"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

10 Actors Who Have Yet To Win An Oscar

The 85th Oscars are so last month.  We have clearly moved on and ahead to next year.  And while there are already potential Oscar contender names being bandied about (Grace of Monaco, August: Osage County, Inside Llewyn Davies, Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave, Saving Mr. Banks to name a few), I wanted to look at some actors who have yet to nab that elusive Oscar.  Every year, we see some of the same actors (Daniel Day-Lewis, Christoph Waltz) win yet another Oscar and some actors who receive their very first (Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway).  When will this highly acclaimed bunch of actors make to the podium to finally make their victory speech? Very, very soon, one can only hope…

 1) Amy Adams
4 nominations for Junebug (2005), Doubt (2008), The Fighter (2010) and The Master (2012). 

Amy Adams leads this list with 4 nominations in the past 8 years. She is in the Kate Winslet category, meaning she has to really earn her eventual Oscar. Winslet was nominated for years and years before she won her Oscar for The Reader (2008), which actually was actually a supporting role and ignored for her real leading turn in the devastating Revolutionary Road. Either way, she got that Oscar monkey off her back after 6 nominations.  I think I've figured out what she needs to do to win, get nominated in an odd number year to finally win.  She's working with director David O. Russell again so that's great sign and she also has a Janis Joplin biopic in the pipeline.  The Academy does love its biopics.

(Rest of the actors after the cut)

2) Julianne Moore 
4 nominations for Boogie Nights (1997), The End of the Affair (1999), Far from Heaven (2002) and The Hours (2002).

Moore is another actress who is long long overdue for an Oscar and like Adams, has 4 previous nominations.  I personally thought hers was the better nominated performance out of The Hours (and Meryl wasn't even nominated! The Horror!) but Nicole Kidman got her first Oscar on her second nomination.  Since then she has picked up an Emmy, an Golden Globe and a SAG award for her TV turn as Sarah Palin in Game Change but I hope this extremely versatile actress finally gets Oscar recognition.

UPDATE: Julianne Moore finally broke the Oscar curse with her 5th nomination and won Best Actress for Still Alice (2014).

3) Johnny Depp
3 nominations for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Finding Neverland (2004) and Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).

A chameleon amongst actors, Depp turns himself inside out for his role, rendering himself physically unrecognizable in most of his films.  Recently when he decided to play normal in The Tourist, the critics and box office both rejected the movie.  He’s gone back to changing his look yet again with the upcoming The Lone Ranger and the next Pirates of the Caribbean sequel. However, his upcoming Transcendence, the feature film debut of Oscar winning cinematographer and longtime Christopher Nolan collaborator, Wally Pfister is the one I'm most looking forward to.

4) Leonardo DiCaprio
3 nominations for What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), The Aviator (2004) and Blood Diamond (2006)
What does this man have to do to win an Oscar? No, seriously, I’m actually asking.  He was nominated first for his role as Johnny Depp’s younger brother in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and since then he’s only been nominated twice although he’s turned in performance after performance that can consistently be called award-winning.  He’s overlooked in favor of his castmates (see: Django Unchained, The Departed, Titanic) and even though he’s worked with all A-list directors the majority of his career, the lack of Oscar of his mantle seems overtly glaring.  Maybe he needs to work with David O. Russell.  That’s what got Christian Bale his first Oscar. Up next though he has the already delayed The Great Gatsby and Wolf of Wall Street with his mentor Martin Scorsese.

5) Viola Davis
2 nominations for Doubt (2008) and The Help (2011)

I’m actually still stunned that Davis didn’t win her first Oscar last year. I totally thought she had it in the bag until Meryl Streep came out of nowhere and won her third Oscar. Well, not entirely out of nowhere, she’s Meryl Streep but you get what I mean. Viola Davis is one of the best actress in the business who consistently gives honest performances, I just hope she is able to find 'the' role that finally wins her the big one. My bet is on the movie adaptation of Fences.

6)Michelle Williams
3 nominations for Brokeback Mountain (2005), Blue Valentine (2010) and My Week with Marilyn (2011)

Williams has come a long way since Dawson Creek’s Jen Lindley and picked some interesting roles that really challenged her as an actress and showed a different side to her with every character.  I thought age might be a factor against her as the Academy usually has a young actor bias.  But that theory is out of the window this time as both Jennifer Lawrence (22) and Anne Hathaway (30) won in the same year.  Might this open the door slightly for the younger generation of Hollywood? Williams will be seen soon as Glinda the Good Witch in Oz the Great and Powerful and has a bit of a break until Suite Francaise with Kristin Scott Thomas and Matthias Schoenaerts.
7) Matt Damon
 2 nominations for Good Will Hunting (1997) and Invictus (2009)

Matt Damon has the most solid filmography of any actor in Hollywood.  He’s up for taking risks (Behind the Candelabra), signing up for unconventional romances (The Adjustment Bureau) and changing the spy genre completely (The Bourne Trilogy).  Did I mention Damon is also a part-time screenwriter (Promised Land) and is thinking of directing a film too? His upcoming films include the highly anticipated Elysium with Jodie Foster and The Monuments Men directed by friend and recent Oscar winner George Clooney.

8) Robert Downey Jr. 
2 nominations for Chaplin (1992) and Tropic Thunder (2008)

If there was an Oscar to be won just for charm and personality, Robert Downey Jr. would have won one already.  And if you could vote publicly for one as well, I’m sure most people would vote for the man ‘so versatile he plays Iron Man in three separate films.’  He's practically everyone’s first choice for most roles (see: Gravity, Oz the Great and Powerful) and while his future films are all Marvel related, if anyone can win for a superhero film, I'd put my money on RDJ any day. 

9) Edward Norton
2 nominations for Primal Fear (1996) and American History X (1998)

I fear it will be awhile until Norton will be standing on that Oscar stage.  He hasn't yet found the same kinds of roles that defined him in the 90s.  Which is a shame as he's one of the most talented actors of his generation and yet wasted in films like The Bourne Legacy and Kingdom Heaven.  Somebody please give him the roles he deserves.  His lone future project on IMDb is Wes Anderon's ensemble project The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Should I get my hopes up?

10) Ryan Gosling
1 nomination for Half Nelson (2006)

Former Mouseketeer, Ryan Gosling has had quite the career graph since he was a kid.  And he just gets better with every film, it's criminally insane that he wasn't even nominated for Blue Valentine, The Ides of March or Drive.  While the internet goes crazy over those washboard abs, his occasional Batman like heroics and basically thinking he's Noah Calhoun of The Notebook, Gosling has kept himself busy filming with directors Nicholas Winding Refn and Terence Malick as well his own directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster. Will he become the first Mouseketeer to win an Oscar?


  • Helena Bonham Carter [2 nominations for Wings of a Dove (1997) and The King's Speech (2010)]: This highly underrated actress is never in danger of being boring onscreen.  I've liked her since her early role in Lady Jane.
  • Ralph Fiennes [2 nominations for Schindler's List (1993) and The English Patient (1996)]: I can never forget his breakout role in Schindler's List as the sadistic Nazi lieutenant Goeth and while his nominations occurred in the 90s, Fiennes has solidly worked in all kind of genres until today.
  • Annette Bening [4 nominations for The Grifters (1990), American Beauty (1999), Being Julia (2004) and The Kids Are All Right (2010)]: Poor Bening had the misfortune to go up twice against eventual Oscar winner Hilary Swank when she did some pretty great work in American Beauty and Being Julia.
  • Mark Ruffalo [1 nomination for The Kids Are All Right (2010)]: This one's a personal choice for me as I feel Ruffalo's performances are consistently believable and real.  This is why he succeeded as Bruce Banner and finally connected with audiences.
  • Jeremy Renner [2 nominations for The Hurt Locker (2009) and The Town (2009)]: I picked him to win over Jeff Bridges in 2010, I thought his was the truly focused and fearless performance of that year.
  • Kristin Scott Thomas [1 nomination for The English Patient (1996)]: I believe Scott Thomas will eventually win for her performance in a French film.  She's done some of her best work there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...