We talk a lot about which performers and directors have been snubbed at Oscar time.
For movie lovers, that’s an important subject. We all know that great actors like Peter O’Toole, Cary Grant, Albert Finney, and far too many others all went to their graves with several nominations but not a single competitive Oscar to their name. Just a few years ago, Kirk Douglas died at the age of 103 without having ever won a competitive Oscar. We always talk about how certain actors are overdue for their first Oscar but sometimes we forget that being overdue doesn’t always translate into an eventual win. Sometimes, it translates into people watching a movie on TCM and saying, “How did that person never win an Oscar in their lifetime?”
With that in mind, here are 6 actors who I sincerely hope will have won their first Oscar by the time that 2033 rolls around:
- Caleb Landry Jones
Caleb Landry Jones is one of the masters of playing the type of eccentric characters who can be both dangerous and yet oddly sympathetic. (One always get the feeling that Jonses’s characters are haunted by demons that they simply cannot control.) He’s like a Texas-version of Ben Foster. This year, he deserved a nomination for his devastating work in Nitram. Hopefully, he’ll get that first nomination and his first Oscar in the years to come.
2. Steve Carell
Steve Carell was nominated for Best Actor for playing against type in Foxcatcher. I’m always a little bit surprised to be reminded that Foxcatcher is, to date, Carell’s only Oscar nomination. Part of the problem for Carell is that he’s so well-known for being a comedic actor that it’s easy to forget that he can handle dramatic roles as well. (The Academy still has a bias against comedy.) Another part of the problem is that some of Carell’s best performances have been in films that were otherwise underwhelming, like Beautiful Boy. Here’s hoping that Carell finally finds the right role and the Academy takes notice. By most accounts, he is one of the nicest guys in the business and I’m sure his acceptance speech would bring us all to tears.
3. Jesse Plemons
The heir to Philip Seymour Hoffman received his first Oscar nomination for The Power of the Dog. He didn’t win but at least the Academy acknowledged that Plemons is one of the best character actors around. This year, he has a starring role in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. Though most of the early publicity has focused on Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, it’s said that Plemons is actually the film’s main character so it will be interesting to see if the Academy again takes notice.
4. Matt Damon
Matt Damon actually does have an Oscar, for co-writing Good Will Hunting. Still, it seems odd that Damon has yet to pick up an Oscar for acting. It seems even stranger that he’s only been nominated three times, for Good Will Hunting, Invictus, and The Martian. (I will still always be amazed that Damon wasn’t even nominated for Steven Soderbergh’s last truly good film, The Informant.) There’s strong buzz around Air, though the film’s April release might mean that it’ll be out of the awards conversation by the time the precursor season starts in December.
5. Paul Dano
Paul Dano’s another really good actor who has somehow never been nominated, not even for The Fabelmans! That said, it’s hard not to believe that Dano will be honored more sooner than later.
6. Brendan Gleeson
Gleeson actually could be an Oscar winner by the end of tonight. If not, I hope he gets another chance soon. He’s one of the best character actors around and it’s somewhat amazing that his nomination for The Banshees of Inisherin, while being very deserved, was also the first of his career.
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