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By David Poland

Help Write A Column…

What are your biggest awards wannabe flops?

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73 Responses to “Help Write A Column…”

  1. The Premadator says:

    Pay It Forward
    Moonlight Mile
    The Life of David Gale
    Juwanna Man

  2. PandaBear says:

    Juwanna Mann was a solid choice. LOL.
    I go with last year. Phantom. Worldwide recognition. Super hit musical. A veteran director. Large expectations. Complete flop.

  3. joefitz84 says:

    Really good question. There have been so many that they escape my mind at the moment. Just this year we have Jarhead, Proof, Unfinished Life to name three off the top of my head.

  4. Josh says:

    If Munich fails it would go up to the top of my list.
    As of now I’ll go with The Majestic. A lot of hype. Darabont coming off Green Mile and Shawshank. Carrey in a drama. Failed miserably.

  5. Wrecktum says:

    All the Pretty Horses
    The Shipping News

  6. henryhill says:

    The Missing
    Any Kevin Spacey movie since American Beauty
    Cinderella Man (oh wait… that didn’t happen yet)

  7. James Leer says:

    “Beloved” looked on paper like a surefire lock for nominations at least. Then, the movie came out.

  8. Jeremy Smith says:

    MOONLIGHT MILE got me thinking about how Dustin Hoffman may be the king of prestige pic flops. Consider…
    FAMILY BUSINESS (w/ Lumet and Connery a year after the latter’s Best Supporting Actor win)
    BILLY BATHGATE (reunites with Robert Benton, Stoppard adapting “instant classic” Doctorow novel)
    HOOK (which did get five nominations, but all tech)
    HERO (Frears was still a hot property, script was touted as Chayefsky-level satire from David Webb Peoples, co-stars were then Academy faves Geena Davis and Andy Garcia)
    SLEEPERS (w/ Pitt, De Niro, Patric, Bacon, Levinson, etc.)
    MAD CITY (Travolta not yet a joke again, Costa-Gavras still respectable)
    Is there an actor working today who can challenge that stellar run over the last twenty years? Shirley MacLaine maybe?

  9. EDouglas says:

    Have we already forgotten Cold Mountain?

  10. Jeremy Smith says:

    I like this topic. Aside from Hoffman (off the top of my head)…
    Fat Man and Little Boy
    The Mirror Has Two Faces
    At Play in the Fields of the Lord
    City Hall

  11. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Amistad comes to mind. So does Anna and the King. The biggest flop in the last ten years is Stone’s Alexander, a truly misunderstood movie.
    Malcolm X wasn’t a flop, but more of a disapointment on the part of voters. Elder white voters are scared of Spike Lee.
    Oh how can anyone forget The Ice Storm.

  12. Jeremy Smith says:

    What about the completion of Stone’s Vietnam trilogy, HEAVEN & EARTH? Also, quite a bit was expected from CRY FREEDOM. And speaking of Attenborough, what about CHAPLIN?

  13. Josh Massey says:

    “The Evening Star” immediately comes to mind.

  14. Mark Ziegler says:

    You can’t put Cold Mountain on a flop list because it did get 7 nominations. That is an achievement.

  15. Sanchez says:

    Anything by Jonathan Demme since Silence of the Lambs.

  16. jeffmcm says:

    There’s a big difference between flops, which suggests total failure, and mere disappointments. Cold Mountain was not a total flop. Neither was Huckabees, which was never going to win a lot of awards or make a lot of money anyway. Jarhead isn’t a flop, with $60m in the bank. Moonlight Mile was a decent little movie that would have liked a nomination or two but didn’t get any.

  17. Lota says:

    2005 flop awards[Razzies will be exceedingly busy this year]:
    well there are plenty that have effectively lost alot of money at the US box office, but my “2005 so far” awards:
    Lame guy who wins “sexiest man” award (yecch) + money loss for 2005 USBO= SAHARA.
    Biggest fake-ass romance for 2005= A lot like Love
    Likely biggest flip-flopping studio in all genres for 2005: Paramount (Honeymooners, Sahara, Weatherman, ELizabethtown)
    most painful TV-show-as-a-movie: Bewitched
    “who told you that you could act” award to Jessica Simpson for Dukes of Hazzard. Check your undercarriage honey.
    The Looked Slick but sucked the hind tit: Stealth, Lords of Dogtown(skateboarding IS a crime), DOmino
    Worst Irony Flop: The Island (irony being it was Bay’s best movie).
    Recent past years WINNERS: Life of David Gale, From Justin to Kelly, Envy. Pay if forward is a good thing to watch for suicide preparation.
    Historical favorite flop: Showgirls.
    the dialog alone puts it in a special category. I admire Paul Verhoeven (who I like very much) for accepting his own razzie. Good on ya mate. Oddly enough, Showgirls probably should have been classed as a documentary.
    BIGGEST FUTURE FLOP: Tough crowds await Aeon Flux and Fun with Dick and Jane.
    BOX OFFICE POISON of the MILLENIUM: Jimmy Fallon

  18. Blackcloud says:

    “Lords of Dogtown(skateboarding IS a crime)”
    Now there’s a sequel I can’t wait to see.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    Showgirls is too entertaining to be put in that category. It really deserves better.

  20. Goulet says:

    It’s the best film of the last ten years, yet it didn’t win anything. I like AMERICAN BEAUTY, but please.

  21. grandcosmo says:

    The Missing
    The Alamo
    The Red Violin

  22. Blackcloud says:

    Wasn’t Nicholas Cage in a movie about a lute a few years ago? I believe that was touted as posible Oscar bait. What was it called?

  23. jeffmcm says:

    Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, where he sported both a crappy faux-Italian accent and a similar hairpiece. Good call.

  24. Blackcloud says:

    ^ That’s the one. Lute, mandolin, same thing.

  25. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Showgirls was undeservedly maligned. Seriously. One of the funniest movies I have ever seen. “I’ve got towels!”
    Movies I would include
    Vanilla Sky – much like Elizabethtown, it was a contender purely because of Crow… and then it was released
    Molly – I don’t know if this was ever considered, but this Elisabeth Shue as a handicapped person was pure trashy awfulness
    Pearl Harbour – blech!
    Spanglish – my god, that was awful!
    The Legend of Bagger Vance – zzzz

  26. ZacharyTF says:

    I would say Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions.
    I love the two films to death, but I remember the two being touted as possible Best Picture candidates in early 2003. Yikes!

  27. jeffmcm says:

    By who, Poland?

  28. Mr. Emerson says:

    The Crucible: A movie designed to the last detail to garner awards–big stars, big production team, big historical subject, big provocative, challenging material, even a little behind-the-scenes romance in Daniel Day-Lewis and Rebecca Miller getting together–but which ended up with zilch in 1996.
    Vanilla Sky: Should have contended with Crowe hot off Almost Famous and the presence of Cruise combined with intellectual material. Didn’t because it stank.
    In Cold Blood: Sounds like hearsay because it IS an acknowledged masterpiece…but my judgment has nothing to do with the film itself and everything to do with how it should have taken the fifth Best Picture slot in 1967 instead of Doctor Doolittle.
    Amistad: Dare the Academy to not give your film major Oscar nominations. Watch them accept said dare. Ditto happened to a lesser degree a few years later with The Hurricane.

  29. Joe Straat says:

    The Royal Tenenbaums: Wes Anderson’s most entertaining movie (to me, anyway) and most accessible outside of his cult, but while nominated for its screenplay, no love.
    Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick’s last movie. Too much Kubrick, not enough orgy for younger critics and viewers. Summer release didn’t help. I liked it myself.
    A.I.: While on the topic of Kubrick, his and Spielberg’s project seemed like a dream. Two of the best ever behind the camera with Kubrick’s deep meaning and Spielberg’s heart. What came out? A maddeningly annoying movie that doesn’t make sense the more you think about it and shows that Spielberg should never EVER direct death metal again.
    The Cider House Rules: Okay, this one won a couple, but it really SHOULDN’T have. It’s one of those movies that won Oscars that no one talks about, and is only remembered for the Weinsteins somehow hyping it as American Beauty’s rival. The only thing I remember is hating it.

  30. chadillac says:

    Big Fish was a little over-hyped. Tim Burton never really has contended in awards season though. Ed Wood was about the closest thing.

  31. Crow T Robot says:

    re: A.I.
    Spielberg may be the only director around who can make a scene featuring a little teddy bear skipping through crowds of fanatical rednecks rocking out to Ministry seem, within context of the story, perfectly normal.

  32. Hopscotch says:

    The Majestic is on the top of my list. So much potential turned into such an awful movie. Excrutiatingly banal.
    Anyone remember The Shipping News? Me neither.

  33. The Hey says:

    Is it too late to add Rent? 😉
    I’m surprised that no one mentioned Kevin Costner’s “The Postman” – that was supposed to be not only the next Dances, but also a huge B.O. hit from the start…until the press screening started.

  34. Hopscotch says:

    I’ve never seen Solaris, some I know love it, some despise it. But no argument that it was a flop that some thought would be Oscar Gold.
    I actually saw The Postman in a theater. I’m one of the few people I know who’ve actually seen the movie. It’s not as awful as the press has described it….it’s worse.

  35. bicycle bob says:

    i don’t remember one person saying the matrix sequels were going to win awards.

  36. Bruce says:

    The Postman would have been a real good series. HBO. Where you get to actually tell a story over time. Post nuclear war. Survivors. Trying to start anew. No technology. Everyone on their own. Just too much for a 3 hr movie especially from a notorious long guy like Costner.

  37. Blackcloud says:

    “Poor Mr. Costner. He tries so hard.”

  38. bicycle bob says:

    the moral? don’t give costner final cut on anything.

  39. Terence D says:

    Eyes Wide Shut was a huge awards flop. I don’t think it took any nom’s.

  40. Hopscotch says:

    You got those two Scorsese movies no one likes: Kundun and Bringing out the Dead, even Casino was expected to be this big Oscar Contender and it wasn’t.
    I’m not saying they’re all bad movies (Bringing out the Dead is), but they certainly didn’t get any awards to help their cause.

  41. Terence D says:

    I also expected awards from AI.

  42. cullen says:

    HEAT and CASINO should have been up for multiple awards in 1995.

  43. Stella's Boy says:

    Heat is a masterpiece. One of the finest films ever made. I am still shocked and saddened by the way it was treated at awards time. A total crime.

  44. Hopscotch says:

    Yeah most critics were pretty so-so on Heat, I think it is a modern classic.
    Another one from this year, Kingdom of Heaven. Yeesh

  45. Mark Wheaton says:

    “Molly” – wow, good call.
    How ’bout Hilary Swank’s post-“Boys Don’t Cry” period mess “The Affair of the Necklace?” What is it about Oscar wins that send people immediately into costume dramas?
    How about the Michael Hoffman triple-feature of: “Restoration” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Emperor’s Club?” All three hyped as Oscar pics, all three rather bad misfires.

  46. Cadavra says:

    I remember THE SHIPPING NEWS–and adored it. Ditto CASINO.
    Lumet’s NIGHT FALLS ON MANHATTAN certainly deserved to be in there, as did Winkler’s LIFE AS A HOUSE.
    I’m now bracing myself for the invective on that last one.

  47. Stella's Boy says:

    I really like Night Falls on Manhattan, and enjoyed Life as a House more than I should have.

  48. Richard Nash says:

    Heat holds up better today and so does Casino. No one expected major awards from either movie. They cannot even be considered flops. It’s ridiculous.
    Kevin Spacey has been bad luck since American Beauty.

  49. cullen says:

    the idea that HEAT wasn’t nominated at least for writing and CASINO for cinematography still pisses me off to no end…arguably, those 2 flicks could have been nominated for a slew of awards in all categories. Over time, they have held up incredibly well.

  50. Lota says:

    Michael Mann has directed a number of great movies that were flops in the “awards” sense in that they were shamefully passed over.
    I thought it was sad that Collateral was passed over for many things including Director & Jamie Foxx’s performance–Ray was so lukewarm in comparison.
    History of Violence and David Cronenberg could get ignored this year. I wasn’t so convinced of Viggo’s abilities and he really was tops in that.
    And Award-deficient & bombs must include the adaptations of Edith Wharton’s novels like Age of Innocence (& didn’t clear budget either), Ethan Frome (suicide movie), and House of Mirth. Adaptations of F Scott Fitzgerald movies, assumed Oscar bait…but turned into Awards bombs (except for costume/music awards) of no small measure despite killer casts.

  51. joefitz84 says:

    Just because a movie doesn’t get award nom’s doesn’t mean its an awards flop. Heat is a great example. Award flops are movies that are front runners for awards based on preconceived notions. Like Munich and Memoirs of a Geisha are this year. I can’t recall anyone saying Heat was an early Oscar pick.

  52. Lota says:

    That may be true Joefitz, but i can’t remember ’95 re. awards except I thought there was discussion re. DeNiro & Pacino (the biggest guys at that time) and the screenplay. So if there’s discussion/acclaima nd no nom, it still seems like a “awards flop”, although not due to the movie itself. Perhaps it should be a wannabee award flop or snub.
    I hope Cinderella Man, the earliest bleating Oscar campaigner, gets F*ck-all after the Hit on Max Baer.

  53. b diddy says:

    Gangs of New York.

  54. James Leer says:

    It certainly didn’t win, but “Gangs of New York” did manage ten nominations…which is more than it may have deserved.

  55. jeffmcm says:

    Virtually nobody cares about Max Baer. Cinderella Man will go nowhere because it was a deeply mediocre movie (although it’s competition ain’t looking too hot either).

  56. Josh says:

    Are you out of your mind???
    Gangs got ten Academy Award nominations. And you say that’s a flop? Get your head screwed on right.

  57. jeffmcm says:

    I forget the exact numbers, but it’s also Scorsese’s 2nd or 3rd highest-grossing film ever.

  58. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    It’s sad that “Casino” got only one nod, but I could not be more happy for the recipient of said nomination – Sharon Stone. She was THE greatest thing about that movie, and the one thing I truly remember from it (apart from somebody’s death scene towards the end. ouch.) Absolutely heartbreaking too that she is just so… nothing now. Oh well, I will always have “Casino” and “The Muse”.
    How about To Die For? Nicole Kidman WON the Golden Globe and still didn’t get nommed. That was the only nod it could have gotten and didn’t, so it’s not a FLOP but it was still a bizarre choice.
    I could definitely put “Eyes Wide Shut” here, as others have. I remember reading before it came out some people saying Kubrick could become the first posthumas director winner. And, unfortunately, it got nothing. Not even cinematography! Or, quite by accident in this reply, Nicole Kidman!
    And I do remember The Matrix movies getting Oscar buzz. Mainly because the original won everything it was nominated for, and the second/third was meant to be all that and more. But, alas, it definitely was not.
    How about this: “The Terminal”. That horrible Spielberg movie was touted early as a big movie but then as soon as it was released it was relegated to “it might get a production design nomination”.
    And, also. “Cast Away”

  59. jeffmcm says:

    It’s hard to think of Cast Away as any kind of flop considering that it made so much money. Sure it only got two nominations, but I don’t think anyone was really disappointed by how it did.

  60. Sanchez says:

    Cast Away got nom’s. Some people are not getting the concept of awards “flop” here.

  61. Crow T Robot says:

    This is why I love you guys…
    “Heat” was like my favorite movie of the decade.
    Rock on Hot Blog!

  62. Terence D says:

    Heat gets better on repeat viewings. They could have made that 4 hours long and I wouldn’t have cared. So much story to tell.

  63. Dr Wally says:

    “The Terminal”. That horrible Spielberg movie was touted early as a big movie but then as soon as it was released it was relegated to “it might get a production design nomination”.
    I don’t agree that The Terminal was in any way horrible, in fact it was only a couple of screenplay drafts from being a great film in my opinion.’Horrible’ means The Pacifier, Man of the House, Monster in Law or Miss Congeniality 2. The Terminal has at least two GREAT visual moments in it, the first being when Tom Hanks tries on the reflection of the suit in the window, the second being when Hanks leaves the terminal and we pan up to the reflection of the NY skyline on the side of the building. And look at the rhythm of the sequence where Hanks discovers he can get quarters by returning the carts, purely from a film-making perspective. Great stuff. And John Williams contributes one of his most toe-tapping scores. The Cyrano subplot and the Catherine Zeta-Jones part needed work, but other than that Terminal is elegant, grown-up entertainment.

  64. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    We’re not talking flop money wise here. The reason I said Cast Away was because many, before its released, thought it was a Tom Hanks/Helen Hunt movie and that it would get a whole bunch of noms, but then it got Actor and, like, Best Sound Editing or whatever.
    And Terminal was horrible because in this day and age I find it disgusting that any movie with that plot would not even mention anything along the lines of terrorism or the like. I know it wasn’t MEANT to be a serious movie but it should have been. The only mention to war in it is with Tom Hanks’ character’s home country. And even that is a fictional country!
    Like, what it turned into was a movie that fluffy and sugar-coated. For Spielberg, who turned WotW into one big fat 9/11 & WW2 analogy, that was pretty bad…

  65. Ladymerlin says:

    Kingdom of Heaven
    Vanity Fair
    Man on the Moon
    The Others
    The Station Agent
    Love Actually
    Before Sunset
    Wonder Boys

  66. mripley says:

    Well golly…
    Talented Mr Ripley was sort of a flot with voters
    Enemy at the Gates was miss for sure
    Oscar and Lucinda
    Ice Storm
    Topsy Turvey

  67. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Ladymerlin, The Others was barely a flop. It’s only real possibility was Best Actress for Kidman, and she got in for Moulin Rouge! and you’re only allowed one perf per category.
    Before Sunset also had no real hopes apart from the category it did get nominated for (screenplay).
    How is Kingdom of Heaven a flop if the awards haven’t been held yet? Yes, it’ll get nothing probably (maybe Costume) but, still…
    Dave, great article.

  68. Ladymerlin says:

    With respect to The Others, I think that Dimension was hoping for a “Sixth Sense” type of awards run. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
    “Before Sunset” had a strong critical response and hopes for award glory, but ran out of momentum and promotion.
    “Kingdom of Heaven” was one of those epic-style movies for which some had hopes of a “Gladiator”-style run. It didn’t (and won’t) happen.

  69. jeffmcm says:

    Poland wasn’t joking when he said “help write a column”. He basically just cut and pasted what he liked without much in the way of commentary.
    I’m sure Dimension was _hoping_ for a Sixth Sense-type smash, but such an event was already such an anomaly that they couldn’t have been hoping very hard. Before Sunset had no hopes outside of Independent Spirit Awards. Kingdom of Heaven was inferior to Gladiator in pretty much every step along the way of its conception.

  70. Josh says:

    The Others a flop? You can’t be serious. It made a fortune in what wasn’t supposed to be a huge hit. Awards? I don’t think they were out for any awards except for box office.

  71. Ladymerlin says:

    I was referring to the awards tally of The Others, not the box office tally.

  72. Chucky in Jersey says:

    There are more than a few “Wannabe Oscar Bait” flops I’ve seen:
    Boogie Nights
    Wag the Dog (OK, it made money, but it came out the same year as “Titanic”)
    The Butcher Boy (spring ’98, handled by WB as an arthouse title)
    Bulworth (prescient — the politics spooked the Oscar types)
    There’s Something About Mary (Oscar types hate comedy)
    Next Stop Wonderland (OK, it was from Miramax, but it launched Hope Davis’ career)
    A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (fall ’98)
    Practical Magic
    The Siege (fall ’98 — very prescient)
    Patch Adams (Oscar types hate comedy)
    The Thin Red Line (superior to Saving Private Ryan — but no Stvn Splbrg, thus no awards)
    Arlington Road (Oscar types spooked by the politics)
    The Straight Story (dir. by David Lynch; US release by Disney — very underappreciated)
    Being John Malkovich
    The Green Mile (3 hours long, worth every minute)
    Liberty Heights (another WB arthouse title)
    Cradle Will Rock (Disney’s “Oscar Bait” title for Y2K; the Mouse got spooked by the politics)
    Saving Grace (Oscar types don’t like to toke)
    Best in Show (Oscar types don’t like canines)
    Billy Elliott (Universal’s first Focus release — deserved picture and actor at least)
    Focus (from fall ’01 — Oscar types don’t want to revisit McCarthyism)
    Far from Heaven
    The Quiet American (holiday ’02/winter ’03 — reluctantly released amid drumbeat for war)
    The Magdalene Sisters (a Miramax release in US — Oscar types think religionists are perfect)
    Under the Tuscan Sun (superior to Lost in Translation)
    Calendar Girls (Oscar types are prudes)
    I’ll even throw in 2 foreign-language titles:
    El crimen del Padre Amaro (fall ’02, from Mexico — I saw it the day after a prominent cardinal was forced to resign)
    Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (fall ’04, from South Korea — about the Korean War)

  73. Blackcloud says:

    How about The People vs. Larry Flynt? Has anyone mentioned that yet?

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