When you ask someone if Gary Oldman is a great actor, people universally say yes.  But what defines a great actor?  Is it range?  Is it consistency?  Is it longevity?  All of these things apply surely, yet when you look at recognition – Gary Oldman has won a few awards, but for the most part he has not received a ton of recognition.  In 2005 Jamie Foxx won the academy award for best actor based on his portrayal of Ray Charles in the movie, “Ray.”  That same year, Foxx was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor in “Collateral.”

So in the academy awards department its Jamie Foxx 2 nominations and 1 win – Gary Oldman – 0 nominations, 0 wins.  Not to knock Jamie Foxx, but doesn’t this seem like an odd statistic?

Academy Awards people, if you are listening – it is time to give this guy his due.  He delivered his usual OUTSTANDING performance in the movie, “Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy,” and in 2012 he has the movie “Dark Knight Rises” – where he will no doubt deliver as he always has.  I hope someone finds the good sense to include Gary Oldman in the list of nominees.  We are talking about a NOMINATION…let’s go people.

Below are a list of my favorite Gary Oldman roles:

  1. Drexl – “True Romance”
  2. Jim Gordon – “Batman Begins,” and “The Dark Knight”
  3. Shelly Runyon – “The Contender”
  4. Stansfield – “Leon: The Professional”
  5. Mason Verger – “Hannibal”
  6. Beethoven – “Immortal Beloved”
  7. Zorg – “The Fifth Element”
  8. Sirius Black – Harry Potter Series
  9. Count Dracula – “Bram Stokers: Dracula”
  10. Zachary Smith – “Lost in Space”

After reading this list, you can debate the order – but you can’t debate how impressive this body of work is and that a few of these roles were worthy of greater recognition.  Oldman is almost always in a supporting role, so its not always easy to keep him top of mind.  But he is one of the best supporting actors there has ever been.  Range, longevity, consistency, performances – it is all there.

Oldman’s most critically acclaimed role was probably Shelly Runyon in “The Contender,” in that year (2000), Benecio Del Toro won the best supporting actor for his role in “Traffic.”  Del Toro deserved the Oscar.  However Oldman didn’t even get nominated?  Jeff Bridges was nominated for his role as the President in the same movie,”The Contender.”  Bridges was fantastic in that movie, but I think Oldman was robbed on that one – he should have been nominated.  Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for his portrayal of Commodus in “Gladiator” – Phoenix delivered a great performance, but was it superior to the Oldman’s portrayal of the semi-crooked, Illinois Congressman in “The Contender?”

Please comment on this, do you agree – disagree?  We should petition the academy – this is ridiculous.

3 Responses to Gary Oldman, never nominated for an Oscar?

  1. Kenzo says:

    I had no idea he hadn’t been nominated before. He will probably be nominated for Tinker Tailor which is, in my humble opinion, the most overrated, boring, pretentious film in the last decade. But to your point, he is one of the great actors of our time. Immortal Beloved and Dracula being my favorites.

    • John says:

      We’ll see if he gets a nomination for Tinker Tailor, he had a great performance in that film. I liked the movie. Loved him in both of those roles. Lutz shared with me that Winona Rider was freaked out by the way Oldman stayed in character on set even when they weren’t shooting on Dracula. Awesome.

      Thanks for the post!

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