Just like "literary fiction," is just as much of a genre as Westerns, there is of course a meta-genre of "Oscar bait." My previous posts on guessing the winner were utterly based on the fact that, with a large number of films being competently acted, directed, erdited, etc., the only real question to winning an Oscar was "does it fit the current woke zeitgeist"?
Over at rt, someone else noticed this:
It goes like this: if you want to guarantee an Oscar nomination, then your movie must be about one of four broad topics. Here they are in hierarchical order:
- Holocaust and/or Nazis
- Slavery/civil rights/race
- The AIDS epidemic and LGBTQ themes
Since 2009, when the Best Picture category expanded from five nominees to ten, only once has the field been completely devoid of films that hit upon one or more of these subjects. Some notable beneficiaries of the formula over the last decade are such mediocrities as BlacKkKlansman (2018), Call Me By Your Name (2017), Hidden Figures (2016), Selma (2014), Dallas Buyers Club (2013), The Help (2011), and The Kids Are Alright (2010), as well as Best Picture winners Green Book (2018), Moonlight (2016) and The Artist (2011). And that’s not including films like The Shape of Water – the winner in 2017 – that address the same issues in more oblique ways.
I'd say he missed one: Hollywood praising the press for speaking "truth to power". See The Post, Spotlight, and a more recent attempt coming up in "The Last Full Measure".