The Oscars have not always been fair to a lot of actors. Leonardo de Caprio seems to be near the top of that list but that change this year with The Revenant. Here’s a look at a few other deserving contemporary candidates who have been denied the awards till date.

1. Brad Pitt : How on earth hasn’t he won it till now? This guy has done it all from big budget action movies to sci-fi to The Tree of Life (couldn’t find a category for it). He has played a lunatic (12 Monkeys), an antisocial (Fight Club), a reverse aging guy (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), a thief (Ocean’s) and father to Sean Penn (The Tree of Life). Only roles left I guess are Superhero and getting stuck in Space.

Best Performance: 12 Monkeys

2. Jake Gyllenhaal : This guy always seems to fly under the radar. He has a knack of selecting unique characters to play. He is rarely seen in a big budget productions. Every now and then, he churns out great performances like ones in Donnie Darko, Source Code, Brokeback Mountain, Prisoners,etc.

Best Performance: Nightcrawler

3. Ethan Hawke : He will always be known for the Before Trilogy where one can clearly see how he has matured as an actor over the course of 18 years. Frequently collaborates with Linklater (Before Trilogy, Boyhood). He has been nominated 4 times (including twice for screenplay..!!!!!)

Best Performance: Before Midnight

4. Ralph Fiennes : This British actor will forever be etched in our memory as Lord Voldemort. But the fact that Voldemort isn’t his best, not even his best negative role, is a huge testament to his talent. He is great in psychologically charged roles like The English Patient, Constant Gardener, Schindler’s List etc.

Best Performance: The English Patient.

5. Gary Oldman : There are times when even the awards feel sorry. This is true in the case of this man here. Be it a villainous madman (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element) or a true pillar of justice and truth (Harry Potter Series as Sirius Black, Commissioner Gordon in Dark Knight Trilogy), Oldman is the man.

Best Performance: Leon: The Professional.

6. Joaquin Phoenix : One of my personal favorites. Phoenix can play almost anything. From a rockstar (Walk the Line) to a Gladiator (Gladiator), to a socially awkward writer (Her) like me (He!! He!!) to a sex obsessed world war veteran (The Master) certainly not like me (Ha!! Ha!!) with equal ease.

Best Performance: Her.

7. Sir Ian Mckellen: Not much is required to explain here. He is a true legend who has been denied only because the Academy thinks that Superhero/Fantasy movies only qualify for special effects department. To those who don’t recognize him yet, we are talking about Gandalf (Lord of the Rings/ Hobbit) and Magneto (X-men Series).

Best Performance: Magneto in X-men series.

8. Michael Fassbender : The second Magneto on the list. When you can intimidate Kate Winslet with your skill (ref: Winslet’s Golden Globe Speech) then you must be special. Fassbender is a brilliant method actor who can awe anyone with his skill. Never expect a half-hearted effort from him. Some of his most memorable roles being in X-Men series, 12 Years a Slave, Steve Jobs,Inglourious Basterds etc.

Best Performance: 12 Years a Slave.

9. Paul Giamatti : Probably the best choice in this era if you are a director looking for a supporting actor. Giamatti has mostly acted in the shadows of other actors but when give the chance he was able to shine bright (Sideways). Best known for his roles in The Cinderella Man and The Illusionist.

Best Performance: Sideways.

10. Viggo Mortensen : Has a remarkable ability to play subdued characters fighting against the odds who end up vindicating themselves. His acting arouses great sense of pity but at the same time can switch modes to full on violence. His crowning glory role came in The Lord of the Rings as Aragorn. other notable works being The Road, Eastern Promises, A Dangerous Method and A History of Violence.

Best Performance: Eastern Promises.

11. Johnny Depp : No actor in recent memory (maybe in all time) can play eccentric characters as well as Mr. Depp. In the Pirates of the Caribbean Series, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd, Edward Scissorhands etc. he showed us how he can put himself into the shoes of characters out of this world. People sometimes are so awed by Jack Sparrow that they forget he can play sensitive roles like in Finding Neverland or gangsters roles in Black Mass, Donnie Brasco. He is even a great voice actor providing voices to animation films such as Corpse Bride and Rango.

Best Performance: As Jack Sparrow.

12. Timothy Spall : The least known actor on this list but maybe the best as far as acting skills are concerned. Known to ignorant fellows as Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter series. His performances in Secrets and Lies, Mr. Turner and Topsy-Turvy are testimony to his prowess as an actor.

Best Performance: Secret and Lies.

Searching for the 13th??? Its Leo idiot!!!!

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