In retrospect: People who should have won Oscars but were never even nominated

There are some movie performances which, over the course have time, have become iconic, but at the time, the actor was never even nominated for an Oscar, much less won it. Some of my own examples:

John Goodman in The Big Lebowski. Walter owns that movie. The more times I see that movie, the more I appreciate Goodman’s performance in it and the character in general. One of the most memorable comic performances of the last 20 years, but he wasn’t even nominated.

Fred Willard in Best in Show. Piss your pants funny, largely ad libbed and he wasn’t even nominated.

Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. Whatever you think of him, he absolutely nailed this performance. Everybody knew this guy in high school, but he wasn’t even nominated.

Who else should be on the list?

Val Kilmer - Tombstone

Good choice. Best Doc Holliday ever.

I may get raked over the coals for this, but I always thought Peter Billilingsley’s performance as Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” was pitch perfect for that movie.

I was shocked to learn that Christain Bale had never been nominated until this year. If this post had been made before the nominations, I would have said Christain Bale in American Psycho. Well, if I’d realized he’d never been nominated.

Don’t worry, Equipoise, Bale is going to get his Oscar this year. A well deserved one too.

Ed Harris-“Apollo 13” my favorite performance in that movie.

He was nominated, though, wasn’t he?

I don’t know why you’d get raked for this. It was one of the best kid performances ever. Completely natural and believable. No precocious, Hollywood brat performance. He was a real kid that kids still relate to. My own kids love that movie, and it was made more than 20 years before they were born. It’s timeless, and Peter Billingsly’s guileless performance is a big part of the reason why. Good choice.

Yep. Best Supporting Actor, 1995. He lost to Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects.

I would have to agree with that vote, actually. Spacey was Verbal. Verbal was awesome.

Two from** Fight Club**: Edward Norton (Best Actor) and Helena Bonham Carter (Best Supporting Actress).

Bill Murray - **Rushmore **(either Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor)

Also, not people but two movies that should’ve at least been nominated for Best Picture: **Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind **and 2001.

My bad! We talked about this (he being nominated) in my original go around here on the Dope. I still think he should have won.

I was okay with Spacey winning, but would have been equally happy with Harris. They were and 1 and 1A with me.

God I hope so. The King’s Speech is so beloved that Geoffrey Rush might sneak up on him and win. He just won tonight over Bale at the BAFTAs (the British Academy Awards). Rush is Australian, so it’s not a British-love-their-own thing, and a lot of BAFTA members are AMPAS members too. Rush was fantastic, and I loved The King’s Speech, but he’s got an Oscar, a Leading Actor Oscar no less. Not that that should make a difference, but I want Bale to have this one. (Ok, I really want John Hawkes to have this one for Winter’s Bone, but he has no chance and his nomination is his reward, so if he’s not going to win, then Bale, please)

Speaking of, Helena Bonham-Carter won the BAFTA too for her role in The King’s Speech, so she could win over Melissa Leo and Hailee Steinfeld, which would be fine. I can’t believe HB-C doesn’t have one already. Yeah, I agree with NDP, Fight Club.

I agree re: Fight Club, and Christian Bale I’d agree for either American Psycho or The Machinist.

More recently, I came across a copy of Moon starring Sam Rockwell (co-starring Sam Rockwell) and can say that at least it won just about every other award there is.

Maybe they just hate the Welsh.

I said it in the other Oscar injustices thread but Cher in Mask is one of my all-time favourite performances by an actress, and not only did she not get nominated for an Academy Award, I don’t think she won a single major award for it.

Even though she has an Oscar for Moonstruck I always doubted her as an actress (I’m a big fan of her as a singer but by the time I got into her, she’d been out of films for a while, and thought she was probably about on par with Madonna when it comes to acting skill) and wondered whether she was really that great. Then I saw Mask and realised, yes, she is. She got recognised, which is nice, but it was for the wrong film. She even got a Supporting Actress nomination for Silkwood, which is a good performance but she doesn’t even really do that much in it. Poor old Mask. :frowning:

I could probably talk about this oversight (and the entire career of Cher) for days on end so I’ll leave it there and spare us all.

Toby Jones as Truman Capote in Infamous. His performance was worlds better than Philip Seymour Hoffman’s in essentially the same story a year before, but I think because the Academy didn’t want to nominate the same character/same story twice he didn’t even get nominated.

Judy Parfitt as Vera Donovan in Dolores Claiborne. She stole every scene she was in and the perfect blend of evil bitch and oddly sympathetic character. She was also extremely believable as a stroke victim and in the “Call me Vera” scene when she does a 180 and very briefly becomes vulnerable with Dolores while also stopping just short of confessing to murder.

Having just watched Winter’s Bone I’ll add Dale Dickey as a newcomer to the list. John Hawkes and Jennifer Lawrence were nominated for the same movie, but Dale Dickey should have been nominated for playing Merab (rhymes with cherub), a very interesting villain. She gets more screen time than Dame Judy got for her Oscar win in Shakespeare in Love but I suspect the relative smallness of the role is why she wasn’t nominated.

The one I might get raked over the coals for adding: Matthew Lillard as Shaggy in Scooby Doo. It was a stupid kid’s movie with lots of gross out and pot jokes and all that, but his performance was pitch perfect in bringing to life one of the most famous cartoon characters of all time.

As much as it pains me to say it, Tom Cruise as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder. He may be a lunatic and a horse’s ass as a person, but give him his props: he was funny as hell in that role, play-ah.

Eddie Murphy was nominated for an Oscar for Dreamgirls and he truly was good in the role, but I can think of several “actors who sing” and “singers who act” who could have done just as good a job. However, his roles in Coming to America and Bowfinger and even in a couple of his “latex comedies” (which like Scooby Doo- gross and puerile perhaps, BUT we’re going by acting job here) he gave performances that I can’t think of any actor who could approach in quality.