Main Oscar Bait Discussion

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04:06:34 PM Aug 30th 2016
Do we really need the full scene from Tropic Thunder given it's full of discrimination and hate speech? Seeking consensus on whether or not to pull.
06:54:04 PM Jul 25th 2014
There aren't any videogame examples, although there have been a few sites/people (Zero Punctuation in particular) describing "The Last of Us" as the videogame equivalent of Oscar Bait.

Bringing this up because the movie has officially been announced.

02:53:56 AM Jul 26th 2014
Methinks that unless the film is already out, one doesn't need to worry about troping it.
10:26:38 PM Jul 5th 2014
edited by
This trope is horribly pretentious. It assumes that all these films are made solely for the reason of winning Oscars (which I strongly doubt for the wast majority of them). If you make a serious, slow movie that will not do to well economically and is emotionally taxing to work on you are obviously insincere and can only, possibly be doing it just to win Oscars? But if you make a big, dumb, blockbuster that brings you ton of cash then you are the epitome of sincerity and Doing It for the Art? Because that is the sentiment I get from this article.

And why are people complaining that these films supposedly (as one commenter above put it) "bash viewers over the head with what emotions they should be feeling". ALL art does that. A good comedy tells you to laugh. A good action film tells you to be entertained. A good tragedy tells you to feel sad. The primary language of art is to transmit emotions. Films that fail that are one ting: boring. But why is it a bad thing when a sad film is "manipulatively" making you feel sad, when it's not a bad thing when a funny film is manipulatively making you laugh or a horror film is manipulatively making you afraid?
06:40:57 PM May 25th 2015
The only film that I've seen that can qualify for this trope is Seven Pounds, most definitely, but it's not even on here (but somehow American Beauty is??)

Drama =/= Oscar Baiting.
02:38:15 AM May 1st 2011
edited by Hammerhead
I'm sure I'm violating several civility rules here, but whatever.

Half the examples in this page just come off as a bunch of bitching from people who've never actually seen the films. I mean, American Beauty? Really? Come on. Yes, some of them are oscar bait (Clint Eastwood's films in particular), but that does not mean they are bad- which this article seems to imply. Look up some of these movies and see the reception they've gotten. This article itself needs a complete overhaul along with the YMMV status. Maybe I say all this because I'm good friends with a lot of film critics (though I know critics don't matter to a lot of people here. I should also let people know that (most) of the critics I know are not the "stuffy intellectual" type that I'm sure many tropers think of), but many of these are not oscar bait. Just because a movie is drama, and just plain drama, and doesn't cater to the nerd within (as in; is not sci-fi, is not anime, and is not by an auteur director. Remove those elements and 90% of the "Exceptions" would be straight under oscar bait) does NOT mean it's oscar bait. If you're going to list Oscar Bait movies, at least do stuff like Amelia and Country Strong.

02:23:28 PM Aug 17th 2011
edited by gfrequency
Making cynical assumptions about tropers' cynical assumptions about studio executives' cynical assumptions about audiences? We need to go deeper.

Seriously, though, the most I'd suggest, if anything, is slapping the page with a YMMV tab — it's happening to everything else remotely contentious these days, after all — but the examples listed shouldn't be pruned as long as reasons are given for their inclusion in the first place. Otherwise it just boils down to Complaining about People Not Liking the Show. (Honestly, American Beauty is the film that comes to mind when I think Oscar Bait, and at least one other person obviously thought of it as such, as I wasn't the one who added it to the list — though having been subjected to it at least four times throughout screenwriting class in college, I might be inclined to if it weren't there already.)

As for the tone of the rest of the page and the "aversions" listed, I think it's at the very least understandable. The trope describes a cynical attempt by filmmakers to bash viewers over the head with what emotions they should be feeling and how profound they ought to find the film's message, and an equally cynical attempt by studio execs to turn a profit on said exploitation. It's hard to put a friendly face on that. No one would say all movies that qualify as Oscar Bait are bad, but given the generally dead-horse nature of the plot elements that go into this sort of movie, it is a little surprising when one turns out to actually be good. Likewise, I can't fault anyone for finding it just as surprising when a sci-fi or fantasy film gets an Oscar nod, let alone an actual Oscar, simply because the Academy's attitude toward said genres is notoriously "stuffy," as you put it (yes, I do know some Academy members, and have yet to meet one who doesn't think like this).

Anyway, I personally think the page is fine as it is, but if a YMMV tab will rescue it from being put on permanent lockdown and painted with smiley faces, so be it.
07:21:35 PM Jan 17th 2012
edited by moshimoshi44
Looking over some of the articles, Oscar Bait can be YMMV topic. Case in point: The Artist. This page says that it's an aversion (being listed under the aversion's list for entertaining audiences but also being an Oscar favourite) but on it's own page, Oscar Bait is listed as a trope played straight (for being B & W and silent). What's constitutes as Oscar Bait does differ with at least two people out there.
09:10:19 PM Jan 18th 2012
It should certainly be YMMV, with the examples all lumped together with no "aversions" or "exceptions." While the meaning of "Oscar Bait" may be objective enough, its actual hallmarks are continually evolving, "Seinfeld is Unfunny"/"Follow the Leader"-style.
11:07:38 PM Aug 20th 2013
This is exactly why the term is so obnoxious: it means essentially whatever the person who's saying it wants it to mean, and lots of movies are only associated with the term retroactively. Do you think American Beauty was considered Oscar Bait when it was first released in 1999? But now it's considered the pinnacle of Oscar Bait? Why?

It's just another cynical and snarky way of dismissing movies that are sincere attempts to create serious films for adult audiences, something we don't see often enough these days.
05:07:30 AM Jan 3rd 2014
I completely agree, Hammerhead.
04:40:30 AM Dec 12th 2010
I found this comment in the comment section of an AVClub article. Can I put it in the quotes section? It somehow seems to fit...

"The sound and acting violently told you how you were supposed to feel, obnoxiously reminded you how you were supposed to feel, intrusively check in to make sure you were feeling it, and then beat you over the head to make sure you appreciated the effort."
You just described how Oscar winning movies are made.
02:44:12 PM Sep 5th 2010
  • In fact, after the success of Moulin Rouge! and Chicago, almost all musicals are Oscar bait. Let's see what will happen with this year's Nine.

What happened, of course, is that, despite an all-star cast, Nine was critically panned and didn't even get a single nomination.
04:40:02 AM Dec 12th 2010
edited by Sen
01:58:55 AM Feb 7th 2011
It got four nominations. That's SOMETHING. But nothing for the Big Prizes.
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