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Brie Larson in “Room”: Ten potential first time acting nominees for Oscar in 2015

room brie larson
As pleasing as it can be to see an actor finally receive an Academy Award after a deserving career, it’s just as pleasing, if not more sometimes, to see an actor or actress get that first nomination. This year, there’s no shortage of potential first timers with Oscar in the acting categories, so today I have a nice list of them to share with you. I’ve ranked ten possible nominees, along with some extras in a bonus Honorable Mention segment, so be sure to use this as a bit of a cheat sheet as awards season gets underway. Enjoy as always, and again, remember that this is just how I would rank them, not how it’s definitely going to wind up…

Here now are the ten that I’ve chosen:

10. Kristen Stewart – That Cesar Award that Stewart won for her role in Clouds of Sils Maria will serve her well this season. Without it, she might have already faded away, though Stewart is still far from a sure thing in Best Supporting Actress. She’s not “due” per say, but her work outside of Twilight is stronger than many realize, so a chance in more baity material will not go unnoticed. She’ll be in contention all season long.

9. Emily Blunt – Had the role been slightly juicier, I think Blunt in Sicario would have been a lock for a Best Actress nomination. She’s getting to the point of being really due, especially considering how the Golden Globes seem to love her. Oscar will get to her, it’s a question of when, not if, but this year might be a long shot. Stay times though, particularly if Sicario turns into a major player during the precursors.

8. Jason Segel – I hope that Segel hasn’t already seen his moment come and go for his incredible work in The End of the Tour. He could either go Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor, so his category placement is still to be decided. Either way, this dramatic breakthrough makes him due for consideration. If Segel does get lost in the shuffle, this will at the very least put him on the path to bigger consideration, like some of his Apatow gang brethren, as you’ll see below…

7. Kurt Russell – Depending on how The Hateful Eight turns out, Russell could be a slam dunk Best Supporting Actor nominee or a fringe one. It’s crazy that he’s yet to be nominated, but at the same time, this might be his most Academy friendly role to date. Russell could be the latest veteran actor to be rewarded for working with Quentin Tarantino…stay tuned.

6. Joel Edgerton – I may not love Black Mass, but Edgerton is a highlight and quietly has been a steady force in cinema of late. A Best Supporting Actor nomination here could happen, but it likely will depend on how Johnny Depp’s candidacy in Best Actor goes. They might be tied together, though Edgerton will likely be able to get in on his own in just a matter of a few short years.

5. Tom Hardy – Folks don’t always believe me when I say that Hardy has yet to receive an Oscar nomination. He’s come close here and there, but it’s just never quite worked out. The Revenant will be his best shot yet, but be might also be tethered to Leonardo DiCaprio. The film itself is an X factor of sorts too, so once we know what to make of it, we’ll know what to do with Hardy as well.

4. Sam Elliot – The Academy has ignored Elliot so far, but not only is he due, he does some of his career best work in Grandma, which should put him smack dab in the Best Supporting Actor conversation. Like with many supporting players, it will depend on a lead situation, as I doubt Elliot gets in without Lily Tomlin scoring in Best Actress, though if she does…watch out for him.

3. Seth Rogen – Don’t laugh…after Jonah Hill did it, and did it twice, people are taking Rogen’s candidacy in Supporting Actor for Steve Jobs seriously. He’s a more likely nominee than Segel now, especially since this biopic looks like a legitimate Best Picture threat. The precursors will clear this up a bit, but I have a hunch that Rogen is on his way to a nomination.

2. Jennifer Jason Leigh – Another hopeful from The Hateful Eight, Leigh is the sort of veteran actress that can steamroll to a victory with the right material. We’ll know more when we find out what Tarantino gave her to do, but I’d be surprised if she didn’t get a nod, as of now at least.

1. Brie Larson – The big one here, it really seems like Larson is moving towards a Best Actress nomination for Room. That nom became far more likely when the flick took the Audience Award up at Toronto. Sleep on this one at your own risk, since especially after the Short Term 12 snub, Larson is due some attention…

room brie larson
Honorable Mention: Jeff Daniels, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie, and Amy Schumer

Stay tuned to see if any of these actors and actress can get their very first nominations this year!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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