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 others all went to their grave with several nominations but not a single competitive Oscar to their name. Just last year, Kirk Douglas died at the age of 103 without having ever won a competitive Oscar. And certainly, over the past few months, the pandemic has made us far more aware of the fact that everyone is going to die someday. 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.
With that in mind, here are 6 actors who I sincerely hope will have won their first Oscar by the time 2031 rolls around:
- Bill Murray
Bill Murray is not only a beloved cultural icon. He has also, in later yeaes, developed into a really good actor. He was previously nominated for Lost In Translation and he probably should have won. (He lost to Sean Penn, who was good in Mystic River but who would also later receive a second Oscar for Milk so it’s not like Penn would have never won an Oscar if Murray had won in 2004.) There was a lot of talk that Murray would be nominated for On The Rocks and, if not for this year’s extended eligibility window (which allowed Judas and the Black Messiah to compete with 2020 films despite being released in 2021), he probably would have been.
Bill Murray probably would be a popular winner and I know everyone would look forward to seeing what type of speech he would give. Standing in Murray’s way is that he tends to be pretty mercurial when it comes to accepting roles and he often seems to be more content to do brief cameos than to play the lead or even a major supporting character. Still, hopefully, either Sofia Coppola or Wes Anderson will write a perfect role for him in the next few years and Murray will get his shot. (They’ve never worked together but I’ve always felt that Murray and Paul Thomas Anderson would be an interesting combination.) Murray is 70 years old and not getting any younger so let’s get this done.
2. Jesse Plemons
It sometimes seems as if Jesse Plemons has come out of nowhere to suddenly become one of the busiest character actors around. Of course, that isn’t quite true. He started out on television, appearing in Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad. (He was terrifying in Breaking Bad.) He’s gone on to become a very busy character actor, appearing in everything from Game Night to The Irishman. Over the past few months, he’s appeared in Judas and the Black Messiah and i’m thinking ending things, giving shockingly good performances in both. (Interestingly enough, both roles were the type of characters that Philip Seymour Hoffman used to specialize in playing.) It honestly feels like it’s less a case of whether Plemons will win an Oscar as much as it’s simply a case of when.
3. Oscar Isaac
Oscar Isaac is a perennial on this list. Again, he just seems like one of those actors who is destined to win eventually. Someone just needs to give him the right role.
4. Ben Foster
The fact that Ben Foster has not only never won an Oscar but that he hasn’t even been nominated is somewhat amazing, to be honest. He’s been giving good and unpredictable performances for so long that I think there’s probably a danger of people taking him and his talent for granted. He deserved a nomination for his fascinating villain in 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma. He deserved an Oscar for his turn in 2018’s Leave No Trace.
5. John Goodman
Again, this is another actor who I’m always surprised to be reminded that he has never received an Oscar nomination, despite appearing in important supporting roles in several acclaimed films. Goodman, like the before-mentioned Bill Murray, isn’t getting any younger so someone needs to write this actor an award-winning role and they need to do it now.
6. Michael B Jordan
I almost didn’t include Jordan on this list, just because it seems so obvious that the man is destined to win an Oscar someday. He may get his chance next year with his lead role in Denzel Washington’s Journal for Jordan.
Who would you put on the list? Who would you take off? Have an opinion? Let us know in the comments and have a wonderful Oscar Sunday!