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Bruce Dern and Michelle Williams: Who are the actors and actresses most overdue to win an Oscar?

As all of you fine ladies and gentlemen know by now, possibly from reading this article every year, plenty of folks in the industry can go a whole career without ever winning an Oscar. As such, that makes for a ton of heavyweights in Hollywood who are very overdue for wins. Much like I did in the last week or so with people who have never been nominated, I’m going to be citing today ten actors or actresses who have yet to win Oscars but deserve to already have one on their mantle. All of these previous nominees were in contention at some point pretty recently, believe it or not, and many will hopefully be winners within the next few years. Keep in mind that this is just my humble opinion, but take a look below at who I think is the most overdue for a little gold man…

Here now are ten actors and actresses who are overdue for an Academy Award:

10. Michael Keaton – With a recent career resurgence, Keaton has become someone who, despite only having one nomination to his credit, could easily be seen as due for a win. Part of it is how close he came his first time out for Birdman and how apt a win would have been, but also he’s just so well liked in Hollywood it simply makes sense. Plus, he was absolutely snubbed for Spotlight and was nomination worthy in The Founder. Taking the villain role in Spider-Man: Homecoming certainly kept him on the A list, with hopefully another shot at a victory in the near future.

9. Michael Fassbender – It took voters a bit to catch up with Fassbender, but now that he has multiple nominations, it’s only a matter of time until they reward him. Fassbender was up for Best Actor pretty recently for Steve Jobs, but he obviously came up short in regards to the win. That being said, he’s now clearly one of the more due actors in Hollywood for an Oscar. Watch out for a win in the next four or five years, almost certainly, if he follows the current path that he’s on. I’d be shocked if it didn’t happen, frankly. He’s just too talented not to have an Oscar in his future.

8. Annette Bening – Two years ago, Bening was snubbed for 20th Century Women, again preventing her from taking home the golden statue. American Beauty was probably the nomination she came the closest for, but she came up short there. Last year she didn’t even manage to get nominated for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. If she continues to do the type of work that she’s known for, it should eventually happen. Even if it just winds up as a career acknowledgment type of thing for a slightly lesser role, an Oscar is an Oscar, right? Right.

7. Jake Gyllenhaal – Only a select few in the industry are doing as strong work as Gyllenhaal is currently doing. The fact that he only has one nomination is criminal, especially when he was snubbed for such riveting work as Nightcrawler and Prisoners. Considering that sole citation, the fact that he’s among the five most overdue folks in the business is really quite something. He’s picking Academy Award friendly roles, so as with many people on this list, it’s just a matter of time. Stronger didn’t get him in, but again…it’s only a matter of time. Every project he seems to attach himself to has awards potential, so that’s the way to make it happen!

6. Jessica Chastain – Few actresses have gotten snubbed as often over a short period of time as Chastain has been, despite having two citations on her resume already. Perhaps her recent supporting turns in Interstellar, The Martian, and A Most Violent Year were always going to be a hard sell for the Academy, but she’s almost always nomination worthy, regardless of the project. As such, she’s probably the most overdue actress for a win in the business right now. Molly’s Game last year put her into frontrunner status early on, but it didn’t come to pass. Next time though…

5. Ryan Gosling – Over the years, Gosling has been arguably one of the best young actors in Hollywood. With two nominations now to his credit, it’s become time to award him with an Oscar. Two years ago he nearly was in a Best Picture winner with La La Land, further moving the needle in his direction. There’s just too much talent in this man to not have it eventually happen. Some of his snubbed performances, like in Blue Valentine or Lars and the Real Girl, have been worthy of wins on their own. His time is coming, and probably soon. His Neil Armstrong biopic First Man with Damien Chazelle seems might baity, doesn’t it? At this point, he seems like the odds on favorite in 2018.

4. Mark Ruffalo – Each year, we seem to get closer and closer to Ruffalo finally taking the trophy. He has three nominations so far, all in Best Supporting Actor, and seemed prime to win at one point for Spotlight. He didn’t pull it off, but it seems more likely that ever that he won’t come up just short forever. To that end, mark him down as officially hugely overdue for an Academy Award. It’ll happen, Ruffalo just needs to wait a little bit longer. His upcoming project The True American seems incredibly Oscar friendly, so keep that in mind.

3. Amy Adams – One of the odder things in terms of Adams’ chances at an Academy Award is that she never seems like the runner up. That’ll eventually change, likely in a big way, but ever nomination has placed her in what felt like third place or so. One assumes that when it happens, she’ll just waltz to Oscar night, essentially undefeated during the precursors. It’s in the cards, I can feel it. It’s just a matter of when. Maybe in 2018 with Backseat. If so, maybe she’ll pull off the precursor sweep. That’ll be something, right?

2. Michelle Williams – Always a bridesmaid, one of the these days Williams will truly be an Oscar bride. Regardless of when it actually does happen, it has seemed inevitable for her almost since her initial nod. Whether her next nom gets it done or not remains to be seen, but she’s doing the sort of work that will have to be acknowledged before too long. All the Money in the World and The Greatest Showman back last year turned out not to be her vehicles, coming hot on the heels of Manchester by the Sea. Still, she’s close, and arguably, extremely close. Keep an eye on her this year and in the years to come…

1. Bruce Dern – Once again, as I do from time to time, I’m here to make the case that Dern is as overdue an Oscar as anyone in the industry. He only has two nominations in his career, which is a crime in and of itself. At one point, he seemed like the odds on favorite in Supporting Actor recently for his work in The Hateful Eight, but he just got lost in the shuffle that year. That takes nothing away from his work and I remain fully confident that he’s going to be on stage before too long. He’s just too strong of an actor to be continuously denied. Watch out for Chappaquiddick potentially this year (out today in theaters), if voters are in a political mood. If not, there’s possibly White Boy Rick as well here in 2018, which sounds incredibly baity. There’s an Academy Award winning performance within this legend, that much is certain. It’s just a matter of if the right filmmaker will find it in the near future or not. Regardless, no one in Hollywood is more deserving of the time in the Oscar spotlight than this man.

Honorable Mention: Glenn Close, Bradley Cooper, Tom Cruise, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, and Joaquin Phoenix

Stay tuned to see which of these talented actors and actresses can potentially win Oscars in the coming years!

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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