As we ready our Oscar prediction sheets and prepare our Ellen DeGeneres-themed drinking games for this Sunday's Academy Awards live broadcast, we can't help but feel also feel a vicarious tinge of sadness. Why? Because, for the brief moments of eye-brimming victory we'll witness, there's going to be even more loss.
The majority of (equally qualified) nominees will simply walk away empty-handed, and some may disappear from our radar entirely. Of course, winning doesn't guarantee anything, either: If history has taught us anything, it's that being on top always means you'll have to come down at some point. Just ask Timothy Hutton, the brilliant 20-year-old who won his first Oscar in 1980, and then essentially dematerialized from the public consciousness. Or Glenn Close, who is every bit the legend Meryl Steep is, but has a lot less award bling to show for it. Then, of course, there's the American Beauty dream team of Thora Birch and Mena Suvari — as you'll see, their red-carpet journey since the Y2K era has not exactly been smooth. With these memorable dark-horse talents in mind, we compiled a list of other actors and actresses we think deserve a second chance at Oscar glory — or at the very least, a bona fide, silver-screen comeback. (Yes, Walkens are welcome.)