Films that tried too hard to win an Oscar
On the flipside, anything that’s popular with audiences and/or made a lot of money at the box office stands about as much chance of winning as Kate Winslet getting through an acceptance speech without blubbing hysterically.
[Related feature: The biggest Oscar scandals]
But not every movie that has ticked all the right boxes makes the grade, in fact the annals of Oscar history are littered with discarded flicks that should have been a shoo-in for glory but still missed out. The films that tried perhaps a bit too hard to win awards...
And the Oscar doesn’t go to… J.Edgar (2012)
Last year’s try-hard came in the form of Clint Eastwood’s much-fancied biopic of the controversial FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
Everyone thought the statuettes were imminent when the stellar cast and sweeping historical subject matter were announced, whilst the early buzz seemed to set Leonardo DiCaprio on course for Oscars glory.
So what went wrong? Well people watched it, and most of them didn’t like it. In fact ‘J.Edgar’ was derided by critics. The Academy followed suit.
And the Oscar doesn’t go to… Invictus (2009)
‘J.Edgar’ wasn’t the first time that one of Clint’s films has been snubbed. Back in 2009 ‘Invictus’, his biographical sports drama of apartheid Africa, seemed tailor-made for awards recognition. It even had Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela!
But it wasn’t to be. Whilst its leading men received nods in their respective acting categories, the film and its director were snubbed. Clint took it all in his stride however, telling reporters: “I've been around a long time and probably they should give somebody else a look."
Spitting image... Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar in Invictus (Credit: Warner Bros.)
And the Oscar doesn’t go to… Frost/Nixon (2008)
Take one historical biopic about a much-reviled American President. Throw in some excellent work behind the cameras by an Academy favourite director, and some truly convincing performances in front of them by two respected thesps. Et voila... you have a recipe for Oscar success.