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Oscar Isaac and Scarlett Johansson: Who’s most overdue for an Oscar nomination now?

AFI FEST 2014 Presented By Audi Opening Night Gala Premiere Of "A Most Violent Year" - Arrivals
Continuing to feed off of last week’s Academy Award nomination announcement (as well as yesterday’s piece on the snubs found within those nominations, in one or two cases), today I want to look at who happens to be most due a nod at this point. An Oscar nom is certainly no easy achievement, but you can usually look around at the actors and actresses who have never been nominated and find at least one missed opportunity on the part of the Academy. As such, today I’m again putting out a list of who deserves a nomination the most, updated since certain contenders like Jennifer Jason Leigh finally have their citation…

Scarlett Johansson
Here now are ten actors or actresses overdue for an Oscar nomination:

10. Zoe Kazan – Anyone who doesn’t consider Kazan to be overdue for a citation just isn’t paying attention. Look at The Exploding Girl or Ruby Sparks and you’ll see performances that were among the very best of their years. Kazan is as talented a writer as she is an actress though, so it seems only like a matter of time before Oscar finally takes notice of her.

9. Michael B. Jordan – Twice now Jordan has come close to getting voted in by the Academy. Fruitvale Station introduced him to them and this past year’s Creed almost won them over. Jordan is on a speeding train towards Oscar glory though, so I don’t think he has much to worry about. It’s just a shame it wasn’t this year, as I wrote about yesterday.

8. Kristen Stewart – Some might laugh at this notion, but Stewart has done some excellent work outside of the Twilight franchise. Simply pop in Adventureland, Clouds of Sils Maria, or On the Road and you’ll see what I mean. Stewart is a talented young actress, so while it should have happened for her already, it will at some point in the future…

7. Paul Dano – Another contender who was absolutely snubbed this year (again, he features in my article yesterday), Dano has come “this” close to nominations both for Love & Mercy as well as for There Will Be Blood. Factor in his work in Little Miss Sunshine and Ruby Sparks, and well…there’s just no excuse. He’s going to no doubt win an award one day, so the nomination is just the first step. His wait likely won’t be much longer.

6. Emily Blunt – Blunt is a favorite of the Golden Globes, but that hasn’t translated to Oscar yet. She had a chance for a bit with Sicario, but The Devil Wears Prada or Into the Woods was probably her best shot so far. Going forward, she seems like another sure thing, which is a common factor on this list today, and rightly so.

5. Robin Wright – If not for the outstanding work Wright is doing on television, she probably would already be an Academy Award nominee. For now, we just have her work on House of Cards to enjoy, but the snub for Forrest Gump definitely looms large in her past. If she gets back to film full time…watch out.

4. John Cusack – A veteran actor who just never seems to get noticed by Oscar, Cusack had a chance this time around for Love & Mercy as well (plus Chi-Raq), but he’s been snubbed many times before. Look at his work in Grace is Gone, High Fidelity, and more to see how he’s been someone just a few degrees off from where the voters are looking. It’s just a matter of him getting noticed by voters, so if he keeps working, the odds will continue to be there that it’ll one day happen.

3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt – I think that the time is nearing for Gordon-Levitt, who also seems to flirt with the Academy but never actually makes a date with them. The Walk was ignored with this most recent set of nominations, with other work like (500) Days of Summer, Lincoln, and Mysterious Skin not quite doing it for them either. As a talented filmmaker (look at Don Jon, seriously), he’s going to have ample opportunities in the years to come…

2. Oscar Isaac – Seriously, this is just a slam dunk for me. Isaac has been overdue basically from the moment he appears on screen, working his way up to baity roles in Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year, and now Ex Machina. Precursors love him, but Oscar just can’t seem to jive with this actor of the same name. Within the next three years, I suspect he’ll be a nominee, if not a winner…mark my words.

1. Scarlett Johansson – One really hopes that the Academy finally stops snubbing Johansson soon. During her big run with the Globes, she was omitted from Oscar lineups time and time again. The snub for Lost in Translation especially stings, though recently she blew us all away in Under the Skin. If she keeps this up, one day they’ll have to finally pay attention to her, right?

Honorable Mentions: Jeff Daniels, Mia Farrow, Richard Gere, Donald Sutherland, and Channing Tatum

Life of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in LOVE & MERCY

Stay tuned to see if these actors and actresses can get nominated in the years to come!

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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