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There’s something of a science to getting your movie nominated for an Oscar. There’s even a term for the sort of movie that gets released with a seeming expectation of being nominated, “Oscar bait.” You know these movies. They get released sometime between late September and New Year’s Eve. They’re heavy dramas starring major Hollywood stars who are often known for having starred in similar films. They’re serious dramas about important issues and deep emotions or they’re biographies of interesting people. However, just because some movies think they have a shot at being nominated, doesn’t mean it happens. Sometimes the Academy just doesn’t bite at the Oscar bait.

The thing about a lot of the “Oscar bait” movies is that, while they may be obvious attempts at nabbing awards, they forget to do the most important thing that must be done — make a good movie. Sometimes movies seem to hope they’ll be considered for Oscars simply because they released their emotional drama in December, seeming to think that people will overlook the fact that their movie isn’t very good. Here are six cases where that clearly happened.

Seven Pounds

Will Smith is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet and in addition to making a number of the biggest summer blockbuster movies ever, he’s also made his share of awards-worthy dramas and has been nominated for the Best Actor award on a couple of occasions. Seven Pounds was surely expected to be one of them. It starred Smith as a man who accidently causes the deaths of seven people, leading him to try to make amends by saving the lives of seven good people. The movie was a box office success, but critics thought that the movie was too self-important for its own good.

Oscar Noms: Zero

January 13, 2017
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