They are beautiful, talented and fiercely competitive.
Many of this year’s Academy Award nominees in the categories of Best Actress in a Leading Role and Supporting Role are young, prolific thespians who are making their way into the Hollywood establishment.
Saoirse Ronan belongs to a new generation of actresses getting Hollywood's attention. The 21-year-old received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her delicately complex and understated performance as Eilis in the film drama "Brooklyn."
Eilis is an Irish single woman who immigrates to Brooklyn in the in 1950s hoping for a better life. After a hard adjustment , Eilis falls in love with Italian-American Tony and starts over but she has to return to Ireland after her sister’s sudden death.
There, her lonely mother and an attractive Irish man force her to choose between her two lives.
At 21 years old, Saoirse has already made more than 20 movies. She was first nominated for an Academy award at age 13, for her role in the period drama Atonement. But Saoirse is facing stiff competition at the Oscars from another young peer.
Brie Larson offers a riveting performance in the film "Room," as an abducted woman, imprisoned in a small shack with her five-year-old son, a product of rape by her abductor.
Larson is considered by many the Oscar frontrunner for Best Actress. And like Ronan, Larson at 26 comes with a film portfolio of more than 20 feature movies.
The other three nominees in the Best Actress Category are Cate Blanchett for her role in "Carol" Charlotte Rampling in the film "45 Years." And Jennifer Lawrence starring in "Joy."
Best Supporting Actress
Alicia Vikander is just a year older than Larson. Her career took off with her portrayal of enigmatic AVA, a humanoid robot in the film "Ex Machina."
She has a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her portrayal of 1930s artist Gerda Wegener in "The Danish Girl," starring alongside Eddie Redmayne. She plays the wife of a pioneering transgender man. She also received a BAFTA, the British equivalent to the Oscars.
She is becoming one of the most sought after young actresses today. But she is facing a serious opponent at the Oscars.
Rooney Mara is already a known entity in Hollywood. She is nominated for an Oscar in a supporting role in the lesbian romantic drama "Carol" for playing innocent and unassuming Therese opposite her older love interest, Carol, played by Kate Blanchett.
Mara received her first Oscar nomination in 2012 for her cutting edge interpretation of a young sociopath, a homeless computer hacker in the American version of the Scandinavian thriller "The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo." She also delivered a memorable performance as Mark Zuckerberg's girlfriend in "The Social Network."
They are joined by Jennifer Jason Leigh in "The Hateful Eight," Kate Winslet for her part in Steve Jobs, and Rachel McAdams from "Spotlight."
Special mention should be given to another 20-something, Jennifer Lawrence, an Oscar nominee in the category of Lead Actress for her title role in the romantic dramedy "Joy." At 25 years old, Lawrence has acted in well over 20 films, including the Blockbuster "Hunger Games" series. She has already won an Oscar and is, according to Forbes magazine, the highest paid actress in Hollywood today.
Lawrence's meteoric rise signals her young peers that edgy intelligent roles, unassuming talent and hard work are valued by wide audiences and critics alike.