The 10 Actors Who NEED To Have Academy Awards

Certain actors just NEED to have Oscars. Be it due to their talent, charisma, the roles they play or their longevity, there comes a point in certain actor’s careers when it seems insane they don’t have an Oscar. Like Morgan Freeman before he won for Million Dollar Barfy; go back, didn’t you already THINK he had an Oscar? When you found out he didn’t, it surprised you, right? It’s MORGAN FREEMAN! Voice of God! Step-Granddaughter toucher! Oscarless? Insanity!

Certain actors not having Oscars just sounds wrong (not unlike certain actors HAVING them, ahem Mira Sorvino). Look, I know most awards mean nothing. The actual awards are easily purchased by deep-pocketed studios, desperate to boost the failing box office grosses of their “prestige” pictures. The show itself is nothing more then a poorly disguised commercial for whatever pop culture products need to be pushed near the air date. Actors only show up to pimp those pop culture products (all the more delicious as Award Season is in late Winter when all the truly horrendous movies get released, cough When In Rome, cough… oh, hello Kristen Bell… EVERYWHERE.).

But the Academy Awards mean something. Having an Oscar is important. Not just for the actors, but for us. We grow attached to our stars, and want to see them rewarded for their work. For whatever reason, we NEED them to have an Oscar, to validate what we know about things being good and things being recognized for being good. Which is why it is painful to know that the following ten actors don’t have one.

10 – John Malkovich
I’ve been studying film for fifteen years, and I have NO explanation for this. Really, John Malkovich hasn’t won an Oscar? Even though he played one of THE defining villains of the 90′s (In The Line Of Fire)? The man has a movie NAMED after him, for Pete’s sake! He’s easily one of the best character actors alive on planet Earth today, and there isn’t a person alive who doesn’t get fired up when he comes onscreen. But no Oscar? He deserves at least two for that fakakta accent from Rounders. “Paey dat mein hees mohney” I say, “Geev dat mein hees Ohhsker!”

9 – Sigourney Weaver
How many fantastic Sigourney Weaver performances can you name off the top of your head? I got to five before blink one. Aliens, Ghostbusters, Working Girl, Gorillas in the Mist, Galaxy Quest. Any coincidence that those are five all-time classics? I don’t think so. Weaver is the classic example of an actress that SEEMS to already be an Oscar winner. She’s been nominated three times, but no dice. Her Working Girl loss stings all the more because Geena Davis beat her. Geena? Davis? I love Charlie Baltimore as much as the next guy, but on her BEST day she isn’t even half a Weaver. Get away from her Oscar, you bitch!

(This is only slightly discounted because of Weaver’s indefensible performance in Avatar. The only thing even REMOTEly artificial in that movie was Sigourney’s acting.)

8 – Gary Oldman
There are a great many crazy things that happen in the world. Fergie just gave the best performance in Nine. The Jets may make the Super Bowl this year. George Bush. But right up at the tippy top has GOT to be the fact that Gary Oldman has NEVER been nominated for an Academy Award. Allow me to use the caps lock for better emphasis. GARY OLDMAN HAS NEVER BEEN NOMINATED FOR AN ACADEMY AWARD. The Professional, True Romance, JFK, The Fifth Element, The Contender, The Dark Knight… yeah, this guy doesn’t deserve one AT ALL. If I was running Hollywood, here would be my first order of business:

The Jay: Lacky, bring Gary Oldman an Academy Award.

Lacky: Which category, sir?

The Jay: EEEEVVVERRYOOOOOOOONNNE!

7 – Julianne Moore
She needs to have one so we can stop talking about how she doesn’t have one. Her Oscar Injustice campaign is even more self-righteous than Kate Winslet’s was, and that ain’t easy. Also? She should have won it for Boogie Nights. Kim Basinger deserved it more that year? For what, nearly ruining LA Confidential? No.

6 – Ralph Fiennes
His presence in a movie trailer practically REQUIRES that “Academy Award Winner Ralph Fiennes” graphic studios love to use so much (because it makes the movie seem better than it is). I personally think he’s never won because people are too afraid to mispronounce his name. If he just spelled it “Rafe” he’d have two Oscars by now, I’m telling you. Demi Moore agrees with me.

5 – Jeff Bridges
The Dude does not abide by his Oscarlessness. Thankfully, this atrocity will be rectified in about eight weeks. Who doesn’t love Jeff Bridges? Terrorists? Not likely, cause he played a kick ass one in Blown Away (not talking about the Two Coreys skinemax flick, I know, I’ve made that mistake before, too) (UPDATE: Oops, was just reminded that Bridges played the good guy in Blown Away. MAN those Coreys are distracting. Let’s go with Jeff’s villainous turn in The Vanishing, then, mmk? Mmk). He’s just SO likeable, SO endearing, SO GOOD, we are willing him to win this year. I love it when a long overdue actor is carried across the finish line by the adoring public. Even when it’s for a movie that is beneath them (see: Pacino, Al – Woman, Scent Of A). Also? There’s a better than good chance he accepts his Oscar totally baked out of his mind.

4 – Robert Downey Jr.
Jamie Foxx has an Oscar and Robert Downey Jr. does not. Which guy was the reason you forced yourself to stake awake through The Soloist, for? That’s what I thought. Also? It’s ROBERT DOWNEY JR. He’s the second greatest living actor in the world (see: #2 on this list)!!! Give him a damn Oscar, already! What does he have to do, act in blackface?

3 – Annette Benning
It wasn’t too hard coming up with men for this list, but the women were tough. The Academy is actually REALLY good at spreading the love around to all the A-list actresses. Cate, Nicole, Reese, Renee, Catherine, Kate, Julia, Meryl, Halle, Penelope, Helen, Angelina and Charlize all have one. Which makes Annette Benning not having one seem beyond dumb. Is it because she married Warren Beatty? Is she being punished for making The Siege? Somebody please give me a reason why Caroline Burnham is Oscar-less. Watch this clip:

That’s not one of the Best Actresses in Hollywood? Don’t you dare to lie me!

2 – Matt Damon
Matt Damon is the best actor working today. He is the best actor currently alive. These are the facts, and they are indisputable. Has Matt Damon EVER been ANYthing less than believable? Has he EVER not been fun to watch? Has he EVER not been the best thing in his movies? Tom Ripley, Jason Bourne, Linus Caldwell, Private Ryan, Will Hunting, Loki; I remember his character’s names! And those aren’t even his BEST performances! Courage Under Fire, The Departed, The Informant, Syrianna, Rounders and Stuck on You are equally good. Not to mention the time he made out with Grace Adler on the couch (‘Thanks for the tea. And aay.”). Matt Damon can do no wrong. And yet he can’t BUY an Oscar. I love me some Jeff Bridges. Stick It is my steez. And I am telling you: Matt Damon’s performance in The Informant was the best thing put to celluloid in 2009.

1 – Tom Cruise
Throw away everything you know about Tom Cruise’s personal life. Throw away the Katie Holmes, the Suri, the Scientology, the homosexuality rumors, the sham marriage to Nicole Kidman, the mis-aligned front teeth. Put it all in the trash (this is not me impersonating Clooney in Up in the Air, just btdubs). Now take a look at Tom Cruise. What do you see? You see the Greatest Movie Star in the History of Cinema, don’t you? That should be rewarded, shouldn’t it?

Tom Cruise doesn’t just carry movies, he IS movies. Paramount can’t even SHOW a movie script to someone until Tom Cruise has passed on it. His face is BUILT to be projected on 50-foot screens. His body is a perfect screen body: pigeon-chested, stout and malleable. His intensity is magnetic. Hell, his hair is a bigger movie star than Ryan Reynolds will EVER be. Tom Cruise was designed to be a Movie God. His brilliance and success was pre-ordained. And yet? He has never been rewarded for his work.

Jerry Maguire, Born on the Fourth of July, Magnolia, Rain Man, Vanilla Sky; ALL of those performances deserved Oscars. And if Sandra Bullock wins for The Blind Side, then Tom Cruise should have won for A Few Good Men. Want more? What was the funniest performance in 2009? Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. #fact

Does anyone do blockbuster performances better? You don’t love Tom in Top Gun? He isn’t ANYthing but riveting in Minority Report? You’re telling me you have enough control over your body to LOOK AWAY from Tom in Mission: Impossible? No. You’re not saying those things. Because those are things no one says!

If George Clooney has an Oscar, Tom Cruise should have an Oscar. If Jack Nicholson has THREE, Tom deserves at least one. Nicolas Cage has an Oscar and he’s a crazy person. So why doesn’t Tom have one?

There will be a time, maybe fifteen years from now, when Tom Cruise disappears for 30 days and comes back with a movie. Something small, something personal. And he will be so good in it that we have no choice but to hand him the Academy Award for Best Actor. The standing ovation for that announcement will set endurance records. And we will all look back at his resume and wonder what took so damn long. He’s only been the Biggest Movie Star in the World for 40 years. He’s only TOM CRUISE.

I mean, isn’t that what the Academy Awards were invented for? So that we can give Tom Cruise an Oscar and everyone can be happy about it?

Here’s the thing: I’m a simple man with simple needs. I want things to be good, and I need people to love those things. These ten actors are good, and I want the Academy to start loving them. Because I will not live in a world where Hilary Swank has TWO Oscars, and these fantastic people have NONE. I won’t do it. I just won’t do it.

Bangarang!

(Follow me on Twitter @jasonamatthews)

37 Comments

  1. The Jay says:

    Someone let me know if I’m missing an actor who should be on this list. (Admittedly, Liam Neeson should be here, but who would he replace?)

  2. Kojiro says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Every single one. Isn’t this the reason they have the Honorary Award? They need to just start handing them out with a big fat apology: “We’re really sorry this didn’t come sooner…”

    Good to see you writing again.

  3. Tracy says:

    Am amazed by 10, 8, 6, 4 and 3. Will defer to your superior knowledge on the rest, except Tom Cruise. Is the Oscar for the most money made or talent. Tom Cruise always seems to play Tom Crusie. Now that I think about it, he may deserve and oscar because we were all unaware of how batshit crazy he was.

  4. Tracy says:

    I, of course, can spell and excel at proper word usage.

  5. The Jay says:

    Saying “Tom plays Tom” is naive. Isn’t George just playing George in Up In The Air? And yet he was the frontrunner for Oscar up until Bridges took the Golden Globe.

    Also? There isn’t a “Tom” to play. George plays charming raconteurs, because THAT’s George. Tom doesn’t play crazy people. Hence, your argument is FAIL.

    Love,
    The Jay

  6. Kristin says:

    Technically, Matt Damon has an Oscar.

  7. The Jay says:

    But it’s for writing, that doesn’t count! (Besides, we all know Affleck did all the work on GWH.)

  8. Bob says:

    Check your facts Jay, Matt Damon has won an Oscar.

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  11. Jms says:

    Mickey Rourke.

  12. The Jay says:

    Jms: No.

    When he gives us 3-4 more The Wrestler’s, maybe.

  13. Jody says:

    Jeff bridges was the good guy in Blown Away, Tommy Lee Jones was the terrorist.

  14. Dave says:

    How does Johnny Depp not make the cut? The only actor out there who has the same kind of range is Robert Downey Jr.

  15. Dean says:

    Edward Norton and Johnny Depp both deserve oscars for many different performances by each.

  16. Andrew says:

    Matt Damon DID win an Oscar. Good Will Hunting – he shared it with Ben Affleck for Best Original Screenplay

  17. SweeneyToad says:

    Alan Rickman.

  18. Why doesn’t Caroline Burnham have an Oscar? Two words: Brandon Teena.

    And Ralph was robbed in 1993. Inexplicable. I’d be fine with a make-good for the last Harry Potter movie if he gives the acceptance speech that he was supposed to give back then.

  19. Rob F says:

    Catherine Keener.

    2 Oscar noms, 3 Indie Spirit noms, an Emmy nom, 2 Golden Globe noms…. nothing. And she makes every movie she’s in better.

  20. A Dude says:

    Tom Cruise sucks donkey balls. He can’t act for shit and stands out like a sore thumb in any movie. I would like very much for him to stop working.

  21. Lycia says:

    You had me until you brought out Cruise.

  22. Pistache says:

    ummm…Johnny Depp? Edward Scissorhands, Cry-Baby, Ed Wood, Fear and Loathing, shall I go on?

  23. Filip says:

    Peter O’Toole, anybody? And no, that honorary BS does not count.

  24. Waldo says:

    I sense a glaring omission in the form of Leonardo DiCaprio. I know he became a bit of a punchline after Titanic but Scorsese has turned all that around. And preTitanic he was awesome too. Basketball Diaries and Gilbert Grape are great performances. Also This Boy’s Life and Marvin’s Room.

  25. Martin says:

    If Tom Cruise is on the list, the “people’s actor” Johnny Depp should be on there too.

    Liam Neeson as well.

    Sigourney Weaver should come off the list, and the Jeff Bridges thing should be rectified in a few weeks.

  26. nat says:

    HEART matt damon! definitely agree on that one, cruise, oldman, bridges, malkovich, and fiennes. indifferent about the rest, but i totally know what you mean about morgan freeman – shocked/surprised he didn’t have one!

    ‘Nicolas Cage has an Oscar and he’s a crazy person. ‘ LOL. although he did give us national treasure jay! ‘we’re more like treasure protectors.’ — cracks me up every time. not to mention con-air…

  27. Eva says:

    You had me until the last 2. I do NOT love Matt Damon in everything. I find him boring and unremarkable. And Tom Cruise… sigh. Really?

  28. HappyTim says:

    First off, Malkovich and Bridges definitely deserve Oscars. Same with Downey Jr. I won’t even quibble with Tom Cruise deserving one.

    Still, I dare you to watch Abre los Ojobs (The original Vanilla Sky, in Spanish) then Vanilla Sky and even try to say Tom Cruise did a better job than Eduardo Noriega in the SAME ROLE.

    Tom Cruise deserved a supporting actor nod for Magnolia. Compared to a lot of previous winners he’s at least average if not a little better. But I wouldn’t use his mediocre work in Vanilla Sky any more than I would cite Minority Report.

  29. Mark says:

    Matt Damon being the best actor today is indisputable? I would say that is way off base. Until he dies or quits making movies, Daniel Day-Lewis is the best actor, simple as that.

  30. Andy says:

    Bruce Willis

  31. Aaron says:

    Um Annette Benning has one. I think for American Beauty. All I can remember is that she was too preggers to get on the stage.

  32. The Jay says:

    Aaron, try googling before you do something. Keeps you from looking stupid. Benning lost to Hilary Swank that year.

  33. Niamh says:

    Ed Harris, 4 noms, I have no idea why he doesn’t have one. Was kinda surprised he wasn’t number one, but maybe that’s just my opinion. (Not that i don’t think that Tom should be on the list, i just think Harris deserves it more)

    Definitely agree with Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Jeff Bridges, Gary Oldman and John Malkovich

  34. D-Mac says:

    Joan Allen

  35. Heather says:

    Great list, agree with all. Most impressed with the Stick It mention. That movie is awesome.

  36. Sandy says:

    As for the ladies, I would remove Sigourney Weaver, and add Laura Linney. She should have an Oscar, if only based on her work in 2003. Life of David Gale? Shocking.

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