There was a time when using certain tropes in a film would almost certainly result in the film being nominated for every major award.
These tropes – making unrealistically good-looking Hollywood stars look unattractive, spending an inordinate amount of time on method acting or learning skills for a film or covering certain themes – have been dubbed “Oscar bait”.
However, it appears that moviegoers are no longer as naive as they once were when it comes to what the Academy and other honorees are impressed with.
In fact, the term “Oscar bait” has become a symbol of ridicule this year, increasingly used to denigrate nine-time nominee Bradley Cooper – once Hollywood's golden boy but whose new career has suddenly made him unpopular and ridiculed by many Image Maestro, a biopic of the composer Leonard Bernstein.
The actor, whose breakout role in the 2009 film The Hangover, has become the subject of intense online backlash – and the reason appears to be partly in response to losing the Golden Globe trophy for Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama (which went to Cillian) It's Murphy's turn with Oppenheimer.
HOLLYWOOD'S GOLDEN BOY: Bradley Cooper and his then-partner Irina Shayk attend the 2019 Oscars in Hollywood
Bradley Cooper plays the role of Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro.” His prosthetic nose caused controversy, with some referring to the move as “Jew face.”
Bradley Cooper at the recent Golden Globes, where his reaction (pictured) to losing the Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama award to Cillian Murphy was mocked
When the winner was announced, Bradley fought valiantly to smile graciously as Cillian was rewarded for his outstanding performance.
Bradley's disappointment was clear: And it seems to have infuriated many film lovers that the actor, who also directed the film, really, really wanted to win.
This prompted some to take to X (formerly Twitter) and mock his clear desire to accept the award.
One said: “Man, Bradley Cooper is *really* desperate for the Oscar.”
Another added: “I see Bradley Cooper turned into a joker because he's so desperate to win awards we need more of this idiot.”
Another mocking post said: “I love Bradley Cooper's desperate pursuit of artistic greatness; as if it could be achieved by sheer force of will.'
Similarly, another added “It seems obvious he was desperate for recognition/awards for his acting but he probably doesn't win much if anything.”
Meanwhile, another wrote: “This is going to be a long awards season (Bradley Cooper is so desperate to win an Oscar it's not even funny anymore).”
Many seemed to dislike Bradley's desire to win top awards for his creative endeavor – some mocked him for being “desperate.”
Similarly, another added: “Bradley Cooper is just extremely desperate to win awards at this point and it's honestly so embarrassing.”
Although he has been criticized for his desperation, the actor is no stranger to awards and nominations.
His collection includes a British Academy Film Award and two Grammy Awards, as well as nominations for nine Academy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards and a Tony Award.
But even before the awards ceremony, there was some controversy surrounding the biopic: Bradley had worn a prosthetic nose, a decision described as “problematic” by The Hollywood Reporter's chief critic Daniel Fienberg.
Other criticisms of the decision included others branding the prosthesis as “anti-Semitic” and some calling it “Jew face.”
The conductor's children said they had no problem with prosthetics and said their father did not either.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League also supported: “Throughout history, Jews have often been portrayed as evil caricatures with big hooked noses in anti-Semitic films and propaganda. This film, which is a biography of legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein, is not that.”
Bradley has worked hard to promote the film at awards shows, which has also become a subject of derision for some – even though this year is considered a difficult one, with the Best Picture category going to Oppenheimer, “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Poor Things” went and Barbie and Maestro.
Among other things, Bradley revealed that he spent six years learning to conduct for a six-minute scene in which Bernstein conducts the London Symphony Orchestra.
One of Bradley Cooper's main criticisms from X users was that he spent six years learning to conduct
This solved the problem
Another added: “I don't care if it's not true because it means nothing, but I still find it hilarious to think that Bradley Cooper put in six years of work to get an award that he later to Cillian Murphy and whoever BD is will lose.”
In another mocking post, the author said: “Bradley Cooper will spend the next six years perfecting an Irish accent for his next role.”
Another critic added: “So I watched the recent video of Leonard Bernstein conducting Mahler's Symphony No. 2 v. I felt like there was something wrong with Bradley Cooper's version, and… Mr. Cooper… six years?? and you couldn't even hit the downbeats???'
Similarly, another wrote: “Cate Blanchett had the world googling to see if Lydia Tár was a real person with her amazing performance, and Bradley Cooper does what toddlers do and imitate… Except most toddlers don't take six years.” .'