OK, Leonardo DiCaprio has won an Oscar. The memes can finally be put to rest. His career suddenly seems much less interesting to us now, even though he’ll probably continue to star in great movies. Anyway, now that Leo has joined the illustrious winner’s circle, that leaves us to spotlight others actors who haven’t quite got over the line yet.
You’d be hard pressed to find a movie fan who wouldn’t agree DiCaprio deserved an Oscar, even if they don’t particularly think The Revenant was his greatest performance – the fact remains that his contribution to cinema over the past 20 years merits such recognition. Plus, everyone can shut the hell up about it.
But what about the actors working today in Hollywood that are left without such a distinction? Here we look at 10 immensely talented actors who deserve an Oscar as much as DiCaprio did.
1. Amy Adams
Before winning, DiCaprio had been nominated four times and never prevailed; Adams has five nominations and no wins. Her acting his consistently excellent and she’s delivered standout performances in the likes of The Fighter and American Hustle, while she also earned nods for The Master, Doubt and Junebug. Arguably the greatest actress working today without a single Oscar to her name, there’ll be an extra roar of approval when her name is finally called out (it’s bound to happen sooner or later).
2. Gary Oldman
An actor renowned for his versatility and dedication to immersing himself in the mindsets of his characters, Oldman’s choices of films have perhaps always hindered his chances of scooping a statuette. Although he was excellent as Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, he was never going to win an Oscar for a Batman movie.
His performance as the psychotic Stansfield in Leon: The Professional was captivating but only achieved serious recognition years after as the film became one of the greatest cult hits of all time. Oldman’s greatest chance was for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but he lost out to Jean Dujardin for The Artist. At the age of 57, it would be great to see Oldman prevail in the next few years.
3. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt has won an Oscar, but not for acting. He won for being a producer of 12 Years A Slave, which won Best Picture in 2014. However, Pitt’s acting has never quite been up to the Academy’s standards, despite delivering arguably the coolest cinematic performance of all time as Tyler Durden in Fight Club. Shockingly, he wasn’t even nominated for that, but he was for 12 Monkeys, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Moneyball, but his search goes on. You could say that Pitt doesn’t need an Oscar on account of being one of the coolest actors ever to live, but some recognition would be nice, don’t you think?
4. Edward Norton
Pitt’s Fight Club co-star has also scored three nominations without ever managing to beat off the competition. He was spellbinding as the reformed Neo-Nazi Derek Vinyard in American History X and extremely impressive as a youngster opposite Richard Gere in the gripping courtroom drama Primal Fear. He notched his third nomination in Birdman but while Michael Keaton won for Best Leading Actor, Norton lost out – quite rightly we have to admit – to J.K. Simmons in Whiplash.
5. Michael Fassbender
Although Fassbender has only really broken onto the scene in the last decade, he’s already bagged two nominations and the consistently top-drawer performances have seen him knocking on the door. He may have felt unlucky to miss out on the Best Supporting Actor gong for his terrifying portrayal of an abusive slaveowner in 12 Years A Slave but his Steve Jobs never really stood a chance of beating DiCaprio this year. However, if a few more performances go unrewarded, don’t be surprised to see the campaign to get Fassbender an Oscar every bit as fanatical as Leo’s.
6. Helena Bonham Carter
You may refuse to recognise it, but Helena Bonham Carter has built a pretty solid acting career for herself outside of merely starring in her husband Tim Burton’s movies (she’s still pretty good in those, mind you). She scored her first nomination for 1997’s Wings of a Dove but the upset came when she missed out in 2011 despite a wonderful incarnation of Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech. Melissa Leo won for The Fighter but there was more than a few raised eyebrows when her name was called out. Carter turns 50 this year so she easily has another 20 years left in her to try and right that wrong.
7. Scarlett Johansson
Here’s one for you; Scarlett Johansson has never been nominated for an Oscar. She isn’t doing herself any favours by appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but she’s delivered arguably Oscar-worthy performances in Lost in Translation and Girl with a Pearl Earring. In fact, the latter saw her scoop the Best Leading Actress BAFTA without being nominated for an Academy Award. She was also mesmeric in Under the Skin, but that film was far too arthouse for the Academy’s liking.
8. Johnny Depp
Depp’s career has undeniably dipped in recent years but he’s still delivered several award-worthy performances in the past. He’s received three nominations since 2000, for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Neverland and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, but he’s seen his standing in the acting community take a hit thanks to flops like Mortdecai, The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows. Gangster thriller Black Mass saw a return to form as sorts but Depp will have to channel his inner-Jack Sparrow if he’s to come that close again.
9. Glenn Close
The woman’s been nominated six times, give her one already for cryin’ out loud!
10. Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix is the greatest actor, in our opinion, not to have an Oscar to his name. In fact, he is perhaps the greatest actor of all time – possibly with the exception of Peter O’Toole – to never win one. Phoenix has been nominated three times for scene-stealing performances in Gladiator and The Master and was desperately unlucky to miss out for playing Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. He missed out on a nomination for Her in 2014 and subsequently called the Oscars ‘total bullshit,’ so we doubt he’ll be nominated anytime soon. Regardless of what he does in the future, he definitely should have won one for the aforementioned trio though.
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