At the end of the year, we always see select movies, for one reason or another, get a portion of buzz before their release. Usually as part of a campaign before Academy Award nominations are announced. This buzz usually revolves around a film’s director, its weighty and important subject matter, or the all-star cast filling out the roles.
This year has been no different, with movies like Interstellar and Unbroken generating plenty of “buzz.” But for some films, once critics, audiences, and the rest of the film industry actually watch the movies, the Oscar noise quickly fades away. Here are 8 movies that went through that experience and you probably forgot had Oscar buzz:
1. The Majestic
Back in 2001, Frank Darabont was fresh off multiple Oscar nominations with The Green Mile, so many believed that his next film The Majestic would also have Academy Award consideration. After all, it starred Jim Carrey in a dramatic follow-up to his top-tier performances in The Truman Show and Man on the Moon, and it was a film about post-WWII Hollywood. Instead, critics responded negatively to The Majestic and audiences chose to ignore it, thrusting it away from consideration.
2. Gran Torino
Before its release, Gran Torino was thought to be a frontrunner for the 81st Academy Award for Best Picture. Clint Eastwood starred and directed the film and he was coming off an Oscar nomination for Letters from Iwo Jima a few years earlier. While Gran Torino received high marks from film critics and a hefty box office, it was believed that the Academy of Arts and Sciences snubbed the film in 2008, along with The Dark Knight, Pixar’s Wall-E, and Changeling, which Eastwood also directed.
3. We Bought a Zoo
After his Academy Award win for Almost Famous in the year 2000, Cameron Crowe was thought to likely be in any Oscar conversation. Before We Bought a Zoo was released, there was plenty of buzz surrounding the film. This included Matt Damon for Best Male Actor, Scarlett Johansson for Best Supporting Female Actor, Cameron Crowe for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, along with co-writer Aline Brosh McKenna, and Best Picture.
So it was probably a bit of a shock when the 84th Academy Awards nominations were announced, We Bought a Zoo didn’t receive a single nomination.
4. Reservation Road
Simply based on the film’s Academy Award winning and nominated cast, including Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly, and Mira Sorvino, Reservation Road was thought to be a frontrunner in the acting portion of the Oscars in 2007. Instead the film opened with lukewarm reviews and a poor box office, leaving Reservation Road as all but forgotten today.