People that deserve Oscars that haven’t gotten one yet

By Emily Merlino

ArnoldWellsPhotography/Flickr

The world of acting is a rough-and-tumble Wild West shootout where only the best and beautiful survive.

The ultimate reward for enduring in a town where appearances are everything and one man can make or break your life (Weinstein, anyone?) is the all-important Oscar. One glistening gold trophy and an actress or actor’s career is instantly legitimized: the project options become prime and “Oscar-winning” becomes a coveted adjective. In short, winning an Academy Award is the lifetime achievement most thespians aspire to attain.

That being said, there are some actors that, no matter how great, have not been handed the all-important little gold man yet. Some call this being “robbed,” but it’s just a flat-out travesty that the following stars have not won an Oscar for their extraordinary abilities.

Johnny Depp

Along with his status as a Hollywood heartthrob, Depp has shown extraordinary versatility throughout his career. He shot to fame as a teen idol thanks to the ’80s TV show “21 Jump Street,” and parlayed his celebrity into one of the most diverse and celebrated careers in show business. In terms of changeability, few can even hold a candle to Depp: he has played a perpetually intoxicated pirate, a drug-addled journalist, a barber-slash-serial killer, a gentle man with scissors for hands, Willy Wonka, and the Mad Hatter. Yet, not one of these incredible and demanding roles have won Depp an Oscar. Sheer madness.

Robert Downey, Jr.

Yes, he’s weird, funny and battled drug addiction for the better part of the ’90s. It cannot be denied, however, that Downey’s got talent. Anyone that can charm America as a handsome, narcissistic billionaire that made his money by selling weapons to the military during a time when most of America was gearing up for battle against the 1 percent has indisputable charisma. Downey’s roles almost always feature the leading man as a severely flawed character nobody should like, but he makes us love him anyways. That’s true talent.

Christopher Nolan

He may not be an actor, but this phenomenal director makes absolutely exquisite films. The man single-handedly turned Batman from a campy cheesefest featuring George Clooney’s nipples into one of the greatest movies of all time. Even his breakout film, “Memento,” was a unique film that dove into dark themes nobody else dared to. Nolan’s imagination has lent itself to other fantastic films such as “The Prestigeand, of course, the mind-boggling “Inception,” but he still remains inexplicably Oscar-less.

Glenn Close

Best known for her portrayal as the horrifyingly humorous Cruella De Vil in “101 Dalmatians,” Close also treated audiences to wonderfully dark performances in “Fatal Attraction” and “Dangerous Liaisons.” While she’s been nominated six times for an Academy Award, most recently for her turn as a woman living her life as a man in “Albert Nobbs,” she has never gone home with the trophy.

Brad Pitt

He may have won Angelina Jolie’s heart, but the jury is still out with the Academy. The downright beautiful leading man may be easy on the eyes and his talent remains indisputable. From his humble beginnings as a hitchhiker that seduces Geena Davis in “Thelma and Louise,” he has created a varied and successful career for himself. Pitt’s greatest asset is that he chooses his roles wisely; he knows his limits, which is sobering in an era where too often actors take way more than they can handle. However, Pitt can handle quite a bit, and there have been multiple roles throughout his career that could and possibly should have landed him an Oscar.

Edward Norton

Anyone that can melt an audience for his portrayal of an earnest scientist besotted by Naomi Watts in “The Painted Vail” after reviling the nation in “American History X” more than deserves an Academy Award. The soft-spoken Yale grad can carry a period piece (“Kingdom of Heaven,” “The Illusionist”), cult classics (“Fight Club”), and blockbusters (“The Hulk”). This kind of adaptability is what can (and should) make a career – and win an Oscar.

Leonardo DiCaprio

The pretty boy turned-Scorsese-muse has arguably the most desirable list of scripts coming his way since Pitt took a step back from Hollywood. DiCaprio’s career is the most enviable in the world, but unlike other heartthrobs, he’s actually earned it with talent and intelligent career choices. After starring in the now-second highest grossing movie of all time (“Titanic”), DiCaprio began to star in a never-ending string of critically acclaimed box office hits. There is a laundry list of roles he should have won for, but The “Departed” and “Blood Diamond” top it. Only time will tell if he will finally earn an Oscar for roles in upcoming movies, such as “The Great Gatsby”.

Julianne Moore

The beautifully understated redhead has made a career out of tackling relevant, hard-hitting issues, such as gay marriage (“The Kids Are All Right”), adultery (“The End of the Affair”) and pornography (“Boogie Nights”). She is a fantastic example of an actress that chooses projects that really suit her interests and politics, an unusual but wonderful trait in stereotypically vapid Hollywood. However, not one of her daring roles has earned her an Oscar.

Gary Oldman

One cannot bring up understated acting without talking about Gary Oldman. This actor is a virtual chameleon and has channeled Sirius Black, George Smiley and Commissioner Gordon all in the past decade. This talent may very well be his downfall when it comes to the Oscars: he is such a fantastic actor that he simply vanishes into his roles and becomes unnamable when it comes to the man himself.

Emily Merlino is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at [email protected]