What are Oscar bait movies? Oscar bait movies are made for one reason: to rake in Academy Award nominations. These prestige films are not necessarily even meant to make money at the box office. Here are 15 films that wanted to take home an Academy Award but failed to garner a single Oscar nomination.
Usually released in the late fall or early winter so Academy voters will remember them, Oscar bait films are typically heavy dramas based on historical events or feature a controversial civic issue like capital punishment. Sometimes they are stories about real-life people who overcame adversity like mental illness or fought against all odds to achieve their dreams.
Oscar bait movies are sometimes grand epics with acclaimed ensemble casts led by an esteemed director. Other times, they are smaller independent films with an A-List actor willing to not only take scale pay but also add or lose a tremendous amount of weight or otherwise alter their appearance.
Unfortunately, many of the dramas intended to induce tears or tell an epic story come off as contrived and pretentious. Some of these failed Oscar bait films are truly bad movies, while others were okay but just not good enough to gain Oscar’s attention.