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Playing With / Oscar Bait

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Basic Trope: A movie dealing with serious subject matter is nominated for and/or wins many major awards, specifically the Academy Awards.

  • Straight Trope: An Afternoon at the Trope Cafe deals with Alice and Bob's struggles on the homefront during World War II, while their black employee Charles deals with '40's era racism. It is nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and wins Best Supporting Actor for the actor playing Charles, Best Costuming, and Best Score.
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  • Exaggerated: AA@tTC also has Bob and Alice lose their newborn baby, Charles' son Danny comes back from the war with amputated legs, Alice and Bob's Japanese neighbors are taken away to a Japanese internment camp, and Danny's girlfriend Ellie dies in a back-alley abortion, all of this Based on a True Story. It is nominated for every possible Oscar (even Best Foreign Language Film and Best Animated Film), and is given the Best Picture trophy without contest.
  • Downplayed: AA@tTC is nominated for three Oscars but wins none, but still receives critical praise.
  • Justified: AA@tTC has excellent acting, directing and writing.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: AA@tTC' gets critical praise but doesn't appear to be the frontrunner for Best Picture.
  • Double Subverted: But Oscar night it wins anyway.
  • Parodied: An overwrought played-for-laughs melodrama wins Best Picture.
  • Zigzagged: As often is the case some years darker pictures win Best Picture, other years more comedic (although usually dark comedies) win.
  • Averted: A light fluffy comedy sweeps the Oscars.
  • Enforced: Originally AA@tTC is just about Alice and Bob, but then producers add Charles' story to add Academy appeal.
  • Lampshaded:
    Charles: If they ever made a movie about me, it'd win all the Oscars.
  • Invoked: AA@tTC uses these qualities to appeal at the Oscars in its "For Your Consideration" campaign.
  • Exploited: On its home video release, AA@tTC uses the win as a selling point. "See the movie that swept the Oscars!"
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  • Discussed: AA@tTC features a scene with Charles talking about making a movie about his struggles, suggesting it'd win several Oscars.
  • Conversed:
    • Troperz, a comedy TV show, does a parody of the Oscars to lampshade this trope.
    • All The Tropes Fit To List, a commentary web show, uses the Oscars as the subject of their show "Top 10 Ways People Try and Get Oscars."
  • Deconstructed: The Academy sees AA@tTC as so excessively and cynically manipulative that the film receives neither nominations nor awards.
  • Reconstructed: Troper, My Troper deals with similar subject matter to AA@tTC. However, using the former film as a cautionary example, the creators of TMT concentrate on solid storytelling, subtle dialogue, understated but compelling acting, and tasteful cinematography. As a result, the film is critically acclaimed, receives five Oscar nominations and wins two: Best Picture and Best Director.

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