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What are the worst decisions made in Oscar campaigning history?

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    Cordelia
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    #1203781812

    In the Best Actor thread, I commented that I thought A24 prioritising Uncut Gems over The Lighthouse as their Oscars push was a poor tactical decision that cost them potentially obtainable Oscar nominations such as Dafoe.

    This brings the question – what are some other terrible tactical decisions in Oscars campaigning history? I don’t mean bad performances nor films, I mean poor priorities, category choices that cost nominations, putting the wrong film for the Oscars as the top. Get creative, give me some historical deep cuts!

    For Your Consideration:

    Best Picture: Wolfwalkers

    Best Animated Feature: Wolfwalkers

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    Eddy Q
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    #1203781820

    I wasn’t following at the time, but Tom O’Neal once mentioned in a slugfest how Weinstein prioritised Nine over Inglourious Basterds for most of the early season. Needless to say, it didn’t work out. They also pushed Marion Cotillard lead in order to get both her and Penélope Cruz nominations, but only the latter had any success outside of the Globes. (I haven’t seen Nine, but many believe Cotillard did not belong in lead and as the film’s most acclaimed performance would’ve gotten the nod instead of Cruz had they competed against each other.)

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    xandyeugh
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    #1203781834

    Amy Adams campaigning for Lead Actress in American Hustle. She would have won even if Lawrence was in the mix especially considering she had the beefier material.

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    Atypical
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    #1203781836

    Neon dropping the ball with Alfre Woodard’s searing performance in “Clemency” will always be a huge campaigning blunder. I know that Neon is a novice studio and placed all of its eggs in one basket with “Parasite,” which turned out beautifully for them, but still. She could have made history with the right campaign.

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    Stank83
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    #1203781844

    The worst fraud ever in Oscar history must be Marlon Brando being put in Lead for The Godfather, and Pacino in Supporting, when it’s CLEARLY the opposite.

    And Pacino should have easily won in the Lead category.

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    Eddy Q
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    #1203782073

    The worst fraud ever in Oscar history must be Marlon Brando being put in Lead for The Godfather, and Pacino in Supporting, when it’s CLEARLY the opposite.

    They’re both lead, and in terms of strategy you can’t say it didn’t work out for Paramount as Brando won.

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    wolfali
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    #1203782146

    Netflix prioritising everyone else over Eddie Murphy.

    I won’t be able bare it when they do that to Sophia Loren this year.

    FYC OSCARS : VANESSA KIRBY FOR "PIECES OF A WOMAN", GLENN CLOSE FOR "HILLBILLY ELEGY", ANTHONY HOPKINS FOR "THE FATHER", CHADWICK BOSEMAN FOR "MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM", PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY).

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    Hoster1
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    #1203782183

    Netflix prioritising everyone else over Eddie Murphy.

    I won’t be able bare it when they do that to Sophia Loren this year.

    How is that bad decision? Murphy had never a win potential. He couldn’t even make SAG, when he had a type of movie the voters should eat up.

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    nkb325
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    #1203782482

    I maintain that A24 fucked up by campaigning Jacob Tremblay in supporting for Room. Even ignoring the fact that he is clearly a lead (he has MORE screentime than lead winner Brie Larson, he’s the narrator of the movie, and he’s literally in every scene), the lead actor race ended up being much less competitive than supporting that year, and I really do think he would’ve been nominated had they campaigned him in lead.

    I also think if it had happened a couple years later, when A24 was more established at the oscars, they might have had the balls to make the riskier choice of campaigning a child actor in lead, but I suppose I get them going with the safer choice since they were so new to everything.

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    Brayden Fitzsimmons
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    #1203782539

    The Weinstein Co completely abandoning The Butler is baffling.

    • It made so much money ($120m domestic in the summer). The Help just happened two years prior, there’s a recent precedent doing this type of summer adult blockbuster successful.
    • Oprah still getting in everywhere and it making SAG Ensemble clearly showed it would’ve made it further if campaigned
    • It’s also structurally similar to the feel good white saviour biopics that AMPAS loved and would’ve been a more easily digestible alternative to voters who didn’t want to reward/watch 12YAS (how many times did we this coming up in honest ballots, Ellen even made of fun it in her monologue)

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    schmids
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    #1203782641

    Not a campaigning decision per se, but if Noah Baumbach/Netflix had gotten Marriage Story out a season earlier (it was filmed early 2018) it would have done much better.

    The worst fraud ever in Oscar history must be Marlon Brando being put in Lead for The Godfather, and Pacino in Supporting, when it’s CLEARLY the opposite. And Pacino should have easily won in the Lead category.

    But Brando did win, so it’s not necessarily a ‘bad’ decision. Just category fraud.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    #1203783109

    John Wayne infamously campaigned hard for The Alamo to get recognition despite it not being a critical or commercial success. Oscar voters were so fed up with his tireless campaigning that they basically said “Fine! Are you happy now?!” According to some film historians, it’s because of this move that Psycho got left out of the Best Picture race despite its nominations for Janet Leigh and Alfred Hitchock.

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    Gabriel Guarin
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    #1203783273

    John Wayne infamously campaigned hard for The Alamo to get recognition despite it not being a critical or commercial success. Oscar voters were so fed up with his tireless campaigning that they basically said “Fine! Are you happy now?!” According to some film historians, it’s because of this move that Psycho got left out of the Best Picture race despite its nominations for Janet Leigh and Alfred Hitchock.

    If I were an Oscar voter in 1960, I would shut out The Alamo completely just to spite him, and then nominate a bunch of foreign films just to further spit in his face.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    #1203783806

    He infamously didn’t get along with his co-star Richard Widmark during filming, due to their differing political views, with Wayne being a Republican and Widmark being a Democrat. Charlton Heston actually turned down the film because he, being a Democrat at the time, didn’t want to to work with Wayne.

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    Monty
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    #1203783861

    I was thinking Rooney Mara could have won in lead category for Carol because I was a bit underwhelmed by Larson. I think people didn’t vote for her in supporting because it is category fraud at its pinnacle. (the hilarious “Rooney Moore” by Diane Ladd) You still could argue Eddie Redmayne is the true lead in The Danish Girl rather than Vikander. In Mara’s case, there is no excuse.

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