At this point of year, every weekend brings a new Filmfare hopeful to the multiplexes, as production houses release their most prominent films. The leading contenders in this category, to date, are Varun Dhawan, Ranbir Kapoor and Irrfan Khan.

Here are 7 actors whose names will be plastered across awards season, ranked in order of likelihood of winning.

7. Ranvir Shorey, “Titli”

Ranvir Shorey’s unquestionably brilliant turn in “Titli” can’t be ignored. The Film, itself, became a commercial failure even after garnering highly positive critical acclaim.

However, Shorey’s performance remained the highlight of this film. He nailed his part with a strikingly gritty performance.

6. Ayushmann Khurana, “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”

Ayushmann Khurana is certainly impressive in this year’s sleeper hit “Dum Laga Ke Haisha.” He holds most of the screen time along with Bhumi Pednekar with an effortless mix of confidence, poise and humour. It may get ignored by the year end when a lot of actors will contend for this category. But, I will be surprised - rather shocked, if Khurana doesn’t even earn a nomination.

5. Randeep Hooda, “Main Aur Charles”

“Main Aur Charles” may have had a brutal run at the box office, but the sheer dedication of Randeep Hooda can’t be defied.

His performance is a tour de force. I expect the Filmfare jury to make up for the box office snub by giving a Best Actor nod to Hooda.

4. Vicky Kaushal, “Masaan”

There is a performance that’s all about transformation - emotional and physical. Vicky Kaushal is the surprise of the year. His quiet, sensitive and stellar performance in “Masaan” is the marvel of the year, which makes a strong case for a ‘Best Actor’ nomination at Filmfare awards.

3. Irrfan Khan, “Talvar”

Irrfan Khan has delivered two solid performances in “Piku” and “Talvar” this year. According to my viewpoint, Khan stands a solid chance at landing a nomination for “Talvar.” Director Meghna Gulzar’s moving drama is being neglected by many at the moment, but considering its path breaking critical and commercial success, it’s a serious contender in a number of categories.

Among the actors, Khan stands tall with an act of heroism. He genuinely sinks his teeth into the role and plays it to perfection.

2. Ranbir Kapoor, “Tamasha”

Earlier this year, I was slightly disappointed by Ranbir Kapoor’s performance in “Bombay Velvet.” It was good but not great considering Kapoor’s repertoire of performances and graph of success. “Tamasha” may not be a genuinely pioneering movie, but it has a soul - a mystic soul. On the other hand, Kapoor’s heavyweight acting makes it a delightful affair. “Besharam” and “Roy” may not be the best choices that he made, but “Bombay Velvet” and “Tamasha” will certainly add one more star to his performance gallery. He certainly merits a Filmfare nomination for this performance.

1. Varun Dhawan, “Badlapur”

Finally, Varun Dhawan gave a triumphant performance of his career in “Badlapur.” The film earned enthusiastically solid critical reception because of an intriguing screenplay. There were many other reasons that added to the commercial and critical success of “Badlapur” including a top-notch ensemble of actors and a hauntingly effective background score. But, it was Dhawan who earned notices for his impressive turn as a vengeful father and husband set out to punish the murderer of his wife and son. This performance deserves to be the top contender for Filmfare nominations.

Wildcard spot (unreleased movie): Ranveer Singh for “Bajirao Mastani”