It's been almost a week and a half since the Academy Awards announced their annual nominations and this has given us plenty of time to digest each of the recognized recipients. Therefore, January's movie list of the month takes a look at the 5 worst Oscar-Nominated films of the past year (December's List).
Honorable Mention: Carol
#5. The Danish Girl
Tom Hooper's biopic of a transgender pioneer (Eddie Redmayne) who was one of the first documented people to undergo sexual reassignment surgery has "Oscar bait" written all over it. And for the second year in a row, leading actor, Eddie Redmayne, is dwarfed by his female counterpart, both Felicity Jones and Alicia Vikander, respectively. But while The Danish Girl managed to capture 4 Oscar Nominations in total, this punishingly slow and sloppily scripted true story never packs the punch that it intends to.
After shocking the industry with a trio of SAG Nominations and another two from the Globes, Bryan Cranston was the lone Oscar survivor from Jay Roach's Hollywood biopic, Trumbo. This play-it-safe examination of screenwriting pariah, Dalton Trumbo (Cranston), delivers superficial dramatics and weak writing. Yet, even in my own opinion. Cranston's nomination feels like a stretch.
Paolo Sorrentino's latest effort, Youth, gained him a large amount of notoriety out of the Cannes Film Festival in France. Michael Caine stood as a possible Best Actor contender for most of the awards season, yet the film only earned one single Oscar Nomination in the Best Original Song category. And despite Youth's majestic and picturesque backdrop. the oddly constructed and immensely artistic narrative becomes far too polarizing for my taste.
David O. Russell's impressive Oscar streak almost came to a halt until Jennifer Lawrence officially became a Best Actress finalist for the upcoming Academy Awards. Yet, Joy surely separates itself (and not in a positive way) from O. Russell's more prolific work such as Best Picture Nominee's Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and The Fighter. Untypical of what we've come to expect from the filmmaker, Joy proves to be a jumbled mess filled with unnecessary dream sequences and minimally engaging story.
#1. 50 Shades of Grey
It pains me to say every individual syllable, but the erotic novel turned box office smash, 50 Shades of Grey, managed to earn itself a nod from the Academy in the Best Original Song race. Now I don't know about you, but even if John Lennon rose from the dead to write and record the greatest song ever written, the Oscars should banish the tune if it means recognizing this smutty laughing-stock of a film. It's movies such as this that ruin the creativity and artistry of filmmaking. Instead, studio heads scoop up nonsense such as 50 Shades of Grey in order to turn huge profits. It's a sad and depressing reality that's altering the industry for the worse.