It seems like we say it just about every year at this point, so let's say it again: the Best Actor category this season appears to be the most competitive race to date. Pity, then, that it's clearly one of the least racially diverse races we've seen yet, with minorities few and far between.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of amazing performances that have already arrived either in release or on the festival circuit, and plenty of hope for what's around the corner. There are dominant frontrunners and comeback stories, there are ripe biopics and stirring outside-the-box portrayals, there is just a lot to choose from. And someone is bound to end up shockingly omitted and commiserating with last year's unexpected snubee, Tom Hanks.

How does the awards team here at HitFix see things panning out? Click through the gallery story below to see the lay of the land, and of course, feel free to offer your thoughts and predictions in the comments section below and vote in our poll!

HitFix Poll

Who do you think will be nominated for Best Actor this year? (Select five.)