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Is there such thing as the “Norbit” effect?

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  • FilmGuy619
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    #199576

    Ever since Eddie Murphy’s infamous loss for Best Supporting Actor for Dreamgirls, there has been speculation as to whether Norbit was a factor in his loss, given its poor reception and likely convinced voters that he wasn’t aiming to be taken seriously as an actor.

    I personally don’t think Norbit was a huge factor in his loss. I don’t think it helped that Norbit came out around voting time, but there didn’t seem to be much enthusiasm for the film given its Best Picture snub and voters probably felt it was Alan Arkin’s turn. 

    But whenever an actor has a poorly received film released around voting time, there is usually speculation as to whether that film will be the actor’s “Norbit” and derail their chances. I don’t think the Norbit Effect exists entirely. But how about you folks?

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    manakamana
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    #199578

    Like you said, I think it’s overstated but not made up. It’s the flip side of the True Detective effect.

    Voters didn’t love Dreamgirls, Eddie Murphy doesn’t have the best reputation in some circles AND Norbit was splattered on huge billboards on both coasts. But I don’t think Bride Wars was a factor in Anne Hathaway losing, for instance, since she was pretty far behind Winslet and Streep by the time that movie came out.

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #199579

    I don’t think it had an effect.  Dreamgirls was a massive Oscar disappointment.  Before it came out, it was touted as a threat to win in all the categories.  When it finally opened, people saw that it wasn’t very good, and the Academy clearly agreed.  It got significantly less nominations than people were expecting 5 months prior.

    Murphy was good in the role.  Very good, actually.  But he wasn’t insanely great.  So that, on top of the Academy’s distaste for the film, on top of Arkin being a veteran, on top of Little Miss Sunshine’s cast being so highly regarded is what put Murphy at a disadvantage.

    If Norbit DID, in fact, have a significant role to play in his loss, than there are more idiots in the Academy than I would want to believe.   

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    Atypical
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    #199580

    “Dreamgirls” was a fine film. It ended up being nodded for 8 Academy Awards and winning 2. Not all films can boast that. It might not have reached its full potential, but just b/c voters didn’t see fit to acknowledge it in BP/BD or with double-digit nods doesn’t mean it’s worthless. Eddie Murphy was most likely plagued by his poor reputation, a veteran (Alan Arkin) who was considered more overdue in a film that voters thought needed the recognition more, and yes, maybe a few were swayed by the abomination that was “Norbit” (which, let’s not forget, was also an Oscar nominee that year in Makeup). But then, “Jupiter Ascending” did absolutely nothing to derail Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar win, so I’d like to think that the “Norbit Effect” is a negligible one. It’s all a moot point to me anyways, since I’ll always believe that supporting actor Oscar win belonged to Jackie Earle Haley.

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    babypook
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    #199581

    O please.

    Seven-time Oscar-winning Makeup artist Rick Baker was nominated for Norbit.

    There’s just so much irony with this.

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #199582

    “Dreamgirls” was a fine film. It ended up being nodded for 8 Academy Awards and winning 2. Not all films can boast that. It might not have reached its full potential, but just b/c voters didn’t see fit to acknowledge it in BP/BD or with double-digit nods doesn’t mean it’s worthless. 

    True, it did receive 8 nominations, which is great by any movie’s standards (even though three of those nominations were for the same category).  But I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie have so much buzz at the beginning of an Oscar season (except for maybe something massively overdue like Lord of the Rings: Return of the King).  This was right after Chicago, so musicals were a hot ticket, and the stage version of Dreamgirls was a theatrical masterpiece, so there was a lot of expectation there.  So much money was put into the campaign and promotion.  The movie opened to a roadshow tour.  It was the most anticipated movie of the year.  And while the final product was lovely to look at and not terrible, I definitely wouldn’t say it was very good (especially the second half of the movie).  I think most of the problem was with the adaptation.  A lot of the story and music and drama from the stage version was taken out and replaced with non-events.  And you could really tell the Academy was not impressed: It didn’t give in to the buzz the producers were trying to create and left it out of BP/BD, they didn’t give it the Best Song win (I think Listen and LYID are much better than I Need to Wake Up, tho vote splitting could also be to blame for that), they basically implimented the “only three songwriters can be nominated” that year (which many saw as a direct way to just make sure Beyonce didn’t get a nomination–I think many were turned off by the clear assumption she would be nominated for Leading Actress), and Eddie Murphy lost.   

    At the end of the day, I think it got the nominations it deserved (except for the song Patience).  I would have also maybe given it a nod for cinematography.  But it got nowhere near the love the team thought they were gonna get.  

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    Atypical
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    #199583

    [quote=”Atypical”]

    “Dreamgirls” was a fine film. It ended up being nodded for 8 Academy Awards and winning 2. Not all films can boast that. It might not have reached its full potential, but just b/c voters didn’t see fit to acknowledge it in BP/BD or with double-digit nods doesn’t mean it’s worthless. 

    True, it did receive 8 nominations, which is great by any movie’s standards (even though three of those nominations were for the same category).  But I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie have so much buzz at the beginning of an Oscar season (except for maybe something massively overdue like Lord of the Rings: Return of the King).  This was right after Chicago, so musicals were a hot ticket, and the stage version of Dreamgirls was a theatrical masterpiece, so there was a lot of expectation there.  So much money was put into the campaign and promotion.  The movie opened to a roadshow tour.  It was the most anticipated movie of the year.  And while the final product was lovely to look at and not terrible, I definitely wouldn’t say it was very good (especially the second half of the movie).  I think most of the problem was with the adaptation.  A lot of the story and music and drama from the stage version was taken out and replaced with non-events.  And you could really tell the Academy was not impressed: It didn’t give in to the buzz the producers were trying to create and left it out of BP/BD, they didn’t give it the Best Song win (I think Listen and LYID are much better than I Need to Wake Up, tho vote splitting could also be to blame for that), they basically implimented the “only three songwriters can be nominated” that year (which many saw as a direct way to just make sure Beyonce didn’t get a nomination–I think many were turned off by the clear assumption she would be nominated for Leading Actress), and Eddie Murphy lost.   

    At the end of the day, I think it got the nominations it deserved (except for the song Patience).  I would have also maybe given it a nod for cinematography.  But it got nowhere near the love the team thought they were gonna get.  
    [/quote]

    The point was the constant bashing of “Dreamgirls” around here is tired and uninspired. It was a fine film, and I clearly said it wasn’t a perfect film. The Academy could have snubbed it outright, but it didn’t. And if the film didn’t manage to get all the nominations/wins it was expected to, that has happened countless times in Academy history. They liked other films better. Case closed. That reality doesn’t diminish the film’s merits in any manner.

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #199584

    The point was the constant bashing of “Dreamgirls” around here is tired and uninspired. It was a fine film, and I clearly said it wasn’t a perfect film. The Academy could have snubbed it outright, but it didn’t. And if the film didn’t manage to get all the nominations/wins it was expected to, that has happened countless times in Academy history. They liked other films better. Case closed. That reality doesn’t diminish the film’s merits in any manner.

    I don’t think Dreamgirls is any more bashed around here than other movies that are talked about a lot. 

    I do, however, think the film is an interesting case to bring up when discussing how a film coming out with too much buzz in the beginning can tarnish a campaign.  I also think my comments above are quite relevant to the Eddie Murphy discussion in question.  I’m not just bringing up the topic of Dreamgirls out of the blue here just cuz I wanna bash it.  This thread is LITERALLY about Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls.  Analyzing the critical response to the movie gives us a better understanding of what might have happened with the Eddie/Dreamgirls/Norbit situation.  So… case re-opened. 

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    Atypical
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    #199585

    Murphy’s loss had more to do with reasons other than “Dreamgirls”‘s critical reception, which I previously mentioned. If that were completely the case, then he would have been snubbed outright. Hudson could have even been vulnerable. The Academy liked the film more than you’re alluding to.

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #199586

    The Academy, overall, obviously didn’t HATE Dreamgirls.  I don’t think anyone can say it was worthless.  The movie was clearly given love because there are a number of very good things about the movie.  Murphy’s poor reputation that you mentioned was also definitely a factor in his loss.  I just think that there was likely some backlash from the studio pushing the film really hard in the beginning and then having it not live up to expectations.  I think it was at least a reason as to why voters might not have felt bad about not putting another vote in Dreamgirls’ corner.  There was no way Hudson was going to lose because she was the big performance of the year (plus her competition was a little girl, a recent winner, and two foreign unknowns).  I’m just saying that there were many disappointments for the Dreamgirls’ campaign as awards season went along, Murphy’s loss included, so it’s only natural to include his loss in the discussion when figuring out why the academy wasn’t as taken with the movie.

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    BenitoDelicias
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    #199587

    Until somebody else ends up paying for a terrible film being released around the time of voting, we’ll never know. I do think some people might have been turned off by Norbit since everybody was buying a very nice comeback story from Murphy (who wasn’t Oscar worthy at all) only to see him in theaters making an ass of himself in Norbit during that same period. Which meant he was at it again, the movie was terrible, not funny at all, so you couldn’t even give him that. I don’t think it was enough to qualify as “The Norbit Effect”, his bad reputation helped too.

    I don’t believe that a high number of nominations means that the film was loved that much specially when 3 of them are in the same category and its original song (!), another nomination (Hudson) had a bigger narrative than the film itself, and everything else was “just” crafts. Little Miss Sunshine was clearly more loved, Arkin was more overdue and the others didn’t really have a shot.

    And again…Murphy wasn’t really Oscar worthy. I saw the movie last month and I was surprised by how “not that bad” it is and how Murphy was overpraised. 

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    KubrickFan98
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    #199588

    So if you’re nominated for an Oscar and you release a movie around awards season where you’re dressed in a fat suit, you’ll lose? Well, explains a lot.

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    Teridax
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    #199590

    Eddie Murphy deserved that Oscar over Alan Arkin, I know that much. And didnt Dreamgirls win the Golden Globe for Best Picture? So it was obviously liked in the industry and I’m willing to bet that if the Academy allowed 8-10 films to be nominated like they have in recent years, it would have been a nominee.

    The HFPA has about as much to do with the freaking industry as the MTV Movie Awards. The Guilds, that’s where it’s at. I also completely agree that if there had been more than 8-10 nominees, Dreamgirls would DEFINTELY have been there. I’ll even push to say Pan’s Labyrinth would have been as well, due to it’s writing nomination. Look at Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind and his Baftas outburst that cost him his Oscar. I think likeability and having a “rooting factor” are crucial to an Oscar win. Daniel Montogomery pointed it out once, that Eddie Murphy’s Dreamgirls Awards season narrative was that this was his big comeback after so many critical and commercial bombs. But when Norbit came out, the narrative was ruined, and Dreamgirls just became a blip of brief sucess, not the new norm for him.

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #199591

    And didnt Dreamgirls win the Golden Globe for Best Picture? So it was obviously liked in the industry and I’m willing to bet that if the Academy allowed 8-10 films to be nominated like they have in recent years, it would have been a nominee.

    But the HFPA is known for awarding the “film (or person) with the most buzz” at the time.  The Golden Globes are fun, but they really are just a big popularity contest.  At the time of the Golden Globes, Dreamgirls has literally JUST come out, so some of that buzz of it being “the next great movie musical” was still lingering.  That buzz faded away quickly after the Golden Globes.  Tho I do agree that if the Academy had 8-10 nominees for Best Picture, Dreamgirls would be there.  But that doesn’t mean that its reception wasn’t a disppointment.

    I agree with Benito that just because a film gets in for a number of nominations, that doesn’t mean it’s as loved as one may think.  It just means that it had a small (but large enough) fan base to get it the nominations, but it wasn’t unanimously loved enough to get ther wins.  American Hustle is a VERY divisive film.  It got WAY more nominations than many expected because its fanbase was small, but very mighty.  But at the end of Oscar night, it walked away with nothing because it and its components that were nominated weren’t universally considered the best by a majority of the Academy.
     

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    AMG
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    #199592

    I think sometimes it helps actors if they’ve had a crap film out in the same year as their acclaimed performance.

    Eddie Redmayne had Jupiter Ascending, Julianne Moore had Seventh Son, Lupita Nyong’o had Non Stop.

    It lets voters see that the performance that is gaining traction is actually something great.

    Will be interesting to see how Mara does with having Pan out this year too. Kurt Russell in Furious 7, Kate Winslet in The Dressmaker, Idris Elba is in The Gunman too.

    Also, Eddie Murphy was exactly Oscar worthy for Dreamgirls in my opinion.

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