The 84th Annual Academy Awards are quickly approaching. In about a week and a half, the red carpet will be rolled out, and Hollywood's biggest stars will take a stroll down it, heading into the auditorium for a night of honoring the best films of 2011. For those in attendance who are actually nominated for an Oscar, it's a night of hope, wonder and possibly disappointment. No matter how many times they say it's an honor to be nominated, we know that deep down they still probably really would love to take one of those little gold men home with them.
Each year the nominees seem to spark conversation. Who deserves the nod? Who doesn't? Who has the award locked up before a single vote is cast? Who is the underdog that just might pull of an upset? We thought it might be fun to take a look at the list of nominees and figure out who are the five stars that really should be walking out of the show clutching an Oscar.
Martin Scorsese - Everyone assumes from his body of work that the iconic director has a shelf at home filled to capacity with Oscar statues. The fact is though, that the man who directed popular and important films like "Raging Bull" and "The Last Temptation of Christ" has been nominated ten times, but has only won once. This year he's nominated for both Best Director and Best Picture for "Hugo." While critics have not put the film in the same boat as "Goodfellas," clearly the Academy has some catch-up to do, so they need to hand over as many of the awards as they can to Martin from here on out.
Gary Oldman - Like Scorsese, Oldman's talent and longevity in the business make him seem like someone who's probably won a ton of Oscars in his career. However, this year's nomination for his role in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is his one and only Academy Award Nomination. Oldman has doing incredible work for thirty years. He's a master at completely changing his look and accent to become anyone from Detective Jim Gordon in "The Dark Knight" to Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 version of "Dracula." He's been overlooked for far too long, and hopefully this year he is recognized for his incredible body of work.
Meryl Streep - She's been nominated seventeen times, and has only won twice. However, the last time she won an Oscar was way back in 1983 for her stunning performance in "Sophie's Choice." Sadly, Meryl's been nominated and lost so many times, it's almost become a tradition to nominate her, knowing full well that whoever ends up beating her will speak about her glowing terms, but that Streep herself will be shut out. This year, she's nominated for her role as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." Hopefully this is the year she breaks her string of thirteen nominations without a win.
Jonah Hill - In the Best Supporting Actor category, we should have been putting Albert Brooks' name on this list. The man is a comedic genius, and his performance in "Drive" made the movie even better. Since the Academy inexcusably left his name off the list of nominees, we have to pull for Jonah. Jonah was fantastic in "Moneyball," holding his own easily with Brad Pitt, no small feat to say the least! Plus, we always love it when the funny guys are recognized as great actors in their own right.
Melissa McCarthy - There are any number of reasons to really want Melissa to win her Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Both the movie she's nominated for, "Bridesmaids" and McCarthy herself are not your average Oscar fare. Melissa represents a different kind of woman in Hollywood, funny, smart and not stick thin. The film was a raucous comedy and it showed that the ladies can be every bit as naughty, bawdy and hilarious. A win for Melissa is a win for average women and for truly funny films.
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- Martin Scorsese