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The Outcasts: 5 Iconic Movies And Artists That Never Won An Oscar

The 93rd Oscars’ ceremony is just around the corner. And just like in the previous years, only four — of 20 actors and actresses nominated — will win in Best Acting categories. Believe it or not, some of the most famous Hollywood stars, responsible for giving life to historical characters, have never taken an Oscar statuette home! 

Oh, and that’s not all! The thing is, snubbing not only actors but also exceptional movies is practically a tradition when it comes to the Academy. Madness, right?! If you got yourself wondering who some of these wronged artists and movies are, check the list below:

Bradley Cooper

Nominated for eight Oscars, four of these in acting categories, Cooper lost his most recent nomination to Rami Malek. Three were for best picture and one was for adapting the screenplay to “A Star is Born” (2018). Fortunately, we were able to watch him perform “Shallow” with Lady Gaga in this ceremony…

Michelle Williams

No one knows how this woman somehow still has no statuette displaying around her house. With four Oscar nominations, Williams’ closest call came when she starred in “Manchester By the Sea”, in 2016, against Viola Davis, winner of the category. 

Jake Gyllenhaal

Starring movies such as “Nightcrawler” (2014), “Nocturnal Animals” (2016), “Stronger” (2017), “Prisoners” (2013), “Enemy” (2013), and “Donnie Darko” (2001), he was totally snubbed by the Academy. With plenty of impressive roles in his career, Gyllenhaal was nominated only once for “Brokeback Mountain” (2005).

Amy Adams

Adams is surely near the top of the list of stars who have the most nominations without a win. She almost reached out the statuette six times, and none of those were for “Arrival” (2016), the sci-fi that granted her with Bafta (British Academy Film Awards), Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild nominations. Rumor has it the reason is that she was competing against herself that same year, in “Nocturnal Animals”, occurring to split the Oscars’ vote.  

Johnny Depp

Despite all the scandals surrounding his personal life in the past few years, we can’t deny Johnny Depp is an actor of talent. But like his character Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean”, he is still looking for gold. Depp was nominated three times, one for “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2004), one for “Finding Neverland” (2005), and one for “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2008). 

“Toy Story 2” (1999)

Let’s go to the movies’ list! And, yes, you read that right. Pixar’s first sequel was totally ignored by the Academy. An explanation for that — and maybe the only acceptable one — is that there wasn’t in the Awards a category for Best Animated Film until 2001. Because of that, Woody and Buzz Lightyear’s second adventure received, at least, one nomination (Best Original Song), which it lost to Disney’s “Tarzan”.

“Amélie” (2001)

Maybe one of the most heartbreaking titles to see in this list. Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s masterpiece lost in five categories at the 2001 Oscars, even in the category it was considered the favorite — Best Foreign Language Film. 

“Fight Club” (1999)

The first rule of “Fight Club” is… don’t win any awards. This David Fincher‘s classic was responsible for leaving a mark in pop culture since its release, 20 years ago. Besides becoming a cinematic essential, the film brought an outrageous portrait of masculinity in the USA. Too much blood and dark for the Academy, apparently… 

“Brokeback Mountain” (2005)

Rumor has it that LGBTQ+ cinema has a troubled relationship with the Academy. This adaptation of Annie Proulx’s short story about two cowboys (Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger) who fall for each other in a world where this love is forbidden was totally underestimated: “Brokeback Mountain” remains a delicate and progressive work — the total opposite of the winner’s category, “Cash”

“Lady Bird” (2017)

This gem is in the top 10 of best-reviewed movies of all time by Rotten Tomatoes, and yet, left home empty-handed. “Lady Bird” is Greta Gerwig‘s solo debut as a writer and director and offers an honest vision of a teenage girl who struggles with identity, relationships, and even faith, in a specific place and time (Sacramento in the early ‘00s). All of this in a funny, soft, and loving way, making the story feel specific and universal at once.

So, what did you think about these Academy’s outcasts? Well, all we know is: these artists and productions may not have won any Oscars, but they certainly won our hearts! Let’s re-watch each of them?

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The article above was edited by Helena Cardoso.

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Nayara Bardin

Casper Libero '21

Hi, I’m Nayara and I love music, books, poetry, feminism, astrology and everything related with the stars and the universe! My biggest dream is to travel around the world and write about the different places and people I might find in the journey!
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