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The Real Issue with Oscar-Bait Films

Amna

3 minutes read
The Real Issue with Oscar-Bait Films

With the Oscars right around the corner, 11th March 2024, it’s time to shine a spotlight on one of the most pressing issues plaguing Hollywood award season: Oscar-bait films. You probably already know the ones I’m talking about – those movies that seem to pop up like clockwork towards the end of the year, strategically crafted to snag Academy Award nominations. But what exactly makes a film Oscar bait, and why should we care?

 

Image Credit: Amazon

Two most common types of Oscar baits you see are films with period settings depicting major world tragedies such as ‘1917’ or movies overtly pushing a social agenda such as ‘Don’t Look Up.’  Now, don’t get me wrong – there have been some incredible films that fit this bill, offering profound insights into history and society. However, for every gem, there’s a handful of forgettable films that feel more like calculated attempts to win trophies than genuine attempts at art.


Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Take, for example, the recent buzz around "Oppenheimer." Sure, it's received acclaim from critics, but is it truly a masterpiece or just another cog in the Oscar machine? That's the question we need to ask ourselves as consumers of cinema.

The problem with Oscar bait films isn't just their existence—it's the fact that they often prioritize accolades over authenticity. These formulaic flicks deprive audiences of diverse storytelling and genuine creativity, flooding theaters with predictable plots. Instead of inviting viewers on a journey, they pander to Academy voters, sacrificing substance for the sake of shiny statues.

But it's not just about the films themselves—it's about how they treat their audience. Oscar bait movies often overlook the people sitting in the theater seats, more concerned with winning awards than providing an enjoyable experience. And isn't that the whole point of cinema? To transport us, to move us, to make us feel something real?