Robin Wright: Who’s overdue for their first Academy Award nomination?

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Much like I wrote about the actors, actresses, and filmmakers in Hollywood who are overdue to win an Oscar a few weeks ago, there are tons in the industry who are way overdue merely for their first nomination by the Academy. Some of them have gotten close in the past, while others have yet to really sniff that sort of acclaim. They’re both newcomers to the business and old hands, with plenty of in between as well. In my eyes, there are some really overdue ones in particular, and I figured I’d cite some of them here in this article. Narrowing it down to just ten is really difficult, but I wanted to mix and match between different members of the industry and attempt to include some who will have 2014 releases in contention, as you’ll see momentarily…

Below you’ll find ten members of the industry who have yet to receive an Oscar nomination, but who I think are closing in on one, perhaps even within the next year. Take a look:

10. Channing Tatum – I know his name raises some eyebrows, and up until recently I wasn’t his biggest fan, but he’s going to have a big Oscar contender in Foxcatcher this year, so while Steve Carell (who we’ll be talking about shortly) and Mark Ruffalo as more likely nominees, it’s hardly out of the question for Tatum to make it in. In fact, if he’s a standout, it’ll be one of those more youth skewing nominations that the Academy sometimes likes to sneak in.

9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt – I’ve long been saying that Gordon-Levitt is overdue for a nomination, despite his relative youth. His writing and directing debut Don Jon only showed off more of his talents, so while he couldn’t make it in for something like (500) Days of Summer, the next few years should most likely result in him joining the Academy as a nominee. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t nominated by the end of the decade.

8. Kevin Smith – While Smith is probably past the point of making things that will appeal to Oscar voters, that doesn’t make him any less overdue in my eyes. I’ll be talking about him in a Spotlight on the Stars piece soon, but his best chance was probably for the Chasing Amy screenplay. A few years ago he made a great film that nobody saw called Red State too, so his skills are certainly there. I’ll hold back until I get that Smith-centric article out, but he’s definitely someone who should have scored a nomination in the 90’s.

7. Jennifer Jason Leigh – Few actresses in the business have been snubbed more than Jason Leigh, who often impresses in small supporting parts that just can’t seem to break through. Just last year she popped up in things like Kill Your Darlings and The Spectacular Now. One of these days, someone will write her a lead role and I bet she’ll turn that into a showcase that results in a nomination.

6. Jeff Daniels – His award winning work on The Newsroom has certainly boosted his profile a bit, but it’s still a real shame that he didn’t get a nomination for The Squid and the Whale. Daniels will likely have some strong opportunities when his show ends next year, so hopefully that can translate into something nomination worthy…

5. Hoyte Van Hoytema – I was real bummed that Von Hoytema couldn’t score a nomination for his DP work on Her last year, but this year he’s doing the cinematography for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, so he’ll have a real good shot at making up for that snub. He’s one of the best young cinematographers in the business, so I’m certain he’ll be nominated eventually. It’s a question of when for him, not if.

4. Steve Carell – Like with Tatum earlier, Carell has Foxcatcher this year to offer him a big shot at a nomination. To some, he’s even the current Best Actor frontrunner. Already snubbed once for his fine supporting turn in Little Miss Sunshine, this seems like his chance to shine. I wouldn’t bet against a nomination this year for him, with the win hardly out of the question either.

3. Scarlett Johansson – After being snubbed last year for both Don Jon and Her, Johansson continued her amazing recent run with Under the Skin this month, giving a performance that demands Academy attention. She missed out on nominations for her earlier work on Lost in Translation and Match Point as well, so she’s clearly overdue at this point. Hopefully the Academy can cite here before too much more time passes.

2. John Cusack – I’m a huge Cusack fan, so it’s slightly sad to see him not really looking at awards contenders anymore for the most part, but that just makes me even more annoyed that the Academy didn’t recognize him for Grace is Gone or High Fidelity. He does have a potential contender this year in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy, so there’s a chance that he could finally score something from Oscar.

1. Robin Wright – No woman in Hollywood is as overdue for attention as Wright is. She notably was snubbed for the Best Picture winning Forrest Gump, a decision I think voters now regret. She’s doing some of her finest work to date now with House of Cards, so I think that all of the television centric attention will eventually nab her a film role that’s worthy of that elusive first Oscar nomination.

I have a feeling that at least one of these individuals will see their first citations come this next Oscar season, so stay tuned!

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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