Every year sees films which are just made to fetch awards. Not the small ones. Oh, no sir. They have their eyes on the elusive prize: the Oscar. At times these movies are made very well but don’t get the recognition they envisioned. 2017 had its fair share of Oscar-bait movies, as we like to call them. Now mind you, these films aren’t bad, but certainly were made to garner awards either for their leads or technical aspects. ‘Darkest Hour’ was one of them but alas, it succeeded. So here is the list of top 10 failed Oscar bait movies of 2017. Happy reading!
This was perhaps the most up-front and obvious choice for the list. Featuring two up and coming A-listers in the form of Garfield and Claire Foy (‘The Crown’), ‘Breathe’ focuses on the life of Robin Cavendish, who was discovered with polio at the untimely age of 28 and was deemed to be a short-lived visitor on earth. Defying all odds and conniving with his friend at Oxford, he finds a solution for all paralyzed patients across the world with an electric chair. We’ve seen similar story in ‘The Theory of Everything’. ‘Breathe’ is a decent movie, but the way it is paced to accommodate as much time as possible for a paralyzed Garfield shows its ambitions to win awards.
2. The Greatest Showman
Each year a film comes along that resonates with the audiences. ‘The Greatest Showman’ is not that film. It is also nowhere close to ‘La La Land’. Based on the life of PT Barnum, the film tells the story of a struggling artist and his visionary plans to change the face of showmanship and circus in general. The film’s strength is its contagious lead, Hugh Jackman, and the incredible music that certainly doesn’t disappoint. But the film has nothing in the form of a story and survives on charms of its leading stars.
There were two mainstream films this year that had Native Americans at the heart of them: ‘Hostiles’ and ‘Wind River’. One deserved all the laurels in the world and the other didn’t. As life always is, both returned empty-handed. ‘Hostiles’ was the one that was obvious Oscar-bait. Featuring Christian Bale in the lead, the film’s narrative sees him assume the role of Army Capt. Joseph Blocker, who agrees to take a Cheyyene chief and his family to his home. On their way, they encounter a widowed belle whose family was brutally murdered. They must now traverse the rest of their journey dodging other tribesmen who are wary of the “intruders”. The above average film does a wonderful job capturing the Americas of the 1800s. But its tonal misrepresentations and overly long running time prove to be its demise.
Harrelson had a breathtaking year with four amazing performances, even getting an Oscar nomination for ‘Three Billboards’. This film certainly qualifies in that regard and weaves an intricate tale of deceit, lies, and illusions. The “power-hungry” humanist, as LBJ is portrayed, is the driving force of the film and features him taking the reins of the presidency after Kennedy’s unfortunate assassination. To sum up here’s Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus: “LBJ loses sight of its complicated subject, ignoring the more intriguing aspects of his personality and career in favor of a frustratingly ordinary biopic treatment.
5. Victoria and Abdul
‘Victoria and Abdul’ explores the relationship between Queen Victoria and her servant Abdul Karim. Its obvious theme is the stereotypical barriers that love faced back in the times such as race, class, social status, and religion. Ali Fazal, the Bollywood actor, does a commendable job and makes the most of his opportunity to share the screen with one of the greatest screen-actresses of all time. The movie was warmly received but was overlooked by the Academy because its muddled presentation.
Read More: Best Movies of 2017