Right now, it’s a damned good time to be Sylvester Stallone. After years of no respect from the industry that bordered dangerously on Rodney Dangerfield levels, the actor walked away from the Golden Globes ceremony this past Sunday evening with an award for Best Supporting Actor in Creed, and this morning he parlayed that success into the grand daddy of all nominations: an Oscar. Stallone’s road to the Academy Awards has been a long and tumultuous one, so it has us wondering: what sort of chances does the Hollywood icon have of actually winning?

Early this morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a complete list of this year’s Oscar nominations, and of course Stallone’s name was there. We can’t exactly say we are surprised about that. The 69-year-old actor rendered an absolutely heartbreaking performance as the aging boxer with seemingly nothing left to keep fighting for. After seven films, Stallone took his legendary role and breathed new life into it by stripping away all of his typical machismo and presenting Rocky Balboa as a lonely shell of his former self.

If Stallone was ever going to walk away with Oscar gold, there’s perhaps no other film more fitting for him to do it with. He’s been here before – although it’s been quite a while. Long before he was Sylvester Stallone, muscle-bound action hero, the fledgling filmmaker was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role all the way back in 1977 for his first on-screen outing as the legendary Rocky Balboa. With the help of director Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, he may have finally cracked his own Oscar formula.

Of course, it’s worth noting that the aging boxer still has to battle his way through four other powerhouse performances in order to actually claim victory for himself. Check out the other nominated performances below:
Christian Bale – The Big Short
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
Tom Hardy – The Revenant
Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

As I said, it’s a fairly competitive field and truly any one of these actors could potentially walk away with the Oscar. However, while every single one of them – Stallone included – gave a powerhouse performance in their respective films, none of their characters have the iconography, or overall historical significance, of Rocky Balboa. Watching him portray a once great man coping with loneliness and his own mortality proved nothing if not heart wrenching. His time has come, Hollywood, so let’s make it happen.

Only time will tell for sure whether or not Stallone can pull this off next month when the Academy Awards ceremony airs. The event will take place on February 28, and will be hosted by comedian Chris Rock – his second outing as host following his stint in 2005. We will keep you posted on any and all Oscar developments as they become available to us. Stay tuned.
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