Was the King's Speech the greatest ever Oscar-bait?

The King’s Speech had:

a) Posh Brits: Hollywood’s always loved them
b) Wise outsider dispensing valuable life-lessons: another beloved Hollywood trope
c) Overcoming disabilities
d) WW2 and the struggle against Nazis

So you had a posh Brit overcoming disabilities and learning valuable life-lessons from a wise outsider while rallying his nation against Nazis. It’s the superperfectaof Oscar baits, a towering pinnacle of the form. Poor Social Network never had a chance.

The Oscar bait criteria for an actor I heard years ago are:
-A real person (check)
-Overcome a disability (check)
-A different nationality (no; but different from most academy voters, at least)

Add in the things you mentioned plus gorgeous period scenery and costumes, and yeah, that’s some powerful multi-category Oscar bait.

Yes, which is the reason I resented that movie. It actually WAS a really good film, although it wouldn’t have made my top 10 of 2010 list, but every minute of that movie just screamed WE MADE THIS MOVIE TO WIN OSCARS.

Really a shame, since The Social Network was an excellent film on every level. Looks like I have my own version of the “THIS film should have won instead of THAT film” to bitch about for the rest of my life.

I haven’t seen it yet, but to be true Oscar bait it needed to have an American angle in there. Either the brash American loosens up the staid English person, or the American learns that patience, tact, and adherence to tradition have their own reward.

True, an American angle would have been nice but these days Hollywood loves Australians almost as much as Brits so it’s all good.

Let me add that I enjoyed both films though they fell well short of greatness. And to be honest I don’t really care what wins Best Picture. Still the Social Network would have been a fresh choice whereas the King’s Speech had so much Oscar-bait piled on that you would have half-suspected voters would gag.

It did have an American angle - Wallis Simpson.

Dames Judi and Helen would like to remind you that ‘playing British monarch’ works pretty well too. Hey, you could include Forest Whitaker, depending on how strictly you interpret Last King of Scotland. :smiley:

I know you’re joking, but IIRC, Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker) wasn’t supposed to be The Last King of Scotland, it was his physician, who was actually from Scotland.

Yes, but Amin declared himself King of Scotland. The nutter.

As Archive Guy pointed out on another thread, not only have actresses playing both Elizabeth’s received an Oscar, but also actors playing both of their fathers: Henry VIII and now George VI.

It would have been bigger Oscar bait if Forest Whitaker had played Geoffrey Rush’s part. And if he had been a dying Holocaust survivor.

However it is quite clear that while some of the money, studio backing, etc., may have resulted from the Oscar angle, the film was actually a result of the dedicated efforts of a writer who desperately wanted to tell this story about stuttering, and had spent 30 years working on the project. It’s not as if someone sat down and said, “What can we do to win an Oscar?” At its heart, the story is true, and if it was award bait, that is more the fault of Academy choices than anything done by the filmmakers.

For me personally, The King’s Speech was a moving experience that will stay with me, and I was very happy to see it recognized.

Not quite greatest Oscar-bait ever. I don’t know that stuttering quite pegs the meter for dramatic obstacle.

My nominees are:

Ghandi
Schindler’s List
Braveheart
The Last Emperor
Lawrence of Arabia

The King’s Speech was, largely, a remake of the Madness of King George. Seeing as that got quite a few nods at the Oscars, I suppose you could say that it would be de facto Oscar material. But seeing as the first one didn’t get nominated for Best Picture – which is probably what the OP meant – not so much.

I think there’s tons of movies that were made to be oscar bait, but were ignored at the oscars because they sucked. The one that leaps to mind is Marie Antoinette.

My criteria:

  1. Tons of period costumes. Multiple periods are even better.
  2. Sets that are custom-built.
  3. Stage-trained actors (the majority of which are usually trained in Britain.)
  4. A historical story, romance, and/or bromance. In the 90’s it was all about missing/surrogate fathers. Usually the stories are based on very familiar tropes with slight twists.
  5. The absolute lack of sci-fi. No sci-fi movie will ever be nominated for the big 4 awards.

Yup. I’ve been making fun of this for a while. The best way to win an Oscar is to play a British monarch, preferably a queen.

Nominations aren’t exactly unheard of. Both District 9 and Avatar were nominated for Best Picture last year, and Cameron got a nom for Best Director.

Will a sci-fi film ever win one of the big 4? That’s a good question.* The Return of the King* won a bunch of awards which is unusual for the fantasy genre, so maybe sci-fi will be next.

Cliff Robertson won the Oscar for CHARLY, right?

Star Wars was nominated for best picture, best director, best original screenplay, and best supporting actor (Sir Alec Guinness), though it won none of them (Annie Hall was the big winner that year).

He did, though that film is probably not what most people would see as a prototypical sci-fi film.