Who's Next in Line for an 'Overdue' Oscar?

The power of narrative registers strongly with Oscar voters and awards obsessives alike, particularly the "overdue" narrative. These narratives are less about who deserves an Oscar and more about the melodrama of people who have been nominated multiple times without a win. Ever heard of vibes? This article explores some of the "overdue" narratives of the 96th Academy Awards and the narratives that still have a chance to be paid off.

For some, the most nominated people are the ones who most "deserve" to win. That's an awfully clinical way of looking at this! Ever heard of vibes? Oscar narratives are a vibes-based economy, very much attuned to how "the industry" is feeling about certain films and individuals. When it comes to who wins, considerations like recency, stature, and how much the would-be victor really wants it come into play.

The recently completed Oscar season paid off a few of these narratives. Christopher Nolan got his Oscar reward after a handful of Best Picture and Best Director nominations. (He took home both for Oppenheimer). Robert Downey Jr.'s long and sometimes volatile film career finally got its cherry on top: a Best Supporting Actor prize. But not every nominee was so fortunate, and for a handful of those who didn't win, these Oscars just bolstered their respective cases for being "overdue."

Big, loud snubs for Barbie at the nomination stage, a mild upset in Best Actress, and a thwarted feel-good Best Actor campaign reshuffled Hollywood's "overdue for Oscar" rankings considerably. The following people are overdue not based on the volume of nominations they've lost but based on how bright the snubbery still burns in our cultural memory.

  1. Lily Gladstone (1 nomination, 0 wins)

The backlash to the Barbie snubs went overboard, but the fact remains that among the entertainment press and fans who care about these kinds of things, the question is no longer, "Will Greta Gerwig's next film be an Oscar player?" but rather, "Is this the project that will win her that first Oscar?"

  1. Greta Gerwig (3 nominations, 0 wins)

Greta Gerwig's Oscar story has attained a note of grievance because of her lack of a Best Director nod for Barbie. Among the entertainment press and fans, the question is no longer, "Will Greta Gerwig's next film be an Oscar player?" but rather, "Is this the project that will win her that first Oscar?"

  1. Margot Robbie (3 nominations, 0 wins)

Through her LuckyChap shingle, Robbie has proven herself as a producer with a keen eye for talent and a knack for buzzy loglines. Gerwig comes out of Barbie feeling more overdue, but Robbie beats her director to an Oscar -- in Best Picture rather than Best Actress.

  1. Bradley Cooper (8 nominations, 0 wins)

Cooper's first two movies earned Best Picture nominations, but the public and voters recoiled from Cooper's whole deal. On the Star Isheemile, Cooper was dinged for acting too above it all to play the game; on Maestro, he campaigned so hard that he violated the unwritten rule against wanting it too much. A possible silver lining: The Maestro backlash got so intense that I wonder if people will start to feel bad about overdoing it, setting Cooper up for an Anne Hathaway-style rehabilitation down the line.

  1. Amy Adams (6 nominations, 0 wins)

Adams 'winning an Oscar for her work in Hillbilly Elegy would be worse than her never..."

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