Awards season is in its infancy and there are plenty of known unknowns to come, however that has not stopped early buzz coalescing around a cluster of early acting contenders.


Brie Larson (pictured) looks likely to become a strong presence in the actress race after Room got tongues wagging in Telluride.

Former Oscar winner Cate Blanchett will be in contention for widely admired turn in Carol and may earn additional plaudits for Truth, which was set to premiere in Toronto last night.

Alicia Vikander impressed critics in The Danish Girl, as did Carey Mulligan and Saoirse Ronan for Suffragette and Brooklyn, respectively.

Warner Bros and Sandra Bullock pulled of an Oscar win for The Blind Side in 2010 and could be a potent force with Our Brand Is Crisis. Another Academy Award winner, Julianne Moore, stars opposite Ellen Page in Freeheld that premiered last night.

The mens contest could see Michael Keaton back in the mix for Spotlight after his Academy Awards nod earlier this year for Birdman, but he faces stiff competition from Johnny Depp in what some have called a career-best turn in Venice premiere Black Mass.

Meanwhile regular heavyweight Michael Fassbender has earned champions since Steve Jobs first screened at Telluride.

Harvey Weinstein is known to be high on Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw and his way has been cleared somewhat now that Fox Searchlight will release Toronto opener Demolition in April 2016.

While the best picture race has not come into clear focus yet, Hany Abu-Assad’s The Idol must be a foreign-language frontrunner, while Venice prize-winner Anomalisa will doubtless be rubbing shoulders with Pixar’s Inside Out in the animation category.