As evidenced by the deluge of “Oscar” films that debuted during the recent fall film festival season, this year’s awards campaign is in full swing. With many of the biggest contenders having been sampled, shortlists of the most likely candidates in many categories are already beginning to take shape, and as with most years, they include a somewhat familiar lineup of faces and types of performances. However, during this nebulous phase of the Oscar race, we thought it prudent to highlight some performances from 2015 that maybe aren’t your typical “awards-type” roles, but are deserving of consideration nonetheless. Why should the candidates for Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress look so familiar year in and year out? Just because a performance is funny in nature or turns up in a big summer blockbuster doesn’t mean it’s inherently less impressive than something from a traditional fall drama.
So, without further ado, some members of the Collider staff have chosen a handful of performances from 2015 that are among the year’s best—regardless of whether they’re from an “Oscar movie” or not.