So yesterday, I did my list on 10 actors that are a role or two away from their first Oscar nomination. Now it is time for the ladies. Much like with the actors list, there were actresses that are in contention this year that I left out in case they do end up making the cut. So here are ten ladies that have plenty of potential to make it in the future. Possibly the near future. Take a look:
10. Zoe Saldana: While Zoe Saldana has carved out a strong niche for herself in science fiction tentpoles like Guardians Of The Galaxy, Star Trek, and Avatar, she still fits in time to make small indie fare. Some of the small films she's done like Blood Ties, Out Of The Furnace, and Infinitely Polar Bear haven't made a lot of waves and Live By Night, which was a surefire Oscar contender on paper, isn't quite landing. But if she continues to work with the right directors like Ben Affleck and pursue the right kind of roles, she could very well build momentum for a nomination while the studio tentpoles she's involved in help boost her profile.
9. Jennifer Aniston: Jennifer Aniston had to have been a close sixth for Best Actress for Cake which gained traction a little too late in the game. But her upcoming film The Yellow Birds where she plays the suffering mother of a soldier away at war and which premieres at Sundance, could do wonders for her. If not, then if she continues boosting her indie cred a la Matthew McConaughey, the right vehicle will likely come along.
8. Sarah Paulson: Sarah Paulson has made a name for herself in television, even winning a recent Emmy thanks to her work on The People v. OJ Simpson. But when it comes to her work in film, it doesn't seem to go as well-noticed. Even in films that were Oscar contenders like 12 Years A Slave and Carol, she sadly never received the same kind of traction as her co-stars. But that could change with the upcoming J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel In The Rye which premieres at Sundance. She also has the upcoming Ocean's Eight which will likely not be a surefire Oscar contender but will hopefully lead to better film opportunities if it does well.
7. Katherine Waterston: Fresh off of Inherent Vice, Katherine Waterston's stock has taken a pretty meteoric rise. She followed up Inherent Vice with a small but meaty role in Steve Jobs and a spot in not one, but two established franchises: The Harry Potter franchise with Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and Alien with Alien: Covenant. Along with Covenant this year, she has the starry ensemble comedy Logan Lucky for Steven Soderbergh and historical Oscar bait biopic The Current War about Thomas Edison opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicholas Hoult, and Michael Shannon. She's also the daughter of actor Sam Waterston who's an Oscar nominee himself and it never hurts to have those kinds of connections.
6. Kristen Stewart: She may still have the dark cloud of Twilight hanging over her head. But judging by the projects she's been working on, she has definitely been working hard to break free of that stigma. Right off of Twilight, the likes of Ang Lee, Olivier Assayas, Kelly Reichardt, and Woody freaking Allen have all taken note of her talents. While not all of the projects with those projects have completely landed with audiences and/or with critics, if more A-list helmers start calling her up and she continues boosting her artistic cred, then her shot with Oscar will come for sure.
5. Margot Robbie: With the commercial fame she has enjoyed as Harley Quinn, with some of the projects she has on the horizon outside the DC Cinematic Universe, it looks like she's starting to throw her hat in the Oscar ring. One film she has is the biopic I, Tonya where she plays Olympic skater Tonya Harding and the other is Goodbye Christopher Robin where she'll play the wife of Winnie The Pooh author A.A. Milne. If there's one thing Oscar is a sucker for, it's supportive wife roles. With how fast her star has risen, it would seem like a great time for Oscar to anoint her as one of their own.
4. Alison Janney: Alison Janney feels like a Supporting Actress winner waiting to happen. She gives me vibes of J.K. Simmons. A hard working character actress who is beloved and gets her Oscar ticket with the right role. Her upcoming supporting role in I,Tonya as the mother of skater Tonya Harding could give her a lot to chew on.
3. Gugu Mbatha-Raw: Gugu Mbatha-Raw had a stunning one-two punch with her lead roles in Belle and Beyond The Lights back in 2014. Unfortunately, she couldn't quite translate her breakthrough buzz into Oscar love, a la Carey Mulligan, despite a less competitive year due to little support from the studios behind her films. But thankfully, she's been consistently working and slowly catching the attention of moviegoers. She didn't have much to do in Concussion and she might've been a scene or two away from being more of a factor in the Supporting Actress race for Miss Sloane. But kind of like Felicity Jones, when she finally broke through with Oscar for The Theory Of Everything, I think if she gets the right role in the right year, she'll finally break through as well.
2. Elizabeth Olsen: In a weaker year for Best Actress, Elizabeth Olsen probably could've gained more traction for Martha Marcy May Marlene. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gotten a hold of her since Martha, thankfully this year, she'll get to sink her teeth back into the indie circuit where she first made her breakthrough and she has about three films lined up: Ingrid Goes West, Wind River, and Kodachrome. The first two films will premiere at Sundance like Martha did. Can magic strike twice?
1. Scarlett Johansson: Scarlett Johansson is somebody who has the career that every actor wants. She has a billion dollar franchise under her belt, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, appearances on "Sexiest Women" lists, and plenty of artistic credibility. All that's missing is an Oscar nomination. While the upcoming Ghost In The Shell and Rock That Body aren't likely to be her ticket to the Dolby Theater, her upcoming Zelda Fitzgerald biopic could. It is her first Oscar-y role in quite a while and given how she's arguably become a bigger star since her breakthrough in 2003, it feels like it could be her time to finally reward her.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section on what you think of this list and feel free to share who you think is a role or two away from Oscar glory. Thanks for reading!