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

Warning: The following contains trailers — and thus mild potential SPOILERS — for several upcoming movies that screened during the recent Toronto International Film Festival. Proceed with whatever level of caution that suggests to you is wise.

Now, the 2017 Academy Awards may still be more than five months away, but in the wake of this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the race is now very much on to nab a golden statuette or two. And with the likes of Loving, Arrival, Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea and (especially) La La Land all being greeted with warm and widespread praise, that race remains far from won. Although, what we do now know is that there are a whole lot of remarkable performances out there, with many of them coming from famous faces that will be distinctly recognizable to fans of the superhero genre. As such, it seemed about time we take a look at...

The Marvel And DC Stars Shaking Up The Oscars Race At TIFF 2016


The 2017 Academy Awards could prove to be an interesting experience for more than a few superheroic stars. First up?

Marvel's New Captain Marvel Shone In Free Fire

Ben Wheatley's Free Fire isn't an obvious candidate for Oscar recognition — it's a brisk, funny, extremely violent tale of a criminal transaction gone wrong. But if flashier performances by the likes of Armie Hammer or Sharlto Copley manage to garner some Best Supporting Actor buzz (and thus an awards push), then Brie Larson's strong, layered role as meeting-organizer Justine might just nab last year's Best Actress winner a Supporting Actress nomination, too.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron's Quicksilver Might Just Sneak A Best Supporting Actor Nod

To call Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals divisive is a little like saying that birds tweet, or the Earth revolves around the sun. It's difficult, and discomfiting, and divisive — but what else would it be? Jake Gyllenhaal may well earn a nod for his broad, wide-eyed, central role, but Aaron Taylor-Johnson's supporting psychopath is arguably the more impressive male performance. If the Oscars opt to snub Gyllenhaal (which is seemingly one of its more entertaining hobbies) then Taylor-Johnson could wind up being Nocturnal Animals' recognition nomination. It's perhaps a little more likely to be Man of Steel's General Zod himself, though, with Michael Shannon's role as an out-there detective being the film's standout performance. Amy Adams, meanwhile — the film's female lead — looks more likely to be recognized for another piece of work...

Batman V Superman's Lois Lane Could Get Yet Another Best Actress Nomination For Arrival

Perennial Oscar favorite Amy Adams may not pick up a nomination for Nocturnal Animals, but she seems sure to be recognized for her subtle, moving turn in Denis Villeneuve's Arrival. It's not easy to make linguistics seem cool. She not only manages it, but carries a complex, challenging sci-fi movie on her back as she does so. Arrival has another famous face hiding within its running time, though.

Captain America: Civil War's Hawkeye Has A (Long) Shot At A Best Supporting Actor Nom, Too

At this point, Jeremy Renner might be a long shot for Oscar recognition for his role in Arrival — he's excellent, but unflashy and largely lacking in the big showpiece moments that Oscars voters tend to reward — yet that doesn't mean he won't sneak into the Best Supporting Actor category all the same. Many voters tend to reward certain movies down the line, so a good year for Arrival could help Renner out, too.

Marvel's Black Panther Probably Won't Get Nominated, But Probably Deserves To Be

Fabrice Du Welz's Message from the King is another of this year's more interesting films that are nonetheless unlikely to be nominated for much. It's a fairly straightforward revenge thriller, anchored by an excellent performance by Chadwick Boseman. Were a few leading actors to find their fortunes turning in the press, then there's always a chance that Boseman could find his proto-Black Panther-like performance (he's a young, antiheroic South African man with a strong devotion to his family) rewarded.

Next up? We gently ignore the fact that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story isn't technically a Marvel movie (though both properties Disney-owned, and Marvel publishes all the new Star Wars comic books). That being said...

Rogue One's Jyn Erso Can Reliably Expect Some Best Supporting Actress Recognition

Not only is J.A. Bayona's A Monster Calls one of the most emotionally resonant and downright excellent movies to screen at this year's TIFF, but it also just so happens to contain a wonderful performance from Jyn Erso herself, Felicity Jones. Heartbreaking in a supporting role as the young lead's terminally ill mother, Jones seems a dead cert to be recognized with a Best Supporting Actress nomination. Liam Neeson most likely deserves a Best Supporting Actor nod for his (voice) role as the monster, too — but the Academy has long since made it clear that it doesn't like rewarding motion capture or vocal parts.

And, finally?

Preacher's Tulip Is All But Guaranteed A Best Actress Nomination

Jeff Nichols' Loving is a quiet, subtle, deeply moving film — and Ruth Negga's central performance as Mildred Loving is all of those things and more. There's a pretty solid chance that both Negga and her on-screen husband Joel Edgerton could actually win come February 2017 — but both seem all but guaranteed to be nominated. But only Negga will be able to enjoy that success with a side order of Preacher-related TV glory.

Want more on TIFF and its Oscars impact? Check out:

The big question now, though?

What do you reckon? Which superhero stars do you think we'll see nominated — or indeed win — at the 2017 Oscars? Let us know below!


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