Trumbo (AKA: "Shut up and take my money!")
THIS is how you make a movie trailer.
Looks kinda like Oscar bait, but at least it's compelling Oscar bait. Sort of an interesting choice to choose Jay Roach to direct, who orchestrated one of the worst movies ever made, Dinner for Schmucks, only five years ago.
JK, I actually like Jay Roach as a whole, who has done a lot of funny stuff in the past, but I must always bring up Dinner for Schmucks. Never forget.
[Scott Roberts] "Looks kinda like Oscar bait, "
See, that's where you and I differ. You look at anything biopic-y or historical as Oscar bait, and I think of anything as edgy, dark, and music by someone like Trent Reznor as Oscar bait. Basically the movie equivalent of Breaking Bad or The Wire, which were Emmy bait royales with cheeze and a side of bile. I hate that stuff almost more than there are words for.
Fortunately there are pictures and explosions.
I should note for the record though that Bryan Cranston winning as many Oscars as he has Emmys is fine by me. The more the merrier.
[Tim Wilson] "I think of anything as edgy, dark, and music by someone like Trent Reznor as Oscar bait."
Well, take something like Gone Girl; last year's edgy, dark, Reznor scored film, with the critically acclaimed director, major stars, was very popular, and (in my opinion) very excellent. That just got one pity Oscar nomination for Rosamund Pike.
Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure The Theory of Everything was guaranteed an Oscar win and 7 other nominations from the very second the first press release photo of Eddie Redmayne in a wheelchair was released. Yeah. *THAT'S* Oscar bait. That's one of the most Oscar baity things to ever Oscar bait. The trailer almost seemed like a Funny or Die parody of what Oscar bait should be. I'm 99% sure that the project was pitched to studio executives as an "awards movie", more than anything else.
My main indicators of Oscar bait: Is the main selling point someone doing an impression of a real person? Does it have generically inspiring themes? Is someone overcoming adversity? Is it a sprawling story of someone's life? So it's a true story? Bonus points for being a costume-y period piece?
To be honest, I don't consider things like Whiplash, Django Unchained, No Country for Old Men, Up in the Air, Her, Black Swan, District 9, or Birdman to be Oscar bait, merely just movies that *thankfully* got recognition. Because they're good.
Here's some movies that probably shouldn't deserve the recognition of a Best Picture nomination, but got it anyway because they are generic Oscar bait, right from the get-go:
The Blind Side - GREAT IMPRESSION OF SOMEONE, GENERICALLY INSPIRING, OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, TRUE STORY
The Imitation Game - GREAT IMPRESSION OF SOMEONE, OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, SPRAWLING LIFE STORY, COSTUME PERIOD PIECE, TRUE STORY
The Theory of Everything - GREAT IMPRESSION OF SOMEONE, GENERICALLY INSPIRING, OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, SPRAWLING LIFE STORY, COSTUME PERIOD PIECE, TRUE STORY
Lincoln - GREAT IMPRESSION OF SOMEONE, GENERICALLY INSPIRING, OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, COSTUME PERIOD PIECE, TRUE STORY
The King's Speech - GREAT IMPRESSION OF SOMEONE, GENERICALLY INSPIRING, OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, COSTUME PERIOD PIECE, TRUE STORY
You get the idea. And here's some more:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Those were all nominated for Best Picture (and several other things). Like, are ANY of those movies in ANYONE'S top ten favorite movies? Top 50? Does anyone even remember these movies anymore?
And I'm not sure what the Tree of Life is on the spectrum of things, other than terrible, but even that felt like it *deserved* nominations based on some kind of Oscar bait checklist principle.
Yet... Of all my favorite "dark, edgy, Breaking Bad/Wire equivalent" films of the last few years that I didn't mention above, such as (but not limited to): Nightcrawler, Snowpiercer (I know, I know, we've had THAT debate before, haha), Side Effects, The Place Beyond the Pines, Looper, Dredd, Drive, etc. Well, I don't think many people are going to consider those movies to be Oscar bait, even if a few of them got Oscar noms.
In fact, a few "dark, edgy" movies that I really enjoyed that were heavy Oscar contenders were along the lines of:
12 Years a Slave - TRUE STORY, OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, COSTUME PERIOD PIECE, GENERICALLY INSPIRING, SPRAWLING LIFE STORY
Argo - GREAT IMPRESSION OF SOMEONE, TRUE STORY, OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, COSTUME PERIOD PIECE, GENERICALLY INSPIRING
Zero Dark Thirty - TRUE STORY, OVERCOMING ADVERSITY
The Fighter - GREAT IMPRESSION OF SOMEONE, TRUE STORY, OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, GENERICALLY INSPIRING, SPRAWLING LIFE STORY
Slumdog Millionaire - OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, COSTUME PERIOD PIECE, GENERICALLY INSPIRING, SPRAWLING LIFE STORY
And so on...
If you want my faith restored in the Academy Awards this year, then Mad Max Fury Road should (REALISTICALLY) be nominated for no less than 11 awards:
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Music Score (I listen to Tom Holkenborg's score in my car, like, A LOT... it's awesome)
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup and Hair
Best Production Design (if you disagree on this one, please read ANY article on the car design process)
Best Visual Effects
Best Supporting Actress - Charlize Theron (ok, kind of a stretch, but it could happen)
And they should invent a category for Best Stunt Work just to give inaugurally to Fury Road this year
And seriously, I wouldn't really consider an insane Australian car chase action film to be Oscar bait. No one should. But it deserves all of this.
So, to sum things up... Trumbo looks like Oscar bait, which doesn't necessarily make it bad in any way, but c'mon, it's totally Oscar bait.
And I would be cool with Bryan Cranston winning a bunch of Oscars in his career as well. But I'm a big Breaking Bad fan... :)
[Scott Roberts] "And they should invent a category for Best Stunt Work just to give inaugurally to Fury Road this year"
They have been trying to get that category for years. It will never happen but I fully support it.