Who is generating Oscar buzz? Check out Sandy Kenyon's Academy Award favorites

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Entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon shares his Academy Award favorites.

Academy Award nominations are right around the corner, set to be announced on January 14, but Hollywood has been abuzz for months about what actors and movies should make the cut.

So who are the contenders?

There are a lot of parties and special events locally, which is why so many stars have been in the city as of late. The Motion Picture Academy takes a dim view of lobbying for Oscar votes once the nominations have been announced, so for those hopeful for a nod, it's now or never.

To see and be seen is a lot like hard work, however fun and glamorous it may seem.

"The game has become very intensified and there's so much great talent," Sylvester Stallone said.

And at Cipriani in Midtown for the National Board of Review Gala and Tao Downtown on 16th Street for awards from New York film critics, the story is the same when it comes to the Oscar race. If stars stays out of sight, they risk being out of mind just as voters are deciding who to nominate.

"It's that fine line between serious and play," Brie Larson said. "And luckily, i'm with a 9-year-old most of the time, so he really brings out the play in me."

Jacob Tremblay stars as a boy held captive in "Room" along with his mom played by Larson. She could well win the Oscar for their film, and she wasn't the only favorite working the carpet in a city where the film "Brooklyn" is a sentimental favorite.

"To be welcomed and accepted in the way we have been by the New Yorkers and by the critics has been amazing," star Saoirse Ronan

There are always a few amazing stories behind the films, like how "Creed" was inspired by a son's love for his father.

"'Rocky' was my dad's favorite movie, specifically 'Rocky 2,'" writer and director Ryan Coogler said. "It was something he used to watch with his mom before she passed on. I used to watch it with my dad all the time growing up, and then when my dad got sick, that kind of gave me the idea to come up with this story. So it's really about me and my dad at the end of the day."

Others generating Oscar buzz are:

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Revenant," Bryan Cranston for "Trumbo," Eddie Redmayne for "The Danish Girl" and Michael Fassbender for "Steve Jobs"

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett for "Carol" and Charlotte Rampling for "45 Years"

Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance for "Bridge of Spies," Idris Elba for "Beasts of No Nation," Christian Bale for "the Big Short," Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo for "Spotlight"

Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander for "The Danish Girl" and "Ex Machina," Rooney Mara for "Carol," Kate Winslet for "Steve Jobs," Helen Mirren for "Trumbo" and Jennifer Jason Leigh for "The Hateful Eight"

Best Picture: "Spotlight," "The Big Short," "Bridge of Spies," "Room," "The Revenant," "Brooklyn," "Carol," "Straight Outta Compton," "The Martian" and "Mad Max: Fury Road"
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