this summer and let's hope that this is not too early so voters forget about his performance. Early releases didn't seem to hard Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel, which both picked up nominations and gongs during the 2015 awards season.

McKellen is one of the greatest British actors and I would love to see him get his hands on the most coveted prize in film... I think it is about time that he stood up and gave that Oscar acceptance speech.

Mr Holmes

- Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl

Eddie Redmayne was the toast of Hollywood earlier this year when he did a clean sweep of the major awards for his stunning performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

And Redmayne could be in the race once again with his upcoming The Danish Girl - which has been tipped for success ever since the first image of the film has been released.

Redmayne takes on the role of Einar Wegener / Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sexual reassignment surgery and is based on the book by David Ebershoff.

The Danish Girl is another great true-life role for Redmayne and could well send his star rocketing ever further. It is not often that we see the Best Actor given to the same star two years on the trot - Tom Hanks was the last actor to do it for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump.

The Danish Girl see Redmayne reunite with director Tom Hooper for their first film together since Le Miserables; this is also Hooper first film since the success he enjoyed with the musical.

The Danish Girl

- Joseph Gordon-Levitt - The Walk & Snowden

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the most talented and versatile actors working in Hollywood at the moment and he could be a double threat during next year's awards season.

We are going to be seeing Gordon-Levitt in two leading roles and playing real-life characters this year as The Walk and Snowden are set to hit the big screen.

The Walk sees the actor play Philippe Petit, the French high-wire artist who attempted to cross the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in 1974.

Snowden is another biopic project as he takes on the role of CIA employee Edward Snowden leaks thousands of classified documents to the press.

The movie sees Gordon-Levitt work with directors Robert Zemeckis and Oliver Stone and we could see them and the movies in the running for awards glory as well.

While Gordon-Levitt has picked up two Golden Globe nominations during his career for 50/50 and (500) Days of Summer, he has never received an Oscar nod - and we all know how much the Academy loves a biopic film and performance.


- Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs & Macbeth

In my opinion, I think that Michael Fassbender should not only have picked up a Best Actor nod for his performance in Shame but he should have also won the Best Supporting Actor award for his stunning performance in 12 Years A Slave.

However, it looks like Fassbender could find himself in the Oscar race once again with title roles in both Steve Jobs and Macbeth.

Macbeth has already screened at Cannes to critical acclaim and it is being tipped as a major and early contender for the Oscar race - this could be a movie that picks up a whole host of nominations next year.

Steve Jobs is the Fassbender film that we have seen very little of so far, but has the potential to be another biopic film project that could be awards fodder. Fassbender will play Jobs in the film, while Danny Boyle returns to the director's chair.

Over the last couple of years, Fassbender has turned in some terrific performances and it seems only a matter of time before he finally lands an Oscar - could it be 2016? Surely, two movie chances are better than one? I guess we are going to have to wait and see.

Steve Jobs

- Tom Hanks - Bridge of Spies

Tom Hanks already has two Oscar wins under his belt but it has been twenty years since he last got his hands on this major gong... success could be coming his way again as he reunites with Steven Spielberg for Bridge of Spies.

Spielberg and Hanks are no strangers to war projects, but this time that are tackling the Cold War together for the first time.

The movie is based on the book of the same name by Giles Whittell and sees Hanks take on the role of lawyer James B. Donovan, who is drawn into the centre of the Cold War when he is recruited by the CIA to help rescue a pilot who has been captured by the Soviet Union.

I am a huge fan of the Hanks/Spielberg collaboration and I am always excited to see these two giants of film work together again.

Bridge of Spies is promising to be an unmissable political thriller and Hanks is set to give another terrific performance. It was shameless that he did not receive a Best Actor nod for Captain Phillips, but he may well be in the running in 2016.

Bridge of Spies

- Johnny Depp - Black Mass

Johnny Depp has found himself in some terrible movies in recent years, but all that is set to change this autumn with Black Mass - which sees him return to the gangster genre.

Directed by Scott Cooper, Black Mass sees Depp take on the real life role of Whitey Bulger, one of the most infamous and violent criminals in U.S. history, who became an FBI informant to bring down a Mafia family.

This is set to be a dark and gritty character for Depp to really get his teeth into and remind people just how great an actor he is. Benedict Cumberbatch and Joel Edgerton join him on the cast list.

Depp has been nominated for three Best Actor Oscars during his career - his last coming for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street back in 2008 - but he is yet to walk away with this major prize.

Black Mass

- Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio is unlucky when it comes to Oscar nominations as he has been nominated four times - three times for Best Actor - but he is yet to triumph. And he could well find himself in the running again for his central performance in The Revenant.

The Revenant has only just finished filming and it is already one of the most anticipated films of early 2016 as Alejandro González Iñárritu returns to the director's chair.

Iñárritu won Best Director and Best Picture earlier this year for Birdman and this will be his first movie since that triumph - this could well be his greatest film achievement to date.

DiCaprio takes on the role of frontiersman, Hugh Glass, who in the 1820s set out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling. Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, and Paul Anderson complete a great line-up.

The Revenant is already being tipped as a Best Picture contender - even though we have seen zero footage for the film - and DiCaprio will most likely be in the mix for his central performance.

The Revenant

Other potential contenders including, Tom Hiddleston for I Saw The Light, Ben Foster for The Program, Jake Gyllenhaal for Demolition or Southpaw, and Matt Damon for The Martian.

I know that we are month away from the Oscar 2016 nomination being announced, but the Best Actor category has the potential to be one of the most exciting.

by for
find me on and follow me on