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5 Actresses That Are Overdue For An Oscar Nomination

Awards
by Oliver Lyttelton
February 21, 2012 4:41 PM
19 Comments
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Well, we've taken a look at the leading men, now it's time to look at the actresses who have also fallen outside of the Academy Award radar. While there is no Gary Oldman-esque story of recognition this year at the Oscars for the ladies, these five names will hopefully be a reminder that there are more women out there other than Meryl Streep who deserve to put that funny gold statue on their mantle.

The names here include international stars, undersung character actresses and bonafide legends. Their time will hopefully soon come, but until then, here's what they've done so far that deserves attention.

Isabelle Huppert
Nomination-Worthy Roles: Pomme in "The Lacemaker"; Violette Noziere in "Violette Noziere"; Marie in "A Story Of Women"; Jeanne in "La Ceremonie"; Marie-Claire Muller in "Merci pour le chocolat"; Erika Kohut in "The Piano Teacher"; Anne Laurent in "The Time Of The Wolf"; Maria Vial in "White Material" among many others.
Why Has She Never Been Nominated? The Academy tends to lean towards U.S. actresses at the best of times, and when foreigners do tend to slip through the cracks, it's in American movies or in relatively accessible work like Marion Cotillard in "La Vie En Rose." So in all reality, Huppert has never stood a chance. Her best known work tends to be tough, auteurish stuff with filmmakers like Claude Chabrol and Michael Haneke, and when she does come to the U.S, it's to work with mavericks like Michael Cimino, Hal Hartley or David O. Russell.
Chances Of A Future Nomination: Huppert is busier than ever, but her future parts are with international filmmakers like Brillante Mendoza, Hong Sang-Soo and Haneke -- not exactly the kind of films that get you Oscar nominations. Maybe, like Max Von Sydow, she'll end up taking a supporting part in a Stephen Daldry film, but we don't imagine she cares much if she has an Oscar or not.

Jennifer Jason Leigh
Nomination-Worthy Roles: Stacy Hamilton in "Fast Times At Ridgmont High"; Tralala in "Last Exit To Brooklyn"; Lois Kaiser in "Short Cuts"; Amy Archer in "The Hudsucker Proxy"; Dorothy Parker in "Mrs. Parker and The Vicious Circle"; Pauline in "Margot At The Wedding"
Why Has She Never Been Nominated? Leigh has always been somewhat underrated among her contemporaries, with an indie bent that kept her away from the A-list. But that's not to say she hasn't come close: she was a stand out in Altman's "Short Cuts," her co-star Mare Winningham was nominated for "Georgia," and she won several critics awards, and a Golden Globe nod, for her career-best turn in "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle." But critical enthusiasm never carried over to Academy voters, and given her relatively sparse on-screen appearances of late, it's not terribly surprising that she's not been in the running for a while, even if she deserved a nod for "Margot At The Wedding."
Chances Of A Future Nomination: Given the lack of decent roles for women of her age, and the Academy's favor for ingenues (in the last twenty years, only four Best Actress winners were over the age of forty), Leigh's chances would be fairly slim, even if she did appear on screen more. That being said, all it takes is one little indie film to give her the kind of boost that Viola Davis, Melissa Leo and Janet McTeer have all had in the last few years.

Robin Wright
Nomination-Worthy Roles: Maureen Quinn in "She's So Lovely"; Clare in "Home At The End Of The World"; Diana in "Nine Lives"; Pippa Lee in "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee"; Linda Fentress in "Rampart"
Why Has She Never Been Nominated? Dismissed as a pretty face for the early part of her career, and overshadowed by ex-husband Sean Penn later on, it's only recently that Wright has taken on the kind of parts worthy of her talents. And all too often, she's been terrific in films that were either not that great, like "Home at the End of the World" or overlooked like "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee."
Chances Of A Future Nomination: Like many actors and actreses of late, Wright is heading to TV, playing Kevin Spacey's wife on "House of Cards." But that show also has David Fincher, whom she also worked with on "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," behind it so it could be an unexpected showcase part that opens some doors. Otherwise, she's starring opposite Naomi Watts in the Australian drama "The Grandmothers," which could be another possibility.

Mia Farrow
Nomination-Worthy Roles: Rosemary Woodhouse in "Rosemary's Baby"; Daisy Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby"; Tina Vitale in "Broadway Danny Rose"; Hannah in "Hannah and her Sisters"; Lane in "September"; Halley Reed in "Crimes and Misdemeanors"; Alice in "Alice"
Why Has She Never Been Nominated? It's easy enough to excuse Farrow missing out for "Rosemary's Baby," due to its horror leanings, and "The Great Gatsby," given that the film was poorly received, but it's sort of staggering that the actress was never honored for a single one of the performances that she gave for former-partner Woody Allen. They've been overshadowed by the messy circumstances of their break up -- through no fault of Farrow's --  but she was his real muse, and gave a string of superb turns throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. And it's not like she went unrewarded: she has a total of five Golden Globe nominations, and three BAFTA nods, but somehow Oscar has always eluded her.
Chances Of A Future Nomination: Farrow was away from the screen for a long time, but has been more present since coming back in "The Omen," albeit in not particularly challenging roles in films like "The Ex" and "Be Kind Rewind." But her presence on Twitter has brought her back to the limelight, and she's superb in Todd Solondz's otherwise unremarkable "Pale Horse" -- could we see something more substantial from her down the line? She's still only 67, so the potential for further great performances is certainly there.

Allison Janney
Nomination-Worthy Roles: Loretta in "Drop Dead Gorgeous"; Barbara Fitts in "American Beauty"; Sally Lester in "The Hours"; Bren MacGuff in "Juno"; Trish in "Life During Wartime"; Charlotte Phelan in "The Help"; Monica Patterson in "Margaret"
Why Has She Never Been Nominated? One of the great unsung character actresses of our time, Janney has made a habit of stealing scene after scene across the past decade or so, during much of which she was picking up four well-deserved Emmys for "The West Wing." But while she's never been anything less than superb, she's one of those actresses who's so good that she makes it look effortless -- witness her playing decades over her real age in "American Beauty" (she was only 40 when she shot it), or walking away with "Margaret" in a critical one-scene cameo. But she's never really had a showcase to herself outside the TV world, hence her being taken for granted.
Chances Of A Future Nomination: She's heading back to TV shortly, for the pilot "Friday Night Dinner" with Tony Shalhoub, but if it doesn't get picked up, or even if it does, surely it's time some enterprising young indie filmmaker gives her the lead role she's so long deserved.

Also Overdue For A Nomination:  Just left on the cutting room floor and one we argued over intensely was Ellen Barkin. She put in a fabulous, Oscar-worthy lead performance for her turn in the criminally underseen "Another Happy Day" last year. Arguably Meryl Streep could have taken a nap instead for her overcooked turn in "The Iron Lady," with Barkin getting deservedly-nominated instead, but it was not to be. Other females we can think of that have chops and could get nominated in the right role include Maria Bello, Judy Greer, Charlotte Rampling and Parker Posey with a host of rising young actresses who are certain to be nominated down the line including Kirsten Dunst, Brit Marling, Evan Rachel Wood, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Wasikowska, Elizabeth Olsen, Rebecca Hall and more.
 

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19 Comments

  • thaty | February 24, 2012 7:41 PMReply

    Totally agree with Evan Rachel Wood and Maria Belo

  • E | February 23, 2012 12:42 PMReply

    Robin Wright have been nominated for Forrest Gump

  • Oogle monster | February 22, 2012 8:46 PMReply

    By revealing the more deserving candidates, this article makes you really wonder how the hell Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon have not only been to the Kodak Theater as nominees but have ACTUAL OSCARS. What the fuckity fuck! Witherspoon should have been nominated for Election and perhaps for Walk the Line but the win made zero sense to me. Don't even get me started on Paltrow. She has never ever ever ever ever turned in an Oscar-worthy performance.

  • appleeatingdog | February 23, 2012 11:22 AM

    Huh? I would argue Paltrow's performances in Talented Mr. Ripley, Sylvia, Proof, and The Royal Tenenbaums are perfectly Oscar worthy.

  • Gustavo | February 22, 2012 1:16 PMReply

    Sad not to see Purple Rose not mentioned in Farrow's write-up. It comes down to personal preference, perhaps, but I think it is herm ost affecting performance.

  • Paul Kinsey | February 21, 2012 11:39 PMReply

    DARK Horse, not Pale Horse

  • kensin | February 21, 2012 11:30 PMReply

    I'm shocked Farrow doesn't have a single nomination.

  • Knative | February 21, 2012 8:47 PMReply

    Katey Sagal, AKA Leela from Futurama

    Sure, she's not a movie actress, but she's a damn fine actress.

  • kensin | February 21, 2012 11:28 PM

    Not really overdue though...

  • jack | February 21, 2012 7:56 PMReply

    Mia's ex husband Woody Allen?...they never married.

  • med | February 21, 2012 6:42 PMReply

    Streep's turn in The Iron Lady was brillant, amazing and simply an acting clinic. Overcooked? You and your narrative are the ones that are overcooked.

  • WRT | February 21, 2012 6:23 PMReply

    Brit Marling? She's been in like two movies. You guys sure are quick to buy into the hype

  • sp | February 21, 2012 6:05 PMReply

    Playlist , please stop overrating Scarlet Johansson. I definitely agree with Jennifer Jason Leigh
    . She is as versatile as Sean Penn. Leigh truly deserved to be nominated for Delores Clairbourne- along with Kathy Bates.

  • YY | February 22, 2012 9:21 AM

    Yes, Dolores Claiborne! I unabashedly love that movie.

  • Mike | February 21, 2012 6:00 PMReply

    Not that she’s really overdue or anything, but Cameron Diaz could’ve had 2 Oscar nominations for Being John Malkovich and Vanilla Sky. If only the odds were in her favor. Seems like she’s given up now and star in Hollywood fare.

    Totally rooting for Robin Wright. Just like you said, if they want to get nominated one of the easy ways is to work with Stephen Daldry. He makes Oscar friendly films and he knows how to get the most out of his players.

  • leo | February 21, 2012 5:37 PMReply

    Lili Taylor and Jeniffer Jason Leigh for me

  • Cinephile | February 21, 2012 5:34 PMReply

    So much love for Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. JJL was amazing in that.

  • Avery | February 21, 2012 5:23 PMReply

    I see Kirsten, EVR, Mia, and Rebecca Hall nominated sometime soon... not so much for Scar Jo. She tends to... suck.

  • Edward Davis | February 21, 2012 5:22 PMReply

    Three words: Broadway Danny Rose. One of Farrow's best turns in a Woody Allen film. She is NOTHING like that character, but pulls it off with such aplomb.

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