By Sterling Wong
As with everything in life, winning an Oscar is sometimes a random process. You could be "The King’s Speech’s" Tom Hooper, who scored the coveted Academy Award for Best Director with his third film and his first nomination, or you could be Kate Winslet, who accrued five nominations before getting her Best Actress Oscar in 2008 for "The Reader."
Sometimes, that random process means a series of disappointments. Take Annette Bening, for example: with her loss to Natalie Portman at this year’s Oscars, Bening has now gone zero for four in her quest for the golden statuette, with nominations including "The Grifters," "American Beauty," "Being Julia" and, of course, "The Kids Are All Right." There's no doubt that the talented actress deserves the award, but somehow, it just hasn’t worked out yet. Like we said — random!
Of course, Ms. Bening is not the only Hollywood thespian who is long overdue for an Oscar. After the jump, take a look at some other actors with luminous careers and multiple nominations who still have not made their way to the podium.
As Bening's co-star in "The Kids Are All Right," Moore has racked up four nods, and she came closest with 2002’s "Far From Heaven," where her heartbreaking performance was edged out by Nicole Kidman. Moore has garnered acclaim for some lesser-known films such as "The End of the Affair," and while we all know she can act, perhaps what she needs is a breakout role in a populist film a la Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side."
He's best known for TomKat and Scientology these days, but back before the couch-jump heard 'round the interwebs, Cruise turned in great performances including "Jerry Maguire" and his scene-stealing role in 1999’s "Magnolia," both of which he earned Oscar nods for. What does Tom need to do to get into the winners’ circle? Maybe a break from actioners like "Knight and Day" and the upcoming "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" would help, opting instead for an indie project with a supporting role that's as far away from the "Tom Cruise persona" as humanly possible.
Depp has given us enigmatic performances for over 20 years, though his three Oscar nominations all came within the past decade. What’s brilliant about Johnny is that his acclaimed roles are never traditional Oscar bait-y fare, but quirky pieces of individualism like Captain Jack Sparrow. Johnny has turned into a top box-office draw in recent years with blockbusters like "Alice in Wonderland," but if he wants to nab an Oscar, he might need to return to his indie roots.
With five Oscar nominations to her name, Glenn Close is possibly the most overdue actress out there. In her heyday in the '80s, she scored back-to-back Best Actress nominations with "Fatal Attraction" and "Dangerous Liaisons," but her film career has slowed down this decade. However, as her award-winning TV work in "Damages" demonstrates, Glenn hasn't missed a step when it comes to her craft. Hollywood loves a comeback story, and with the right role, odds are strong that Glenn could finally pick up her deserved Oscar.
Perhaps it’s strange to consider that DiCaprio, barely 36, is overdue for an Oscar, but then again, just look at that resume: he started young, picking up a Best Supporting nod for "What’s Eating Gilbert Grape," and has since earned two further Best Actor nominations. He's definitely on the right track to winning an Oscar, always picking ambitious projects and working with great directors. In fact, his next film, "J. Edgar," is already gathering (extremely) early awards buzz, so don’t be surprised if next year is Leo's time to shine.
Name some other actors who are long overdue for an Oscar in the comments section and on Twitter!