5 Nominated Women Who Deserve An Academy Award This Year

Above: Keira Knightley in "The Imitation Game." Studio Canal.
Above: Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game.” Studio Canal.

Coming off this year’s Academy Award nominations, it is clear some of the best female nominees are the ones who have never won an award before.

However, there is always one nominee that stands out, even with three wins under her belt.

These are the five that need the Academy to (finally) give them the award they deserve.

Laura Dern

The daughter of two-time Academy Award nominee Bruce Dern just got nominated for her second Academy Award for “Wild.”

Dern was nominated the first time in 1991 for playing Rose in “Rambling Rose.” Rose was trying to avoid the dangers of the Great Depression and prostitution, but is confused about sex after being sexually abused.

Dern was nominated for Best Actress, along with her mother in the film and in real life, Diane Ladd, being nominated for Supporting Actress.

However, she lost to the clear favorite, Jodie Foster, for “Silence of the Lambs.” Fast forward to 2014 and Dern made her mark as “Mom of the Year” by starring in high-profile mother roles in both “Wild” and “The Fault in Our Stars.”

Many young adults fell in love with Dern for the first time for playing the mother of Shailene Woodley’s cancer-stricken Hazel Grace Lancaster.

Dern consistently made us laugh and cry as the quirky mother who was there for everything that her daughter needed.

However, Dern’s stronger role of the year was that of Bobbi in “Wild.” Only appearing in flashbacks throughout the film, Bobbi was the light of Cheryl Strayed’s life (played by Reese Witherspoon, who also received a nomination for Best Actress), and brought many elements of humor into a very deep film.

While Dern probably won’t win the award this year, she needs to soon. Though, we still will give her the “Mother of the Year” award for film.

Keira Knightley

Knightley is another actress who just got nominated for her second Academy Award, and she is one of America’s favorite period actresses.

Knightley was first nominated for the 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel “Pride and Prejudice” playing the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet.

She has always impressed in her films playing Elizabeth Swann in the first three “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, Cecilia Tallis in “Atonement” and even showing her vocal abilities in the music-based film, “Begin Again.”

Knightley has been nominated for so many awards over the span of her career, which only started about 13 years ago. She is also a favorite among fans, having won seven Teen Choice Awards.

The Academy loves someone who is willing to go to great lengths for his or her roles, and seeing as Knightley is always game for wearing a corset and dying (another Academy favorite), it shouldn’t be too long until she picks up the award.

Julianne Moore

Moore is perfection on the big screen. She has been nominated four other times for an Academy Award and is finally seen as the frontrunner this year.

She was first nominated in 1998 for playing a porn star opposite Mark Wahlberg in the drama, “Boogie Nights.”

Then, she was nominated again two years later in “The End of the Affair,” as a woman stuck in between her husband (Stephen Rea) and her former lover (Ralph Fiennes).

Then came 2003, when Moore was nominated for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for “Far From Heaven” and “The Hours,” respectively.

This probably hurt her chances more than it helped them because voters might have been torn on which category she deserved more.

The awards ended up going to her “The Hours” costar, Nicole Kidman (Best Actress), and Catherine Zeta-Jones for “Chicago” (Best Supporting Actress).

“Still Alice” is just the type of film Moore needed to finally secure the award. The Academy will love her character, who is struggling with early onset Alzheimer’s.

This year’s Academy Award for Best Actress is Moore’s to lose.

Emma Stone

This is another case of a “who doesn’t love her?” actress.

Stone has continuously shined in her performances since her breakout as Anna Faris’ smart friend in 2008’s “The House Bunny.” She’s played a woman taking on zombies, a journalist looking to make a change during the segregation era and Spider-Man’s girlfriend.

And, let’s not forget she was the one who ended up with Ryan Gosling — and his abs — in the romantic comedy, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”

Accomplishing a rare feat, Stone was even nominated for a Golden Globe for 2010’s “Easy A.” While she truly showed her talent for comedy and her ability to lead a film by herself, it isn’t often a teen comedy film is nominated for any type of major award.

Stone finally lands her first Academy Award nomination for this year’s “Birdman,” in which she plays the recovering addict daughter and assistant of fellow Academy Award nominee Michael Keaton’s Riggan Thomson.

We can be sure Stone is not going to fall off the radar anytime soon, so even if this is not her year, she will be likely to garner many more award nominations in the future.

Meryl Streep

All hail Queen Meryl, the only actress on this list that needs another Academy Award.

Even if you don’t like Streep, which is blasphemy in itself, you can still appreciate the fact that she gives her all to every single role she has played.

So, it comes as no surprise that Streep is the most nominated actor ever and gets nominated for almost every role she plays.

One of the best roles Streep ever played was that of Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada.”

Unfortunately, she lost that year to Helen Mirren, who played an actual queen.

So, it was very exciting when Streep won again for the first time in almost 30 years for playing a titular character in “The Iron Lady.”

Streep is, once again, nominated for Best Supporting Actress for taking on Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical as The Witch in “Into the Woods.”

Streep stands out amongst an ensemble cast, and was nominated for an Academy Award, even though Bernadette Peters did not get nominated for a Tony Award for playing the same role in the original Broadway production.

It seems Streep will lose the award to Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood.”

The only thing that could’ve given Streep a better chance for the win was if the Disney film stuck to the original storyline and killed The Witch’s daughter, Rapunzel.

Then, she would’ve had more emotional depth throughout the second half of the film, especially when she belts her big number.

So, where are the awards for these women?

All of these actresses are loved both in Hollywood and among viewers. Hopefully, all of them will have an Academy Award, or another, sitting on their shelves soon.

This article first appeared on Elite Daily on Jan. 15, 2015 and can be found here.

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