Sunday, 24 February 2013

How Have They Not Won An Oscar?!

An Academy Award is seen by many as the pinnacle of acting, the holy grail for those performers who have made an unforgettable mark on pop culture and film history, yet many stars have an empty space on their mantelpiece where their Oscar should be. As you go down my list of actors and actresses who have not received an Academy Award, I defy you not to gasp and say "How have they not won an Oscar?!", pointing angrily at the screen and cursing the Academy for all eternity. With that in mind, here are the nominees for Best Actor or Actress in a Leading or Supporting Role who should have won a damn Oscar!

Leonardo DiCaprio

Nominations: 3 (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond)

The Role That Should Have Won It: What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

I feel like Leonardo Dicaprio has been striving to win an Oscar throughout his acting career, yet despite being one of the defining actors of our generation, the Academy continue to snub him. When they do nominate him, its for films like 'Blood Diamond', while performances in 'Titanic' and 'Shutter Island' remain unnoticed. Personally, I think that Dicaprio's role as mentally challenged Arnie Grape over twenty years ago is still his best performance to date, which was all the more impressive for his young age at the time of filming. Give him a damn Oscar people!

Julianne Moore

Nominations: 4 (Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, Far From Heaven, The Hours)

The Role That Should Have Won It: Safe (1995)

This phenomenal actress was nominated twice in the same year for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, an incredible feat in itself, yet she still failed to win that all important Oscar. Julianne Moore is up there with the best actresses of all time for me and I LOVE her in 'Far From Heaven' so much but her defining role has to be from another Todd Haynes film called 'Safe'. In this indie drama, Moore's character Carol White develops a frightening allergy to everything around her and escapes to a cult-like retreat in the hope of getting better. It's a unique role which is very demanding on Moore but she plays it brilliantly.   

Harrison Ford

Nominations: 1 (Witness)

The Role That Should Have Won It: Blade Runner (1982)

Han Solo. Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford is one of the most iconic actors EVER. It cannot be argued yet because most of his best roles are not in the types of dramas that the Oscars love, I feel like Ford has missed out on a coveted Academy Award. Rick Deckard is one of many iconic characters that missed out on even a nomination, but I think that Ford's performance as the detective who may or may not have been a replicant is one of the greatest sci-fi roles of all time and is a career best for Ford. 

Laura Linney

Nominations: 3 (You Can Count On Me, Kinsey, The Savages)

The Role That Should Have Won It: Kinsey (2004)

Laura Linney is another one of my favourite actresses who wins a heap of awards from everyone but the Oscars, despite being incredible in the types of films that the Academy usually seems to love. Any one of her nominations could have won it for her but the best Linney performance has to be her role as Kinsey's wife. The character struggles with her husbands academic obsession with sex and the trouble that this brings to their marriage. Give that girl her bloody Oscar already! 

Bill Murray

Nominations: 1 (Lost in Translation)

The Role That Should Have Won It: Lost In Translation (2003)

In a career that has spanned decades and countless film classics, it's shocking that Bill Murray has only ever received one Oscar nomination but I have to say, his role as ageing actor Bob Harris from 'Lost In Translation' is definitely his best. I'm disappointed that Murray didn't receive recognition from the Academy for his work in the Wes Anderson films though, particularly 'Rushmore', where he completely stole the show.

Sigourney Weaver

Nominations: 3 (Aliens, Working Girl, Gorillas In The Mist)

The Role That Should Have Won It: Aliens (1986)

It's remarkable that the role of action heroine Ripley managed to receive an Oscar nomination at all, as films such as 'Aliens' are not exactly the Academy's cup of tea. The sheer star power of Sigourney Weaver obviously made some people sit up and take notice though, but just a nomination is still not enough for me. Ripley is easily one of the best female roles of all time and godammit, that performance deserves an Oscar!  

Johnny Depp

Nominations: 3 (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Neverland, Sweeney Tood: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)

The Film That Should Have Won It: Ed Wood (1994)

I feel like Johnny Depp was at his best in the 90's, choosing intelligent roles in films that were different from your average Hollywood movie, yet the Academy failed to acknowledge his talent until he sold out for more commercial fare in the 2000's. What gives Oscars!? Compared to standout roles in films such as 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' and 'Edward Scissorhands', the movies Depp was actually nominated for are a pile of crap. My favourite from Depp's golden years has to be his role as real life filmmaker Ed Wood, acknowledged by many as the worlds worst director back in the 50's and 60's. Read more about this Tim Burton classic here to see why Depp deserved the Oscar.

Naomi Watts

Nominations: 2 (21 Grams, The Impossible)

The Role That Should Have Won It: Mulholland Drive (2001)

It may be a bit premature to include Naomi Watts on this list, as the actress received her second Oscar nomination just this year for her work in 'The Impossible', but I still think its shocking that Watts hasn't already won an Academy Award at this stage in her career. Of course she's incredible in '21 Grams' but the one role that has completely defined Watt's career is her stunning turn in Lynch oddity 'Mulholland Drive'. There is one scene in particular that should have secured her an Oscar nomination and if you've seen the film, you know which one I mean. To this day it is one of the single most impressive feats of acting that I have ever seen and its criminal that Watts was snubbed that year.  

Brad Pitt

Nominations: 4 (12 Monkeys, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Moneyball - as actor and producer)

The Role That Should Have Won It: 12 Monkeys (1995)

Brad Pitt's career is very similar to Johnny Depp's and Leonardo DiCaprio's in that all three were overlooked early on in their careers because of their pretty boy looks but as they've become older, the Academy has finally begun to acknowledge their acting achievements. Pitt has received most of his award nominations and critical acclaim later in his career but my favourite role from his filmography is almost twenty years old. It was unusual to see a sci-fi based performance even be nominated but I would have loved to have seen Pitt win the Oscar for his part in '12 Monkeys', which is just a bat s**t crazy film from the get go. 

Michelle Pfeiffer

Nominations: 3 (Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Love Field)

The Role That Should Have Won It: Batman Returns (1992)

Is three nominations enough for this incredible actress? Michelle Pfeiffer may be more picky these days with her film appearances but her overall career is still extremely impressive. However, my favourite role she's played is that of feline burglar Catwoman in the Tim Burton directed sequel to 'Batman'. On the surface, a comic book role may not sound worthy of such high acclaim as an Oscar win but the script required Pfeiffer to play a dual role characterised by extreme mental illness and does it get any more 'Oscary' than that? Pfeiffer elevated the character of Selina Kyle beyond her comic book roots into something iconic, twenty years before the current superhero fad became fashionable for respectable actors.

So what do you think of my choices? Who deserves an Oscar most out of every actor and actress on this list? And is there anyone missing from this post who is equally deserving of Academy recognition? Let me know by commenting, liking and sharing below. Thanks! 

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