This list was co-authored by Kristin Dreyer Kramer of NightsAndWeekends.com. Check her out as the guest host of Fat Guys at the Movies Episode 41: Oscar Bait!
So often, as film critics, we are told what an awesome job we have. Not only do we get to see movies before everyone else does, but we get to see them for free. Well, we assure you that it’s not all it’s been cracked up to be.
Just think of the dozens of movies that you choose to avoid every year. We have to sit through them. Whether it’s January, and we’re required to see crap like Norbit and Codename: The Cleaner or it’s award season and we have to sit through the pretentious mess that the studios feed us in hopes of Oscar gold, being a film critic can be brutal.
Like any other year, 2007 has been filled with movies that the studios whore out to critics in order to get awards. The worst ones are the films that take themselves too seriously or cover the “meaningful” issues. Occasionally, these films actually win awards, so each year we are guaranteed a steady stream of this crap in the late-fall and winter.
We’ve had to suffer through a lot lately, and while some of these flicks have yet to be shown to us, we’ve seen enough to assemble a comprehensive list of ten worst Oscar-bait movies of 2007.
10. August Rush
Maybe we’re just cold-hearted bastards, but this film was too heavy on the emotion and too light on the logic. From Robin Williams homeless Bono impression to the mother who doesn’t question her son’s birthday disappearance, we all hated this film.
9. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Yes, the Fat Guys applaud the copious amount of nudity we got from Marisa Tomei, but did it have to be alongside Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s lumpy butt cheeks? And did director Sidney Lumet really think he was being clever by disguising his Memento/Tarantino chronology with wacky music cues?
Yeah, we know that Michael Moore actually has a chance to win an Oscar with this one, but aren’t we all sick of that guy – and his pretentious-yet-quirky narration? He’s one fat guy too many for us.
7. Any and all war/political documentaries
Inspired by the previous entry, we’re tired of all the politically-charged, preachy docos in the running for the Oscar. So many great flicks – like The King of Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters, Air Guitar Nation and In the Shadow of the Moon were left on the chopping block.
6. I Know Who Killed Me
Ha! Made you look! Seriously, though, it is remotely possible that the studio wanted this for the awards slate before Lindsay Lohan became a complete public lush and went through that annoying tabloid rehab… or was that her other flop, Georgia Rule?
5. The Brave One
Even great actors like Jodie Foster can try too hard. Don’t you already have two Oscars on your mantelpiece, Jodie? When is enough enough?
4. Things We Lost in the Fire
This was one of the first serious shots at Oscar gold. And while it was well acted and looked nice, this film bored the crap out of all of us. Halle Berry has to quit trying to be a serious actor and do another Swordfish.
3. Into the Wild
Sean Penn, you’re not that cool. Yeah, your film looked nice, but reign in those artistic shots, and find an editor that isn’t afraid to tell you to stop masturbating on the screen.
2. The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
Also a contender for the longest title of the year, it could have been more appropriately named The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford in the Movie That Had to be Watched By the Very Bored Kevin Carr Who Wished He Could Be Somewhere Else.
1. Lions for Lambs
No matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on, the overwhelming consensus is that Robert Redford’s talky movie-on-a-soapbox was a snoozefest and a harbinger of doom for Tom Cruise. Were they serious about making this a serious stab at the Oscar? Apparently they were.
Home of the Brave – The only reason this turd of a film didn’t make it on the list is because it was released as Oscar-bait last year, only to be pulled and re-released in the middle of this year. A fun piece of trivia… Home of the Brave made less money in its entire 2006 release than Spider-Man 3 made in one theater on one day its opening weekend.
Knocked Up – Seriously, we love this movie, so it’s really not part of the “worst.” But we just had to chuckle that Universal sent out award screeners for this one, which means they’re hoping it’ll win something somewhere. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if it wins Best Screenplay, and the Oscar clip contains the line, “Your face looks like a vagina”?