Actors & Directors Who Will or Should Win an Oscar in their Lifetime

The Oscars have been and gone, and once again audiences are discussing who got snubbed. So my question is, who are the people who will, or perhaps more accurately, should win an Oscar at some point in their lifetimes who haven’t already done so?

These are my own personal picks, so no doubt I’ll have missed some big names off the list, but everyone I have chosen has been because of their career so far and potential careers in the future. I’m going to write a blurb on the top few from each category, then just list the rest! 😊

Male Actors:

  • Will Poulter – having already acted in a wide range of Oscar nominated films, including The Revenant, Poulter already has the charisma and acting ability to match his co-stats at a young age. So I look forward to what we will see from him in the future.
  • Willem Dafoe – I don’t understand how he hasn’t already won one! He is one of those actors who has appeared in so much and doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He was nommed this year, but sadly once again, bigger films overshadowed ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ and he was left empty handed again.
  • James McAvoy – one word ‘Split’. His performance in this film as Kevin, a man with 20 or more personalities, is an acting masterclass. As long as he picks big and good projects to work on, he should breeze his way to an Oscar.
  • Johnny Depp – some might say his best days are behind him, but with all the controversy surrounding his personal life, I can see Depp returning to the more soulful, intense and passionate performances from earlier on in his career. He is easily one of the best of our generation, but he chooses poor projects to truly capitalise upon his talent.
  • Christian Bale – So yes, Christian Bale has won an Oscar, for Supporting as for. However, how he hasn’t yet won a Leading Actor Oscar is again, one of those bizarre choices, who it seems unbelievable that it hasn’t happened already. I thought Vice could have been the one, but sadly I was wrong.

Other Actors Who I Think Should/Will Win an Oscar:

  • Cillian Murphy
  • Tom Hardy
  • John Boyega
  • Daniel Kaluyya
  • Adam Driver
  • Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Daniel Radcliffe
  • Mads Mikkelsen
  • Zac Efron
  • Joaquin Phoenix
  • Matt Smith

Female Actors:

  • Amy Adams – Both Amy Adams and Glenn Close below both have deserved Oscars for a long time now, both of their careers have been full of opportunities to win, that have been overshadowed by bigger films or the ‘Streep effect’. Let’s hope it’s not too late for Close to be in another high-calibrate film.
  • Glenn Close – See above.
  • Margot Robbie – I love her so much and in everything I’ve seen her in she is incredible, and is the only real salvageable element from Suicide Squad. I’ll be interested to see how much she features in Once Upon in Hollywood, and whether this could be her chance to pick up at the least a Supporting Actress nod.
  • Anya Taylor-Joy – For someone so young it’s refreshing to see her choose such varied projects, and also play against stereotypes, especially in Split. She is definitely a strong actress and woman and I would love to see her go on to achieve great things throughout the rest of her career.

Directors Who Should/Will Win:

  • Quentin Tarantino – I put my hands up here, I am biased when it comes to Tarantino, he is my idol. But he is one of the biggest shapers of contemporary Hollywood, outside blockbuster ‘popcorn’ type films. Whilst he has won a few time for screenwriting; he definitely deserves at least one Oscar for his direction. Considering also that he has said he is going to retire after 10 films, that gives him two more chances: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and an as yet unknown project.
  • Jordan Peele – I do have my reservations putting him on this list, seeing as he has only directed one film so far that has been released. The critics reviews for ‘US’ so far have been favourable, so I think if he keeps up the high standard he began with, then he’ll definitely be looked on favourably by the Academy.
  • Christopher Nolan – I am not the biggest fan of Nolan, and so it seems neither is the Academy. I imagine he will probably win one though for something, despite most of his films trying to be edgy or smart, but somehow remaining to feel the same.
  • Lynne Ramsey – Whilst the Oscar voters seem to have latched onto Greta Gerwig as their favourite token woman of the moment, Lynne Ramsey is criminally undercooked as a filmmaker and deserves to be lauded over the likes of Gerwig. She makes gritty dramas that have incredible casting and definitely deserve more attention than they currently receive.
  • Paul Thomas Anderson – Again, another person on my list who I cannot believe hasn’t won already. There have been numerous films that he could have won for, most famously ‘There Will Be Blood’ that he lost out on to the Coen Brothers for their dull overacted ‘classic’ ‘No Country For Old Men’. He is one of the best original filmmakers around, and I truly hope that he gets recognised for his brilliant work and career that has gone before.


I have a few people who I think should have already won an Oscar, and who could potentially still win one, but it’s much less likely.

  • John Travolta – should’ve win for Pulp Fiction, his role that briefly rebooted his stardom; only for it to fall again into low-budget, poor quality action films that are poor choices for someone of his talent.
  • Tom Cruise – I doubt he will win now due to his active role in Scientology, but for his performances in films such as Eyes Wide Shut, he could’ve been one of the greats of our generation. But again, like Travolta, he has become typecast and has fallen into the action movie, clean cut, ‘hero’ trap.
  • Andy Serkis – He’s on this list for contribution to motion capture and voice performance. Whilst I don’t necessarily think anything will match Gollum or Caesar from Planet of the Apes; it wouldn’t surprise me if when the Academy (finally) decide to introduce an award for motion capture/voiceover work, they decide to name it after him and give him the first one as an honorary Oscar.
  • David Lynch – Mulholland Drive has been named in some polls as the greatest film so far of the 21st Century, which goes to show the prowess Lynch has; not to mention the influence he has had throughout his career from ‘Blue Velvet’ to ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’. The only reason I put him as an outsider is firstly the question mark over whether he will make another film again and secondly whether anything as ‘out there’ as what he makes would be considered worthy of an actual Oscar win, despite his nominations in the past.

So there we have it, my list of potential future Oscar winners, or just those I’d like to see win. Do you agree? Think I’ve missed anyone off? Let me know in the comments below!

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