Zoe Kazan: Which actors and actresses are due for their first Oscar nomination?
Time to start up another annual tradition here on the site. Every year during the early parts of the season, basically post Oscars, I like to do a post about who is overdue to get either an Academy Award nomination or a win. Last year was no different, so we’re back at it again this year. There’s always a ton of people deserving of attention but not receiving of it. What’s unique this time around is that no one received a nomination from the list I came up with, despite it including some of Hollywood’s best and brightest talent, both young and old. That’s unusual, and a real pity. So, instead of cursing at the dark in, I’m choosing to light a candle and give them another moment of attention today.
Below you will again see pretty much the same list I previously have been publishing, once again with a new order this time around. It’s a shame that they’re all still here, but it’s part of what should fuel the narrative for them finally to be recognized. For example, Zoe Kazan had The Back Sick last year which had her in contention, while Oscar Isaac always seems to be just shy of a nod for any of his projects. Paul Dano too is making his directorial debut later on this year with Wildlife, so maybe that will get him over the hump in a different category? On the flip side, we again saw Kristen Stewart snubbed for tremendous work two years ago, so there’s that. She’ll be back in play again this year. And so on…
Here now are ten actors or actresses overdue for an Oscar nomination:
10. Michael B. Jordan – Could the third time be the charm? Twice now Jordan has come close to getting voted in by the Academy. Fruitvale Station introduced him to them and then three years ago 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 hasn’t happened yet. His stunning supporting turn in Black Panther has him as a very early favorite to land a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
9. Robin Wright – If not for the outstanding work Wright has been 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 with one more season to come this year, but the snub for Forrest Gump definitely looms large in her past. If she gets back to film full time…watch out. Once the Netflix hit comes to an end at the end of 2018, I suspect she’ll be in play quickly.
8. Paul Dano – Another contender who was absolutely snubbed very recently, 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. Especially if Wildlife turns into a contender, his time is coming very shortly.
7. 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, though she got closer than expected two years ago for The Girl on the Train. Going forward, she seems like another sure thing, which is a common factor on this list today, and rightly so. There’s a chance she’s even in play this year with Mary Poppins Returns. Stay tuned…
6. 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 again, seriously), he’s going to have ample opportunities in the years to come, so it’s just a matter of time!
5. John Cusack – A veteran actor who just never seems to get noticed by Oscar, Cusack had a chance this time around a couple of seasons ago for Love & Mercy, 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, and picking the right projects, the odds will continue to be there that it’ll one day happen.
4. Zoe Kazan – Anyone who doesn’t consider Kazan to be completely 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. Even something small like The Monster two years ago was revelatory. 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. Snubbed for The Big Sick, that success story did raise her profile, and that’s a net positive…
3. 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, plus that memorable voice turn in Her. If she keeps this up, one day they’ll have to finally pay attention to her, right? Right?
2. Kristen Stewart – Some might have laughed at this notion just a few years ago, 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. Two years ago alone she impressed in Cafe Society and Certain Women, as well as Personal Shopper last year. Stewart is a talented young actress, so while it should have happened for her already, it will at some point in the future. J.T. LeRoy will have her in the hunt here in 2018.
1. Oscar Isaac – Seriously, this is just a slam dunk for me, and for many others, I might add. 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, Ex Machina, and the Star Wars franchise. Precursors love him, but Oscar just can’t seem to jive with this actor of the same name. Within the next two or three years, I suspect he’ll be a nominee, if not a winner…mark my words.
Stay tuned to see if these actors and actresses can get nominated in the years to come!