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With the year drawing to a close, we have officially reached peak awards season. As most avid moviegoers already know, this is the time of the year when the best movies fight tooth and nail for Oscar recognition, thus leading to the widespread use of the term, "Oscar bait." These films generate a ton of buzz every year, but now it seems that Samuel L. Jackson isn't too enthused by them. The actor explained:
The politics of what happens during this time of year is very interesting in Hollywood. The movies they choose to say are amazing and great, you know --- 'Manchester by the Sea,' oh my god, you must see it, it's an amazing film!' But, ehh, I guess it is --- to somebody. It's not an inclusive film, you know what I mean? And I'm sure that 'Moonlight' will be thought of the same way. They'll say, 'Well, that's a black movie. Where are the white people?' We'll say the same thing about 'Manchester by the Sea.
During a recent appearance at the Dubai International Film Festival (via The Wrap) Samuel L. Jackson took a shot at "Oscar bait" movies -- particular Manchester by the Sea. His opinion towards the film seems to be its lack on inclusion, and the fact that it doesn't necessarily speak to him on a personal level. By his own estimation, Manchester by the Sea is a movie that's more emblematic of a white experience, and it simply doesn't resonate with him. In a grander sense, this seems to cut to his core thesis that most Oscar season movies (from Manchester to Moonlight) lack broad appeal that crosses cultural or ethnic barriers.
Of course, it's worth noting that Samuel L. Jackson knows a thing or two about awards season. He has earned one Academy Award nomination over the course of his lengthy career, and it was definitely not for a typical Oscar bait movie. His performance as Jules Winnfield in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction catapulted him to stardom in 1994, and garnered him his first (and only) Oscar nomination to date. If more films could follow Pulp Fiction's lead and maintain a broader appeal, Jackson would likely have much more faith in the Oscar process.
Later on during his appearance at the film festival, Samuel L. Jackson similarly critiqued movies that appear designed from the ground up to invoke an emotional reaction from the audience. Movies like Collateral Beauty take a maudlin approach to their subject matter, and it doesn't necessarily ring true to someone's real life experiences. Regardless of how good Collateral Beauty is, there's definitely an undercurrent of truth to Jackson's comments; these days we can pretty much tell when a film is trying to reach for the stars during Oscar season. Maybe it's time for something a bit more subversive.
What's your take on Samuel L. Jackson's Oscar bait opinion? Do you think he has a point? Give us your take in the comments below!