Sunday, February 8, 2009

Best Actors Without an Oscar

The Academy Awards are only two weeks away and as we lead up to the Oscars I thought I'd start posting some Oscar-related articles.  When you really sit down and look at it, there is an impressive list of actors that have not received a golden statue. Most of these actors have been nominated multiple times. The record for most nominations without a win is held by Peter O'Toole who was nominated an astonishing eight times (he's 77 years old and was nominated last in 2006). Perhaps O'Toole should call Clint Eastwood for some tips on how to act in your late 70's.

The list below is subjective of course and I'm sure some of you will think of deserving actors that I overlooked.

#10 - Ian Mckellen - 2 Nominations - Deserved some recognition for his role as Gandalf.  With The Hobbit in pre-production, perhaps he still has a chance.

#9 - Will Smith - 2 Nominations - Ali was his most recognized role, but I Am Legend was his best performance.  He's solid in most other films as well (even Bad Boys 2).  We'll forgive him for dressing like this earlier in his career.

#8 - Ed Harris - 4 Nominations - He plays the average everyman in most of his roles and sometimes his acting talent gets overlooked.  Was excellent as the 
creative director of The Truman Show.

#7 - Brad Pitt - 2 Nominations - 12 Monkeys provided his best work to-date.  May have actually been better this past year in Burn After Reading than Benjamin Button.

#6 - Don Cheadle - 1 Nomination - This guy never gives a bad performance.  He started out his career as an ensemble player but his become a strong lead actor and can carry a movie on his own (Hotel Rwanda, Traitor).

#5 - Tom Cruise - 3 Nominations - Despite the tabloid and media backlash, Cruise is really a damn good actor and seems to give his all in every performance.  Magnolia was his most creative and edgy role and Tropic Thunder proved his versatility.

#4 - Edward Norton - 2 Nominations - If I made this list about 7 years
 ago, Norton may have been #1.  He hasn't done much since 2002 with 25th Hour and Red Dragon.  His amazing turns in Primal Fear and American History X cement his spot on this list (for now).

#3 - Matt Damon - 1 Nomination A cast mate of Norton's in Rounders, Damon gets better with each film.  Good Will Hunting's screenplay Oscar win doesn't count.  

#2 - Leonardo DiCaprio - 3 Nominations Deserved serious consideration along with Damon for The Departed.  DiCaprio pretty much hits every role he plays out of the park.  It seems like ages ago when he was in the spotlight for Titanic and he has a real chance to be the greatest actor of his generation.

#1 - Johnny Depp - 3 Nominations Sweeney Todd was his best role in a series of great performances over the last decade.  While some criticized his portrayal of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to be a little effeminate and over-the-top, I found it to be hilarious and creatively quirky.  His excellent work in the 90's (Edward Scissorhands, Gilbert Grape, Sleepy Hollow) puts him barely ahead of Leo at the top of the list.

What say you?  How would you rank your own list?  Stay tuned for the Oscar-less actresses list in a future post.

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