With a site named “Picktainment” you can understand we spend a great deal of time wondering who will get nominated for each year’s string of awards, and the most attention is always given to the Academy’s short list of Oscar contenders.  But, in the midst of these debates, there’s always talk of the actors that have been overlooked too frequently for too long.  Many of these actors are at the top of their game, but are still considered B-list or character actors and unworthy for a lead role, one that would at least give them a nomination, that coveted “nod” from the industry’s highest order.  While the Academy might not give them the recognition they deserve, I damn sure will.  Therefore I present, in no particular order, a short list of some of the best to get snubbed in this filthy business.

Gary Oldman
Known throughout his career for a discipline so strong that he becomes the character rather than portray it, Gary Oldman is quite possibly the single-most snubbed actor living today.  Oldman’s portrayal of the rebellious but self-destructive Sid Vicious in 1986’s Sid & Nancy was assumed to get the Oscar nod but never did, most likely due to the liberal display of sex, drugs, and punk rock.  Oldman appeared in supporting roles for a number of years before showing the world two outstanding lead roles in Dracula and Immortal Beloved.  His supporting roles have been equally impressive, whether it’s an obsessed warden in Murder In The First to more widely known re-occuring roles such as Sirius Black from the Harry Potter films or as Lt. Jim Gordon from the newest Batman releases. He has a shot to get nominated this year for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Donald Sutherland
With television roles dating back 50 years and a great success early in his film career, largely due to war films like The Dirty Dozen, Kelly’s Heroes, and MASH, it’s surprising Donald Sutherland remains on a list of actors never nominated for an Academy Award.  True, other awards like the Golden Globes have treated him better, and consistently good performances in even the most simple of roles have definitely established him as a guaranteed success.  While many believe his portrayal of the mysterious “X” in JFK as the obvious choice for a supporting nod, I’ve always found Agar from The Great Train Robbery a performance so top-notch that he outdoes Sean Connery in nearly every scene.

Val Kilmer
Definitely a debatable choice as one of the best to never be nominated, especially considering a string of lackluster roles and someone who was briefly considered more of an action star than a serious actor at one point.  However, I contend that Val was given one of the worst snubs in best supporting actor history when his role of Doc Holiday in Tombstone was inexplicably ignored after stealing the show.  His versatility in roles has also impressive, moving from films like Alexander to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang without missing a step.  And, while movies like Real Genius would never be taken seriously by the Academy, it’s a lead role with such incredible dialogue and timing that it still makes me laugh every time I see it after 25 years.

Danny DeVito
If you’re a working actor in Hollywood and you’re also short, bald, and fat, you’re going to be a character actor without much success… unless you’re Danny DeVito.  Although he’s received Golden Globe nominations for Ruthless People and Throw Momma From The Train as well as SAG nods for Get Shorty and L.A. Confidential, his only acknowledgment from the Academy was a nomination as producer for Erin Brockovich.

Jim Carrey
The Academy loves drama far more than they will ever love comedy. It’s that simple.  Comedians and comedies get screwed in the Academy decade after decade, and Jim Carrey has been infused with what may someday be called the “Jerry Lewis curse.”  Jerry, who also never got nominated, was widely regarded as one of the greatest comedic actors of our age without the gold statue to prove it.  His films consistently drew crowds and profits, and no actor could come close to his utter mastery of physical comedy.  Later in his career, he took on more serious roles only to find that, after doing comedy so well for so long, no one would take him seriously.  Sound familiar?

Alan Rickman
I’m not a superstitious person, but writing up Alan Rickman into this list might be presumptuous since the last Harry Potter film might just be the one that gives him the nomination he’s deserved for so long.  After so many films with the classic character of Professor Severus Snape, it’s hard to understand why that role alone hasn’t gained him something from the Academy by now.  One of Rickman’s early roles as the terrorist leader in Die Hard opposite Bruce Willis (who’s also coming up on our list) established him as a top choice for villainous roles.  His portrayal of Rasputin earned him a number of other awards, but the film’s lack of a standard theatrical release was probably the only factor that prevented the Academy from taking notice.

David Warner
What do you mean, “Who is David Warner?” you bastard!  Actually, I had to look up his name as well, as much as I love him and his penchant for playing the most villainous of roles, most notably a being simply called “Evil” in the strange but fascinating Terry Gilliam film, Time Bandits.  Sadly, many of the best performances from Warner such as that one have been on films that were never intended to be viewed by the Academy.  This would be a classic example of an actor one good script away from an Oscar, and hopefully the role will someday come.

Bruce Willis
Former musician, former television star, and current contender for the most underrated film actor working today.  Bruce Willis’ career has been overshadowed by playing blockbuster action stars, and he has the distinction of being an actor who’s either saved a group of hostages or the world entirely… twice, in fact.  However, even in a career dominated by action roles, performances in films like Pulp Fiction, The Fifth Element, and Die Hard have proven Willis’ ability goes far beyond a good physique and effortless smile.

Christopher Lloyd
“Great scott!”  Why haven’t you been nominated?  The moment I saw Back To The Future, it seemed inevitable this classic character actor would finally get his long-overdue praise.  No such luck, and while many of Lloyd’s roles have been simply unforgettable, the films themselves always seemed to fall short in one form or another.  Christopher Lloyd is another one of those actors you know is going to bring something to the film, the kind of actor you pay attention to during screen time because you know something good will happen… and it does.

Hopefully, good things will come to all of them someday soon.  That is, if the Academy is listening.  Are you listening, Academy?  Hello?  I… I think I’m on hold.