December 04, 2016

Leonardo DiCaprio: Who’s the most overdue for an Academy Award?

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A lot of times during the months directly following the Academy Awards telecast, people talk about who’s overdue for an Oscar nomination, but I think the more interesting conversation is to discuss who’s already been nominated repeatedly by the Academy but has yet to win an Oscar. It’s one thing to fight for that first nod, or to have a nom to your credit but nothing else, but what of the people who’ve been cited with nominations multiple times by Oscar voters but never seem to make it to the finish line? Recently, I was thinking about just that, and actually came up with a list of some of the folks in the industry that are most overdue for a win.

Below you’ll find a group of ten previously nominated by the Academy that I think should have won by now. They consist of actors, actresses, filmmakers, and technical craftsmen, all of whom define the word “overdue” to me. There are many others, like Ridley Scott for example, but I limited it to ten. Take a look:

10. David O. Russell- With five nominations to his credit now, Russell is undoubtedly on a hot streak right now, and it’s firmly entrenched him as someone due for a win. The Academy clearly is enamored with him, so it really seems to only be a matter of time now. Not everyone is thrilled with that prospect, but I’m not among them. He’s more than deserving at this point in his career.

9. Julianne Moore – A quartet of nods later, Moore is very high up on many lists of the actresses who desperately need an Oscar. I obviously don’t have her quite as high up on this list, but she’s clearly only one great role away from being on that stage accepting the statue. My guess is that it’ll be for a supporting performance, but time will ultimately tell there.

8. Christopher Nolan – Despite often snubbing Nolan in some key categories, the Academy has still cited him a trio of times, though without any sign of a win yet. They’ve notably kept him far away from the Best Director field, so when his first win comes, I suspect that it’ll be for a Screenplay category…that’s just a guess though. Perhaps Interstellar this year can do it for him?

7. Tom Cruise – There was a time when it was inconceivable to think that Cruise wouldn’t have won an Oscar by now. He’s got three noms to date, but hasn’t been doing prestige type work for a while now. If he makes a return to that sort of acting, I think he’d be able to parlay that into some more attention from the Academy. He may never become an Oscar winner, but he’s deserving, no doubt about that.

6. Paul Thomas Anderson – Another filmmaker with five nominations to date, Anderson doesn’t particularly make Academy friendly films, so it really says something that he’s been nominated as much as he has. If he ever makes a more traditionally Oscar type flick, I think he could really clean up. It likely won’t be this year for Inherent Vice, but one of these days…

5. Amy Adams – Here’s another five timer, as Adams seems right on the cusp of a win. This year she has Big Eyes, which she’s perhaps already considered the frontrunner of 2014 for. If not, she’s so often nominated that it’s really a matter of time. I’m fairly confident about this one, though obviously there’s no way of truly knowing.

4. Greg P. Russell – See if you can believe this…Russell has been nominated for his Sound work 16 times, but has yet to win. He often works on blockbusters that don’t usually have awards aspirations, but if/when he gets attached to something like a Gravity, for example, I think he’ll finally be accepting his Oscar. He came close for Skyfall, and that’s something. This will be one that’ll be real nice to see when it happens. He’s amazingly overdue.

3. David Fincher – Despite only two nominations so far in his career, Fincher is definitely overdue for some bigger attention. He’s such a distinctive director, it’ll be an incredible shame if he winds up never becoming a winner. He came real close for The Social Network, so I think the Academy is going to be honoring him one of these days. It just doesn’t make sense for them not to. He might have to go through a few more losses, but it should happen.

2. Roger Deakins – Perhaps the best cinematographer of all time, Deakins is currently 0-11 in terms of his nominations translating to wins. That’s another shocking statistic to a lot of you, especially when you look at the movies he’s been nominated for. He’s got a real good chance to win this year for Unbroken, so perhaps he’ll finally be able to end this depressing losing streak. I’ll be overjoyed if/when that happens too.

1. Leonardo DiCaprio – Up until this past year, I wouldn’t have had DiCaprio this high, but The Wolf of Wall Street changed everything for me. He’s another one with five nominations, so it’s clear that he’s getting closer to a win. He’s very choosy about his parts and clearly seems to have one eye on what might get him a win, so if he sticks with Scorsese and continues to make this sort of vibrant films, it should happen before too long.

There are tons more, but those are the previously nominated that top my list. In the next few years, some of them hopefully will find their Oscar glory, so I’m sure this list will get a facelift then…

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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