The most coveted of awards is nearly upon us and as a tribute to some of the fantastic cinema up for nomination we’re looking back on some of the less fantastic films that have been nominated over the years. Usually the accolade of Oscar nomination carries with it a certain prestige but the following films might make you question the aptitude of the Academy Award voters.
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a pregnant man. A sentence that really shouldn’t exist but Junior broke the boundaries of social convention, challenged the ethos of the time, and defied the cynics who said, “No don’t do that, it sounds shit”. The Scottish artist Sandy Smith created an essay competition where entrants had to prove that Junior was the best film ever made. Unsurprisingly the competition received fewer entrants than the prizes available and this can probably be explained by the fact that the task was impossible.
The Oscar nomination was for the film’s music, which is a bit like saying “at least the First World War produced some nice poems.”
A huge flop at the cinema, this film once held the record for the most expensive film of all time so you would have thought they could afford some better actors. The best actor in the film, Dennis Hopper, was even given a Golden Raspberry Award for worst supporting actor. You know a film’s not going to be good if it can drag a screen legend like Hopper down to such murky depths. The film’s only real strength lies in its premise of a post apocalyptic world inhabited by violent scavengers, heroic lone rangers, and the useless sheep who constantly need saving and who, in reality, wouldn’t have survived an apocalypse for quite so long. Whilst entertaining enough, a film shouldn’t rely on simply being a copy of a much better film i.e. Mad Max 2.
Either way the Academy Award voters were sympathetic to this tragic affair and gave it a pity nomination for best sound mixing, which is a bit like letting a child put a crap drawing up on the fridge.
Batman Forever (1995)
This attempt at a more family friendly Batman was riddled with more clichés than Tom Cruise at a wedding, packed with more cheese than an obese child, and filled with more shit than Katie Hopkins’ mouth. But strangely, the aspect of the this run of Batman films that angered fans the most was that the bat suit had excessively prominent nipples on it which is just a weird artistic vision from the director. The backlash from nipplegate was severe; it set the franchise back years and didn’t recover until Christopher Nolan took up the reins with Batman Begins a decade later. The fact that the film was bad might also have something to do with the franchise’s setback.
The film lost out in its nomination for best cinematography to the classic Braveheart, which is a bit like choosing a Swedish massage over a swift kick to the groin.
Following on from the “success” of The Nutty Professor, Eddie Murphy tried to create another forgettable flagship for the man-in-a-fat-suit genre where the only emotion invoked, other than anger, is the sadness of seeing such a fall from grace for the star of Beverly Hills Cop and Trading Places. Norbit revolves around various obese characters all played by Murphy and that really is the extent of the plot. Do not look for subtlety, intellect, or humour here. Avoid.
Despite being a critical catastrophe, Norbit still managed to wangle itself an Academy Award but don’t get too excited; the nomination was for best make-up, which is a bit like complimenting Stalin on his moustache.