Main Oscar Bait Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

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.
02:18:44 AM Aug 31st 2016
We don't need it, but I believe we should keep it because it illustrates perfectly the point the entry (and the movie) was trying to make regarding the use of mentally handicapped characters to fish for Oscars.

It just happens to use an unfortunate word that is (rightfully I may add) more and more seen as offensive and less widely used than it was at the time of the movie's release. I wouldn't call it hate speech or discrimination though, as the point of the speech isn't to attack people with mental disabilities.

Let me use another example. Say we have a quote from a Tarantino movie that contains the word "nigger" or any of its variations. Should we remove the quote entirely, even if outside of that one word it isn't actually attacking black people?

Also, I hope I don't go down in history as "Guy who wanted to keep using R-word".
05:09:13 AM Aug 31st 2016
We're not here to discuss whether "retarded" is on the same level as the N-word, because it certainly isn't.

I'll respond on the associated ATT thread.
05:26:23 AM Aug 31st 2016
For the record, many deem it as discrimination and hate speech and have pushed to make it so. I could provide examples if you like, but let's look at the scene in question.

I get the idea of movies that address something like mental disabilities, or race, or gender, or religion, or any other sensitive topic you would like to name, thinking that those involved are brave to use such content to win Oscars. I do. My takeaway from Tropic Thunder is that it Crosses the Line Twice and much of the humor stems from what the characters do or the writers get away with, kinda like Family Guy except better.

This scene in particular, it serves to spoof or mock the idea sure, but to use another example what if this was on the page for Saving Private Ryan?

As Tom Hanks' character stumbles onto the shores of Normandy the ocean is already wet with the blood of the young men who were just moments ago praying and puking knowing the hell that awaits them. Time seems to stop as the ringing from the shellshock of the landing craft being bombed rages on Captain Miller's mind, the terror of the drowning soldiers, his men running out burning alive, the powerful rounds from the Nazi machine gun bunkers shredding limbs off his comrades as medics futilely cut their hands trying to push back guts and intestines of the wounded a sight that will haunt him for the rest of his days.

A great scene from a great film. One most would know and those who don't can easily look up. Does it need a blow by blow account? Thoughts?
05:52:56 AM Aug 31st 2016
That's... hardly the same. It's not a blow-by-blow, it's a quote. A quote directly discussing this trope.

It's certainly worth mentioning the discussion here and frankly, the quote does a better job illustrating it than talking about the quote would.
05:56:01 PM Aug 31st 2016
If the example is not needed as suggested why then do we want this particular example?
03:24:13 AM Sep 1st 2016
Read Larkmarn's post.
04:16:12 PM Sep 3rd 2016
A hate speech filled quote mocking the idea of using people with disabilities to win Oscars is worth exactly?
12:52:42 AM Sep 4th 2016
Read Larkmarn's post. Or since you seem unwilling too:

"the quote does a better job illustrating it than talking about the quote would"
05:25:16 PM Sep 4th 2016
Given the rampant discrimination in said quote is it really needed though? What if it was on race or religion instead?
04:18:26 AM Sep 9th 2016
edited by Nithael
No, you don't get to remove the quote by edit warring over it when everybody has been against you and told you as much several times.
04:54:51 AM Sep 9th 2016
Okay explain it to me if you would: we don't need the quote as said, we just want it and the fact that the disabled may find it offensive somehow doesn't matter. Am I getting it wrong somehow?
01:40:41 PM Sep 9th 2016
edited by Larkmarn
Okay, so to update: The quote (and by extension, the example) was pulled based on mod Fighteer saying in Ask The Tropers that the section it was in was a mess, which may be another discussion. He also explicitly said that pulling it solely because it has a quote that uses an offensive word is not grounds for pulling it. The example (and quote) have since been moved to the "Spoofs" section with fixed indentation.

Now, we can discuss if the quote is necessary or helpful here. TS, you're currently outvoted at the moment and have thus far offered no argument other than the "it's an offensive word" which is moot. If you have any other arguments, or suggested fixes, I'm happy to hear them.
02:52:33 PM Sep 9th 2016
edited by tsstevens
Yes. It is a generalization, it is natter, it is a violation of example sorting. Hence the quote should not be used to describe oscar bait. Now as far as moving it to say it is a spoof of this trope, seeing as it is a contested entry I'd probably want to ask if that would be okay first. I don't have a huge problem with it but maybe a mod voice should have their say first.
04:14:39 PM Sep 9th 2016
You seem to have no idea what was wrong with the exampke in the first place based on that last post.

Please, try to just make some sort of argument without just going "it's offensive and must go". You repeating yourself is just tiring.
04:36:39 PM Sep 9th 2016
This was actually Fighteer's argument so I'm not sure where you get the idea that I'm repeating myself. Either way whether or not the example is here isn't going to keep me up at night so if you want it that badly you can have it.
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.
Collapse/Expand Topics