Oscar bait

  Often used in a derogatory way to describe studio-invented pre-release PR buzz that a film (usually an epic or serious biopic released late in the year) is worthy, meaningful, and deserving of Oscar awards; the term was reportedly first used by Hedda Hopper in a "Looking at Hollywood" column on June 1, 1948; the term either refers to (1) a self-proclaimed, "important", often over-produced film, undercut by its attempt to appeal to all demographics, or (2) a showy acting performance designed to draw attention to itself; these kinds of films and performances were the sort that used to guarantee an Oscar from Academy voters during the film industry's adolescent years of the 1950's and early 1960's, but are now considered either pretentious and/or cheesy in the modern age, and ironically often hurt the film's or actor's chances at winning an Oscar, though some films still succeed; aka Oscarbation
  Examples: The Alamo (1960) and Chill Wills' campaign for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar was the first major example of "Oscar bait" backlash; also Hello, Dolly! (1969), Paint Your Wagon (1969), The Towering Inferno (1974), Inchon (1982); recent examples include The Last Samurai (2003), Alexander (2004), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) and The Pursuit of Happyness (2006); Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Gandhi (1982) and The English Patient (1996) are examples of successful "Oscar bait"; Christopher Guest's For Your Consideration (2006), a mockumentary about movie-making, examined Hollywood's obsession with awards by its story of an indie production titled Home for Purim.

Glossary of cinematic terms . 2015.

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