Every year, the Academy Awards aggravate a number of movie fans. Either they snub a popular movie thought deserving of Best Picture, i.e. The Dark Knight, or they nominate and then even award the top Oscar to a film that a bunch of us don't like, i.e. The Artist. As we continue spouting our thoughts on social media and movie websites (everyone has a review blog these days), there is an ever-growing attention on these contrarian or backlash opinions, and you know we'll be seeing plenty of complaints come nomination time.
I've already asked readers for thoughts on the popular movies -- specifically blockbusters -- that should be recognized. Now it's time to be a bit negative and look at those we think shouldn't. Since we're well into awards season, which seems to begin earlier and earlier each year, we're already well into the time of adverse opinions, the "For Your Dismissal" crowd if you will. It's in part the blame of the industry blatantly producing and pushing movies as Oscar contenders first and foremost and actual products for our enjoyment second.
Defining and discerning the most obvious Oscar bait is easy, though it's not always the fault of the filmmakers themselves. The Master, for instance, was probably made for reasons other than or primary to awards greed. Biopics, however, are likely entered by actors for their Oscar potential. And any stage musical adaptation, such as Les Miserables, that features a newly composed number, is the clearest offender, that added song being an unnecessary grab for at least a Best Original song nomination.
Oscar contenders are some of the most divisive films ever made, especially in the very early days when it was incredibly political and more recent times, ever since Harvey Weinstein became infamous for seeking little gold men seemingly above aiming for big green bills. And the Academy's biggest critics expect the safest, sappiest and squarest pictures to earn the major categories nowadays.
Consciousness of a film's awards contention or hopefullness can certainly bring a negative prejudice going into a number of this year's releases, including Silver Linings Playbook, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, Hitchcock, Cloud Atlas and Anna Karenina, works that are impossible not to be met with a disappointed stamp of "overrated" by those sorts of moviegoers.
So, while we have a couple months still until we hear what's nominated, as long as the studios are sending out screeners and buying ad space all over the trades and Internet asking voters "For Your Consideration," I ask you:
What Oscar contenders do you hope are NOT nominated?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
Join the next discussion on Twiter by following Christopher Campbell (@thefilmcynic) and Movies.com (@Moviesdotcom).