Matthew McConaughey, Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams: Oscar Winners of the Future?
His spine-chilling performance as a hitman in William Friedkin's Killer Joe has started an Oscar buzz around Matthew McConaughey, an actor many thought had left his best years behind him.
Instead, he looks set to put a string of embarassing romantic comedies behind him and use his natural charisma in more testing roles.
McConaughey's resurgence comes as the Academy Awards baton looks set to pass on to the next generation.
The last few years have seen some of the most popular and well-known faces picking up award nominations again and again. George Clooney, Gary Oldman, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep - actors with quality back-catalogue who will inevitably be rewarded for their years of service.
More and more legends of the craft are stepping back from the major roles, either dipping into comedy (De Niro), finding themselves unable to recapture their previous best (Al Pacino), or doing whatever it is they feel like (Christopher Walken).
Behind them, however, comes a new generation of actors slowly stepping into the spotlight and showing real presence. They may not be leading their own films just yet, but they have the ability to be the next cinema legends.
Every one of the actors and actresses we call a cinema legend was once "the one to watch", but not all of the next generation will have the staying power to become real cinema icons. Who will be the new Academy Awards favourites?
IBTimes UK gives its tips for the Streeps, De Niros and Nicholsons of the future:
For the vast majority of his acting career Matthew McConaughey has been viewed as little more than a 'himbo', whipping his shirt off at every opportunity in generic romantic comedies.
His ice cold performance in William Friedkin's Killer Joe, coupled with his role as a fugitive who bonds with a pair of young boys in Mud, suggests that he might just be about to show what he can really do when he wants to.
Paddy Considine grabbed film audiences by the throat and demanded their attention with a terrifying performance at the heart of Shane Meadow's Dead Man's Shoes.
Never one to allow himself to be typecast, he immediately confounded expectations with a hilarious turn as a detective Andy Wainwright in Hot Fuzz in 2007. Two years later he was fantastic in the underrated Le Donk & Scor Zay-zee.
A brief performance in The Bourne Ultimatum apart, Considine has not delved into dull Hollywood roles that don't interest him and it is just a matter of time before he is given a leading role that bags him the worldwide acclaim that he is worthy of.
Presumably just to show off, he has also marked himself out as a director to watch with the punishing Tyrannosaur. He probably directed it while juggling and standing on his head.
Coming in at fourth place is “X-Men: First Class’” Michael Fassbender with 3.31%. After flashing a hint of his privates in “Shame”, going full nude for a few racy scenes in “Fifty Shades of Grey” won’t pose as a problem for the attractive actor.
After a few years in television roles, Saoirse Ronan leapt into the big league with her performance as Briony Tallis, the young girl with a big imagination in Atonement. Her nuanced performance showed great maturity and managed to make a character that was simultaneously reprehensible and sympathetic.
After another performance as murdered teenager Irena in tricky adaptation Arrietty, Ronan really blew audiences away in Hanna.
Playing a young girl trained to be a killer by her father (Eric Bana), Ronan was perfectly cast as someone old beyond her years - one minute all innocence and the next snapping necks.
All this and she's just 18 - there are great things in this girl's future.
Paddy Considine wasn't the only impressive part of Dead Man's Shoes. Toby Kebbell's performance as his disabled brother managed to be both accurate and nuanced.
One theme that can be seen throughout Kebbell's career is his utter commitment to a role, no matter the character. He does not play a part, he becomes it.
His viciously heroic Callum made the generic 2006 horror film Wilderness worth watching, while he stole the show from a host of character actor's in Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla.
Recently he has put in performances in more typical Hollywood roles, such as Prince of Persia and Wrath of the Titans, but it is in gritty, realistic roles that he can really spread his wings.
Give Kebbell the right films and he could be the English Al Pacino.
In an ordinary year, Michelle Williams would have been expected to have a fair shout at picking up an Oscar with her performance in My Week with Marilyn. But then Meryl Streep had to appear and hoover up all of the awards like an 80s director and a bag of cocaine.
Given how far she has come over the years it's easy to forget that she first caught the eye of Hollywood from the ghastly festival of adolescent angst that was Dawson's Creek.
Now she is capable of just about anything and is one of the few female actresses in Hollywood today who hasn't considered a role which finds her rolling around in a skintight catsuit with a gun.
Frankly, Tom Hardy has already done several Oscar-worthy performances. It just seemed the Academy wasn't looking at the time. There is rarely a time when Hardy isn't the best person in a film.
His portrayal of the real-life criminal Charles Bronson in the under-rated 2008 biopic was extraordinary and displayed his ability to transform his physique to fit a role.
He displayed pure rage and pent-up self-loathing exquisitely in Warrior in 2011 and has become a friend of director Christopher Nolan following his charismatic turn in Inception.
The job of following Heath Ledger's Joker as the next Batman villain would be intimidating to any actor, but with Hardy taking on the role of Bane, audiences can be confident that they will see something special.