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Tuesday Top Ten: Working Actors In Need of an Oscar Nomination

[Editor's note: The last time I published a list of this sort Christian Bale was way up top and then The Fighter happened. Time for a new look at the Oscar Nomination-less. While I'm in Sundance, abstew steps in with his list. My list (and I'm sure yours) might not be exactly the same but... discuss! - Nathaniel]

This past Thursday, when the Oscar nominations were announced, only eight actors were hearing their names called for the first time (the Best Actress category was all previous nominees and 80% winners). Some were for film debuts (Lupita Nyong'o and Barkhad Abdi), but for the other 6 names (Ejiofor, McConaughey, Fassbender, Leto, Hawkins, and Squibb) it was their first recognition from the Academy after years of hard work and dedication to their craft. But not every great actor ever gets to hear their name called Oscar nomination morning. Despite powerful performances and decades of service to the film industry, sometimes a nomination (let alone a win) evades the greats. For some, the oversite will never be remedied (Marilyn Monore, Edward G. Robinson, Myrna Loy, Peter Lorre, Jean Harlow, and John Barrymore are just some of Hollywood's finest that went without the prefix Academy Award Nominee), but for many great actors still working today there is still time. In honor of those overlooked artists, I present 10 actors that continue to give us astounding performances year after year that deserve to have their work recognized with an Oscar nomination. 

Honorable Mention:

Not Now, But Soon: Benedict Cumberbatch, Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hardy, and Greta Gerwig We May Have Lost Them to Television: Steve Buscemi, Robin Wright, Kevin Bacon, Lili Taylor, and Kerry Washington Comedians That Get No Respect: Steve Martin, Jim Carrey, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Carol Burnett Still Great Despite Not Making the Top Ten: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hugh Grant, Hope Davis, John Cusack, and, of course, Mia Farrow (who rarely works now)

10. Gong Li
Should've Been a ContenderJu Dou (1990), Raise the Red Lantern (1991), Farewell My Concubine (1993), To Live (1994), Breaking the Silence (2000), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

With a series of well-received films in the early 90s, Gong Li became the face of Chinese cinema. The actress and her frequent director Zhang Yimou are frequently credited for bringing Chinese cinema to the awareness of American and European audiences. Their collaboration, Ju Dou, was the first film from China to ever be nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Despite groundbreaking work in such films as Raise the Red Lantern and Farewell My Concubine (which won her a New York Film Critics Circle award), the Academy has yet to nominate this influential actress. In 2005, she made her Hollywood film debut appearing in Rob Marshall's Memoirs of a Geisha (her first film in which she performed in English–she learned her lines phonetically) and winning a National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actress. But a nomination still eluded her. After a few more turns in Hollywood (Miami Vice and Hannibal Rising), she seems to have slowed down and hasn't appeared on screen since 2011 (which is essentially why she's not higher on the list). She is currently filming the aptly named Return, which reunites her with Zhang Yimou. Hopefully the film is also a return to Oscar's attention or, at the very least, more work. The cinema needs Gong Li's face.

Nine more after the jump...

9. Kirsten Dunst
Should've Been a Contender? Interview With a Vampire (1994), The Virgin Suicides (1999), The Cat's Meow (2001), Marie Antoinette (2006), All Good Things (2010), Melancholia (2011)

Despite working in film for over 20 years and a body of work that speaks for itself, it seems that Kirsten Dunst never gets the credit she deserves. After starting off as a precocious child star (even earning a Golden Globe nomination for playing the child-vampire, Claudia, in Interview With a Vampire), she was successfully able to transition into a thriving career as an adult. But there seemed to be a period in the early 2000s where people seemed to actively dislike her for whatever reason (it probably didn't help that her performance in Elizabethtown coined the infamous title of manic pixie dream girl). But Dunst continued to give great performances in films that were generally met with mixed reactions (go back and rewatch her work in Marie Antoinette and you'll see). It didn't seem people really began to take her seriously until her mesmerizing work in the little-seen All Good Things and, more importantly, her work in Lars von Trier's Melancholia (which brought a Best Actress award at Cannes). It seems we are just now beginning to see the depth of what she is able to accomplish. Hopefully her continued level of excellence (she next stars in Jeff Nichols' follow-up to Take Shelter and Mud, Midnight Special, and stars along with Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac in The Two Faces of January) will someday catch the eye of the Academy.

08. Gael García Bernal
Should've Been a Contender?: Amores Perros (2000), Y Tu Mamá También (2001), El crimen del Padre Amaro (2002), Bad Education (2004), The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), No (2012)

Gael García Bernal was lucky enough to make a strong impression in his feature film debut, Amores Perros, which had its premiere at Cannes and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. But it wasn't until the following year when he starred in the much talked about and also Oscar nominated Y Tu Mamá También, from Alfonso Cuarón (currently nominated as Best Director for Gravity) that his career really took off (I'm sure those racy sex scenes certainly helped). With his recognition from these Spanish-language films, García Bernal was suddenly well-known and receiving MTV Movie Award nominations for complex, adult foreign films -- when does something like that ever happen?!). With his crossover appeal, I'm sure Hollywood tried to tempt him with big money-making blockbusters. But García Bernal stayed true to his indie roots and in 2004 had his best year yet as an actor earning rave reviews for performances in two different films, as a young Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries and, his most transformative work, in Almodóvar's Bad Education. Altough appearing in many Oscar nominated films (including 2012's No), García Bernal has yet to receive the honor himself. He next stars in Jon Stewart's directorial debut in the true-life political film, Rosewater, about a journalist imprisoned in Iran. At the age of 35, he still has a long career ahead of him (and Oscar likes to make handsome young men wait). As he continues doing the great work he has it's hopefully not a question of if he'll receive an Oscar nomination, but when.

7. Scarlett Johansson
Should've Been a Contender?: Ghost World (2001), Lost in Translation (2003), Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003), Match Point (2006), Don Jon (2013), Her (2013)

Out of all ten actors on this list, Johansson probably came closest to securing a nomination (Sofia Coppola's Oscar-winning, Lost in Translation). This past year she received even more Oscar buzz around a performance created only with her voice in Her. Let's be honest with ourselves: that was never gonna happen even if it was fun to have people think creatively about what makes up a great performance. It didn't hurt that she was giving another great performance (one that included her body) in Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don Jon. So far she's received 4 Golden Globe nominations, was a double nominee at BAFTA (winning for Lost in Translation), been nominated, and won a few critics' awards, flirted with being Woody Allen's new muse (appearing in 3 films so far), won a Tony for her work in Broadway's A View From the Bridge, and just happens to be in one of the highest-grossing films of all time (third behind Avatar and Titanic). To say she's had a successful career would be an understatement. Wouldn't receiving that Oscar nomination be just the perfect addition to that list of accolades? Balancing both blockbusters (she has more appearances as The Black Widow) along with prestige films with auteurs (her work in Jonathan Glazer's follow-up to Birth, Under the Skin, has already earned her praise at film festivals), she seems to be charting a varied career path that should eventually see her recognized.

6. Charlotte Rampling
Should've Been a Contender?: The Damned (1969), The Night Porter (1974), The Verdict (1982), Under the Sand (2000), Swimming Pool (2003), The Eye of the Storm (2011)

British actors seem to carry a certain amount of innate prestige (after all, they are the homeland of Shakespeare) that the Academy finds irresistible. Added to their mystique is the very British way that royal titles are bestowed upon them (somehow Dame Sandy Bullock doesn't sound right). Charlotte Rampling received a title in 2001 (OBE: Officer of the Order of the British Empire), but despite over 50 years in film, she has yet to charm the Academy with a nomination. With a sultry sexiness still apparent well into her 60's, you'd think she'd be following in the Oscar-winning footsteps of fellow Brit, Helen Mirren. But, for whatever reason, Rampling has thus far been unsuccessful. Perhaps her earlier films were too racy for Oscar's taste (The Night Porter concerns a sadomasochistic relationship and Max, My Love has her falling in love with a chimpanzee). But she also appeared in more conventional Oscar-friendly material like Woody Allen's Stardust Memories and played Paul Newman's alcoholic girlfriend in The Verdict. Adding to her reputation, she has appeared in countless Italian and French films (earning 4 César nominations), including the film that won her the most acclaim, 2003's The Swimming Pool. (In the film she actually addresses people's obsession with awards saying, "Awards are like hemorrhoids. Sooner or later every asshole gets one.") But by all accounts, the multi-lingual beauty should be taking her place among Oscar's other beloved Brits.

5. Peter Sarsgaard
Should've Been a Contender?: Boys Don't Cry (1999), Shattered Glass (2003), Garden State (2004), Kinsey (2004), Jarhead (2005), An Education (2009)

Peter Sarsgaard is a creep–but I mean that in the best possible way! His performances are always a little sinister (even in films where the role doesn't necessarily call for it) but it's that hidden mischievousness that gives him an edge. It's no surprise that the actor he's most compared to, John Malkovich, is another man who's capable of subtly subversions. Unlike Malkovich, who has been Oscar nominated twice, Sarsgaard has yet to translate that quality into Oscar glory. Having first gained recognition for his work in Boys Don't Cry, it wasn't until his brilliant performance in 2003's Shattered Glass that he started to get awards attention (including nominations from the Golden Globes and Independent Spirit Awards). But Oscar passed that year and then two more consecutive years for supporting turns in Kinsey (which brought some recognition to his costars) and Sam Mendes' Jarhead. Never one to play a conventional leading man, the roles are just going to get more diverse as he gets older (next up is a film about chess prodigy, Bobby Fischer, and a western about...cannibals) which certainly could help his Oscar chances at least in the supporting categories.

4. Ewan McGregor
Should've Been a Contender?: Trainspotting (1996), Moulin Rouge! (2001), Big Fish (2003), The Ghost Writer (2010), Beginners (2010), The Impossible (2012)

Who would have guessed that the actor who regularly got his penis out in 90s cinema and came to fame in the manic Trainspotting would settle into to such a respectable place in award-worthy films? But such is the diversity of Ewan McGregor career that he's equally capable of playing a glam rocker from the 70s (Velvet Goldmine) as he is a modern Midwestern husband in August: Osage County. Perhaps it's that effortlessness that has had him overlooked and taken for granted time and again. If they gave unconventional Oscars, he should also be given an award for Most Likely to Get Your Costar an Oscar Nomination as his work opposite his fellow actors has produced nominations for Nicole Kidman, Christopher Plummer, Naomi Watts, and now Julia Roberts (Meryl gets nominations all on her own). His work hasn't gone completely unnoticed as he's been nominated twice for the Golden Globe (Moulin Rouge! and...Salmon Fishing in the Yemen(!) Oh, HFPA, don't ever change), but at this point in his career shouldn't he have at least a single nomination? He has a duo of "Gun" movies coming up (the prison drama Son of a Gun and the very troubled production of Jane Got a Gun), but it doesn't seem like either is headed for award recognition. Still, if he's able to find that one role that showcases him (and not his costar), an Oscar nomination is in his future.

3. Isabelle Huppert
Should've Been a Contender?: Violette (1978), Madame Bovary (1991), Le Cérémonie (1995), The Piano Teacher (2001), 8 Women (2002), Amour (2012)

Although considered by many to be one of the all time great screen actors (just saying her name can make cinephiles swoon), she has yet to catch on with Oscar voters. Nominated for 14 César awards (more than any other actress and only 2 behind current record-holder, Gérard Depardieu), one of four woman to win the Best Actress prize at Cannes twice, and one of two women to twice receive the Best Actress prize at the Venice Film Festival, her acting has been internationally recognized and honored. So, why is it that an Oscar nomination has evaded her? Perhaps the films which have won her the most acclaim are just too hard to connect to. (The Piano Teacher is especially difficult to digest for a lot of people.) Unlike her fellow French actresses that have found favor with Oscar (Deneuve, Adjani, Cotillard), her persona is more of intellectual with a pricklier demeanor which she used to comic affect in the film 8 Women. Whatever the reason, she will continue to make the kinds of films that win her acclaim (she appears in the he said/she said film, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, and is scheduled to appear in a film about the art world with Sigourney Weaver). It's just a shame that she worked with David O. Russell before he was able to score so many Oscar nominations for his actors...

2. Richard Gere
Should've Been a Contender?: Days of Heavan (1978), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Primal Fear (1996), Chicago (2002), The Hoax (2007), Arbitrage (2012)

Oscar likes to make its men wait. But after almost 40 years in the business and numerous well-regarded performances, hasn't Richard Gere waited long enough? After 1980's American Gigolo made him a superstar and heartthrob, Gere had a hard time being taken seriously as an actor. His follow up film An Officer and a Gentleman, further cemented his star status and went on to receive 6 Oscar nominations (and 2 wins)–but none for Gere. In the 80's and 90's, he starred in many popular studio films. Then there was the film that seemed most likely to win him a nomination, Chicago. Although the film scored big with Oscar voters (its 13 nominations just one shy of the all-time leaders All About Eve and Titanic) and though he won Golden Globe for his performance, Gere was once again the odd man out. He's been nominated 4 times at the Golden Globes, the latest was for 2012's Arbitrage which won him some of the best reviews of his career, but–you guessed–not enough for Oscar's attention. As a practicing Buddhist and friend of the Dalai Lama, I'm sure awards don't weigh that heavily in the balance of his life. But, as an actor, I'm sure we wants a damn Oscar nomination.

1. Donald Sutherland
Should've Been a Contender?: M*A*S*H (1970), Don't Look Now (1973), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Ordinary People (1980), JFK (1991), Pride and Prejudice (2005)

In a career that has spanned 6 decades in such classics as The Dirty Dozen, Robert Altman's M*A*S*H, Don't Look Now, Klute, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Animal House (not exactly Oscar material, but still), and Best Picture winner Ordinary People, it is still hard to believe that Donald Sutherland has not received a single nomination. And at the age of 78, he's still working steadily (most notably as President Snow in The Hunger Games trilogy). In a career as vast and varied, how do you choose a performance that was most deserving of a nomination. By all accounts he should have at least a couple of citations. But his best chances were most likely with Robert Redford's Ordinary People, which brought nominations to Mary Tyler Moore and a win to Timothy Hutton. Sutherland was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance (he has a total of 3 nominations for film, and 5 for his work in television), but was shut-out on nomination morning. His most recent shot came with his sweet turn as Keira Knightley's father in Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice, a chance many saw as honoring not just his work in the film, but for his career. Unfortunately, although the film received 4 Oscar nominations (including one for Knightley), Sutherland was not among them. In addition to the rest of The Hunger Games, Sutherland has no less than 4 upcoming films and a televison series. It hardly seems he's going to slow down anytime soon–just as long as the Academy can catch up with him at some point.

Everyone has an opinion (or snubbed favorite) when it comes to this subject, especially TFE readers, so let us know in the comments who you would add to the Top Ten!

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Reader Comments (72)

Yes. Sutherland may be the most criminally under appreciated actor of his generation. He's always so great. He and Jane Fonda in Klute are just the most dynamic pair.

I seem to remember that Gael was originally cast in the Rayon role in Dallas Buyers Club, but had to drop out for some reason. One wonders if he would be poised to win an Oscar like Jared Leto is currently. It might not have seemed as much of a departure for him, but we'll never know.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwill h

No cameron diaz? Vanilla sky, gangs of new York, my best friends wedding, my sisters Keeper, the counselor?

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

scarlett won in the leading category for "lost in translation".

I really liked sutherland in "pride and prejudice". his final scene is beautiful.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

*at bafta, sorry.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

My personal choice would be Cameron Diaz. I also would've put Jim Carrey in there if he kept on making great films, but alas...

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Once McConaugh-a-shit wins the award loses all credibility. And everyone on this list will look like the lucky ones.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

you're right marcelo - updated!

will h - i didn't know gael was supposed to play rayon! that would've been interesting...

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterabstew

John Goodman! He and Ewan McGreggor are the two actors that I am most amazed don't have a nomination yet. Michelle Yeoh or Catherine O'Hara would be my dream "first nomination" for actresses. Alan Rickman and Jeff Daniels should probably be on the list, at least in Honorable Mention.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentershawshank

I also thought Cameron Diaz. I mean, she's pretty great when she picks great roles and it seems like she's been "almost nominated" on quite a few occasions.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNic Meyers

There's a whole 'nother possible list that could be drawn up for comedic actors, who get no respect from the Academy: Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Steve Carrell, Will Farrell, etc.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

And I always THINK that Bruce Willis was nominated for The Sixth Sense until I see his imdb page and even then it takes me a minute to stop thinking, "Hey! They don't have his nomination listed!" I will never understand how the Academy missed that opportunity to reward him for a career that has brought so much money into the business.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentershawshank

A couple of years ago Sutherland's fellow countryman Christopher Plummer should have been #1 on this list, but the Academy thankfully remedied that twice, and gave him the win to boot.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

I agree with all your choices (but not in that order). Since you're clearly foreign-friendly, let me add Carmen Maura who gave some of the best female performances ever with Almodóvar.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Yes, Catherine 0'Hara for For Your Consideration. Perfection.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

The English Speaking list

Billy Crudup
Ewan McGregor
James McAvoy
Scarlett Johansson
Michael Sheen
Peter Sarsgaard
Oscar Isaac
Sam Rockwell
Maria Bello
Hugh Dancy

The Foreign List

Lena Endre
Isabelle Huppert
Marisa Parades
Matthieu Almaric
Gael Garcia Bernal
Li Gong
Mads Mikkelsen
Daniel Auteuil
Daniel Bruhl
Toni Servillo

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterManos

What about Julie Delpy, White, the Before series I know she was nominated as a writer but still

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

The first two who came to mind are Bonnie Bedelia who is consistently excellent but without question should have had a nomination for Heart Like a Wheel. The other is her Die Hard costar Alan Rickman, for many of his roles but particularly Sense and Sensibility and of course Die Hard, two pieces of work which could not be more opposite but each brilliant. While I'm at it I'll make it a Die Hard three for three and name Bruce Willis, he's often overly smug but when he holds that in check has given some really wonderful performances.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Manos is right--Sam Rockwell was the very first name that sprung to my mind. He could've/should've been up for "Moon" "The Way Way Back" "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "Lawn Dogs." (Lots of people liked him in "Box of Moonlight" too, though it's been so long since I saw it, I'd need another viewing.)

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDback

John Turturro doesn't get cast as regularly as he used to (or as much as he should), but he should be on this list, for Barton Fink, Quiz Show, Miller's Crossing.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

What about Maggie Cheung? If you look at her film repertoire, compared to Gong Li's, you'll see a more diverse and riskier buffet - and I daresay, more interesting gamut of roles. In fact, here in Asia, audience and critics alike seem to think of Maggie as the gold standard. Even in Chinese Box, where both Gong Li and Maggie acted (though never in the same scene), it's quite straightforward to see who the better actress is. Maggie should have been nominated for In the Mood for Love, Comrades almost a love story (thought she was the best in that year)
and Centrestage.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJans

Gere is still criminally underrated for his role in UNFORGIVEN. Dare I say every bit as good as Diane Lane? I do.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Dear lord I just called UNFAITHFUL "Unforgiven." I need a drink.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

JIM CARREY. Jimcarreyjimcarreyjimcarrey. The Truman Show! Eternal Sunshine! Where are those roles these days??

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan A

jans - i love maggie cheung as well and In the Mood For Love is one of my favorite films of all-time (so beautiful), but she works even less than gong li. she hasn't done a film since 2010 and has nothing in the works. she's pretty much retired.

can't believe i forgot to include catherine o'hara and parker posey in the comedy section! i guess even i'm not giving it respect...

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterabstew

Jason Isaacs will now be the first person I think of (since Ejiofor finally has his long overdue nomination - I'm still miffed about him being overlooked for Dirty Pretty Things, Kinky Boots, and Talk to Me). Isaacs is in dire need of a better agent; there's no reason for an actor of his talent to continually be in such crap.

I can't believe nobody has mentioned Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterK


Maria Bello

Rupert Everett
Matthieu Almaric


Ewan McGregor

Scarlett Johansson
Peter Sarsgaard

Gael Garcia Bernal
Donald Sutherland

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Michael Gambon
Eileen Atkins
Monica Belluci
VIncent Cassel
Guy Pearce
Dennis Quaid

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Gong Li - can't believe they have never given her any recognition. I'm telling you Asian actors get no respect from the Academy ( probably has to do with the 99% dominantly white voters )

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Infamous

it's probably too late for her but Maureen O'Hara, Miracle on 34th st. How Green was my Valley, The Quiet Man- So many other team ups with "John Wayne. She probably doesn't act anymore, but how about an honorary award?

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertom

I'd add Claire Danes to the list in a heartbeat. I think she could/should have been nominated for Little Women, Romeo + Juliet, and Shopgirl. I think she's become somewhat of a polarizing screen presence, but I think with the right material she can be incredible. If Temple Grandin had been a theatrical release I think she would have been nominated for sure.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZach

I'm going to add someone who I think is a future Oscar nominee Dwayne Johnson he gave one of his best performances in Pain&Gain he's improved as an actor

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

I have long been preaching the merits of ScarJo, Garcia Bernal and Ewan. Dunst would be in a "I'm happy for her" kind of way, because she's put in her dues but she seems to be a little lightweight to me. Granted I haven't seen Melancholia.

I'd probably like to see Christopher Lee although he's 90, so it might only happen posthumously.
If we're talking 5-8 years ago, Cameron Diaz and Jim Carrey deserve something, but who knows if lightning will strike for them again.
I haven't seen Paul Bettany in a film since Da Vinci Code but he was good back in the day.
I totally support Dennis Quaid. John Turturro is equally someone I'd love to see.
On the women's side, some on my wishlist include: Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Williams, Kristin Chenoweth, Christine Barinski, Abigail Cornish, Rosamund Pike, Eva Green, Ayelet Zurer, and especially the Inglourious Basterd snubbees: Dianne Kruger and Melanie Laurent..so my list would be:

1. Scarlett Johannsen
2. Richard Gere
3. Daniel Craig
4. Dennis Quaid
5. Dianne Kruger
6. John Turturro
7. Ewan MaGregor
8. Olivia Williams
9. Gabriel Garcia Bernal
10. Rosamund Pike
11. Paul Bettany
12. Tom Hollander
13. Diego Luna
14. Elizabeth Banks
15. Audrey Tatou

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterOrrin Konheim



Steve Buscemi

Thora Bi..... Just kidding. I realized just how Ghost World this was getting.

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Tony Leung

Gong Li

Charlotte Rampling

Kirsten Dunst

Toni Servillo

John Goodman

Sargaard seems primed to win one in the next 10 years and have me be furious about it. Just the fact he ranked above Rampling and Gong Li made me mad.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

JEANNE MOREAU, Danny Glover...

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

My heart is still broken that Scarlett wasn't nominated for her wonderful Charlotte in Lost In Translation and the role reason was the f****d up campaign trying to say she was supporting. She was pure lead and should/would have got in that year. Bafta giving her the Best Actress award made me proud to be British. I will always be sad about this but am hopeful she will be nominated one day.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChrisD

Ryan A-Carrey instantly came to mind. SIX Globe nods (and two wins) without a corresponding Oscar nomination is unprecedented. Not even Farrow can compete.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I would say Charlotte Gainsbourg has been deserving quite a few times too. Her work with Lars for sure but she was a standout for me in I'm Not There. Why do they keep shunning the Lars Von Trier leading ladies anyways?

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpaco.

What's crazy is how Oscar friendly so many of the roles the people in your top ten have had while also actually being better than some of the nominated performances in a given year.

For Donald Sutherland - who really is at the top of this list - I would add "Six Degrees of Separation" as a film he should also have scored a nomination for. Channing is excellent in that film, but so many of her most striking emotional moments rely on his performance, and he's so good without you realizing it throughout. They also make a perfect team at the start of the film and he pulls a lot of weight - helping both her and the film to excel.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGJP

Donald Sutherland and Mia Farrow are the most glaring ones. Richard Gere rounds up the top three. Farrow hardly works anymore, but the two gents are still hard at it, and turning in some great performances. In Gere's case, Arbitrage ranks up there with the best stuff he's ever done, so he's actively getting better. Sutherland snubs are so hard to figure out... I mean, Mash, Klute, Ordinary People... He was so good in so many acclaimed and rewarded pics, how come he's missed every single time? Hopefully he can get a late career plum role and score a well deserved lead nom (maybe even a win), like Gary Oldman for TTTS.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

And JONAH HILL has TWO nominations under his belt.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIan

I mean, there's a ton who deserve to be on this list based on proven talent and resume but one that I'm always surprised hasn't bagged a single nomination based on how many high profile projects and buzz he seemingly gets every time he's in a scene-stealing role is John Goodman. You would've thought that a Supporting Actor nod would've happened once or twice by now, you know?

Some fabulous others like Huppert, Li, Rampling or Bernal have just never really been on their radar, I think.

Others like Dunst, Gere, Diaz, McGregor and Johansson clearly seem like they're not taken seriously enough as dramatic actors. Replace some of their most acclaimed roles with people who are more respected and tell me they'd still be un-nominated parts.

Others, still, like Alan Rickman, Billy Crudup, Sam Rockwell, Daniel Craig, Elizabeth Banks just haven't been in anything showy enough (read: baity enough) that really strikes the AMPAS' fancy to wanna make them nominated. Elizabeth Banks did excellent showy yet subtle and true supporting work in the most recent Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire, but was she ever gonna get in for that? Her time has yet to come to really show off her chops for the AMPAS. Ditto for someone like Craig and his take on Bond.

But yeah, I pretty much agree with every single name that's been mentioned in the article and in these comments so far. Can you imagine what kind of meaty high-profile parts would be thrown at Parker Posey if she ever got that kind of attention an Oscar nod affords? We should all be thanking the award gods that Sally Hawkins got her due this year, if any hardworking character actor merits attention in that way. Paul Bettany is another one I lament for, who is always seemingly a great role away from striking gold.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

The two most egregious on this list, for me, are McGregor and Sutherland. They are both so close, considering the best pic nominees they starred in and general co-starry nominations they accompany. Sarsgaard has done good work (astonishingly, reliably good, but never 'best' good), and Rampling & Hupper suffer from underexposure. So just from their filmographies combined with Oscar history, McGregor and Sutherland seem the most perplexing to me.

I think Johansson is going through a hard-core Penelope-Cruz-ing, where an actress who rose to prominence on her sexiness works hard and eventually gets cast in roles that actually use her talents, instead of bland supportive wife kind of roles. I am very excited what happens to her in the next 5 years, I think it will be fantastic.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

YES @ Kirsten Dunst. I grew up with her as my favorite actress (along with Drew Barrymore, but that love affair is definitely over lol) and I still love her. She was probably close to a nomination with Interview with a Vampire, but maybe they didn't want to pull another Anna Paquin so soon? Who knows. But I was desperately hoping she'd somehow get that fifth Best Actress spot in 2011 for Melancholia. I think she's so great (Crazy/Beautiful) and I'm glad Melancholia seemed to reawaken her career a bit. Hopefully within the next few years she gets another great role like that and can manage a nomination.

The oscar snub that hurts the most for me (I've mentioned it too many times on this site) is Evan Rachel Wood for Thirteen...I wish I could say she continued to be great after that but nothing really stood out after that. Hopefully she at least starts getting good roles again.

I agree with everyone on ScarJo of course.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

As an Asian, the male equivalent of Gong Li has got to be TONY LEUNG.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIan

And honestly I think ScarJo will be a nominee in the next few years. With the Tony win plus the year she's had, I think it seems that the stars are aligning that way. People are at least taking her more seriously now for sure.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

The Mariah Carey exclusion in this list is appalling.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMariah Carey

How about Martin Sheen. Apocalypse Now, Badlands, The American President, Wall Street, etc.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Ellen Barkin and Martha Plimpton.

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMustafa

Steve Martin doesn't count anymore, correct?

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLi

Steve Martin has an honorary Oscar now so I guess he's set :-)

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

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