ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

With TIFF - the Toronto International Film Festival - finally upon us, it's no real surprise that the Oscar excitement engine is heading into something approaching overdrive. Industry insiders are wheeling and dealing, stars are angling for a long-awaited nomination, and - of course - that most sought-after and intangible of things, Oscar buzz, is being thrown around like petal-based confetti at a wedding

This year, though, there's an extra level of excitement for geeks around the world, as there're a whole lot of geek icons who might just be in with a chance of Oscar glory this year. Here, then, are:

5 Geek Icons Who Could Be Picking Up Oscars This Year

Sorry, Jeremy. Maybe next year...
Sorry, Jeremy. Maybe next year...

Now, this list is far from exhaustive - and misses out a whole lot of fan-favorites, including Avengers: Age of Ultron's Elizabeth Olsen, X-Men: Apocalypse's Nicholas Hoult and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's Jesse Eisenberg, all of whom also have some pretty impressive roles about to hit TIFF.

The reason for their omission? As things stand, these five are still just a little bit more iconic...

First up, then (and in no particular order, barring number 1)?

5. Emma Watson, for Colonia

While Colonia - the real-life events-inspired story of a young couple caught up in the 1973 Chilean military coup - will presumably miss out on a best Foreign Language Film nomination by virtue of actually being in English, there's still a good chance that widely beloved Harry Potter-star Emma Watson - who plays one half of that couple, opposite Captain America: Civil War's Daniel Brühl - could see some awards season action. After all, it's political, international, and just-topical-enough-to-intrigue-but-not-so-much-it'll-upset-people. What more could you want?

4. Tom Hardy, for Legend

Now, depending on the year, the Oscars tend to either reward novelty, or snub it completely. The deeply innovative Boyhood's last year, though, could be Tom Hardy's gain in 2016, with his double role in Legend - as both of Britain's infamous gangster brothers, the Kray twins - being a little different to most of what's out there. Also, it's a biopic, and Oscar loves biopics. Could this be the Dark Knight Rises and Mad Max: Fury Road actor's year?

3. Norman Reedus, for Sky

Now, there's no guarantee that Sky will actually hit theaters early enough to qualify for this years Academy Awards, but if it does, it could provide The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus with his first real chance to turn all of that geek status into awards season gold. The fact that it's an - often Oscar-friendly - road movie, with topical overtones of gender equality and female empowerment, isn't likely to hurt.

2. Kristen Stewart, for Equals

Now, Equals may not be getting the kindest of critical treatments at the moment, but that's not actually stopped a whole lot of movies from going on to awards glory in the past - especially in the acting categories. Could one-time Twilight-er Kristen Stewart find herself rewarded for a return to her geek roots, after years of critically acclaimed indie movies saw her miss out at the Oscars time and time again? After all, the default criticism of Stewart - her lack of emotion - is surely less of a problem in a movie all about emotion's eradication from society...

1. Tom Hiddleston, for I Saw the Light

Arriving in theaters in peak awards season, and possessing the once-unbeatable one-two punch of starring a British actor, and being a biopic of a beloved America musician, I Saw the Light isn't just the story of the iconic Hank Williams - it's also Tom Hiddleston's big chance to emulate fellow Brit Eddie Redmayne and take the Oscars by storm. If traditional Oscar voting patterns hold true, The Avengers star could well win big in 2016...

What do you reckon, though?


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