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The Films That 2015's Oscar Nominees Would Rather Forget

The Films That 2015's Oscar Nominees Would Rather Forget

The Films That 2015's Oscar Nominees Would Rather Forget
20 January 2015

First the good news: all of these actors have just found themselves in this year's Oscar race. The recent crop of acting nominees are a deserving, if very white, bunch and we wish them all the best for the upcoming ceremony.

And now the bad news. It hasn't always been gushing speeches and goody bags for the 20 fresh nominees. We've gone through their filmographies and found the films they'd probably rather leave behind. In a chest. Buried under the sea.

Steve Carell - Evan Almighty

Nominated for Best Actor - Foxcatcher

Year: 2007

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 23%

Given Carell's profile at the time (a couple of seasons into The Office but not a proven box office star), you can certainly see why he was suckered into this one. With Jim Carrey out of the picture for this one, yet Universal keen to make a sequel, Carell was next in line. He earned $5 million but the film failed to recoup its whopping $175 million budget.

Bradley Cooper - All About Steve

Nominated for Best Actor - American Sniper

Year: 2009

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 7%

Filmed before The Hangover yet sneakily released just two months after, this creepy romantic comedy saw Bradley Cooper stalked by a crossword puzzle writer (?), played by a Razzie-winning Sandra Bullock. It was part of a number of critically reviled rom-coms that Cooper was involved in (see also: Valentine's Day and He's Just Not That Into You) which we imagine, after three Oscar nominations in a row, will become a thing of the past.  

Benedict Cumberbatch - The Fifth Estate

Nominated for Best Actor - The Imitation Game

Year: 2013

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 37%

A curious misstep for Cumberbatch, his performance as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was initially seen as potential awards fodder. Until people actually saw it. While the actor himself received some polite notices, the film was seen as a disappointment. Critics turned against it, Assange himself revealed his distaste and the film became one of the biggest flops of 2013.

Michael Keaton - First Daughter

Nominated for Best Actor - Birdman

Year: 2004

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 8%

Given that Birdman was a comeback movie for Keaton, we were spoiled for choice with possibilities for this. But one of his least liked films saw him play the President whose daughter, played by Katie Holmes, falls for an undercover agent tasked with protecting her. Directed by Forest Whitaker, this sappy tween romance failed to impress even its target audience with a woeful $10 million gross.


Eddie Redmayne - Hick

Nominated for Best Actor - The Theory of Everything

Year: 2012

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 5%

Redmayne has only a small number of film credits to his name but sadly, they're overwhelmingly near the rotten end of the scale. His lowest moment came playing a crippled drifter in this barely seen drama opposite Blake Lively which was torn apart by critics and failed to make an impression with audiences. 

Marion Cotillard - A Good Year

Nominated for Best Actress - Two Days, One Night

Year: 2006

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 25%

We have to hand it to Marion Cotillard. She has impeccable taste as an actress with films including Rust and Bone, The Immigrant, Contagion and Inception all making it difficult to find the bad eggs. We had to go back to 2006, before she won an Oscar for La Vie En Rose, to find her performance in Ridley Scott's misjudged Russell Crowe comedy. Never again.

Felicity Jones - The Tempest

Nominated for Best Actress - The Theory of Everything

Year: 2010

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 30%

One of the most underrated British actresses working today, an Oscar nomination for her performance in The Theory of Everything was much-deserved recognition. We hope that films such as Julie Taymor's misjudged take on The Tempest are behind her, where she starred as Miranda, opposite Helen Mirren and Russell Brand. A sole Oscar nomination for Best Costume design does not a good film make.

Julianne Moore - Shelter/6 Souls

Nominated for Best Actress - Still Alice

Year: 2013

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 4%

In-between racking up Oscar nominations (five and counting), Julianne Moore has a strange tendency to star in schlock thrillers. While Next, Chloe, The Forgotten and Freedomland were all contenders, it was this buried thriller that was the biggest turkey. Called Shelter or 6 Souls, depending on where you've stumbled upon it, Moore stars as a psychiatrist whose latest patient has supernatural connections. It was released in Japan in 2010 and the US in 2013. Go figure.

Rosamund Pike - Doom

Nominated for Best Actress - Gone Girl

Year: 2005

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 19%

Given how utterly perfect she is in Gone Girl, it's surprising that we haven't seen Rosamund Pike in more great roles after her breakout in Die Another Day back in 2002. But it's been a rocky road to Oscar recognition and her role in the video game adaptation of Doom was unarguably the largest pothole. Unlike other awful, yet successful, films of its ilk (stand forward Resident Evil franchise), it didn't even make much money.

Reese Witherspoon - Devil's Knot

Nominated for Best Actress - Wild

Year: 2012

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 22%

What's most interesting about Reese Witherspoon's worst film is that it didn't come in her rom-com phase but rather when she was attempting a comeback. Before she struck gold with her powerful performance in Wild, she made the mistake of getting involved in this turgid drama that squandered a fascinating true crime story and a talented cast, that also included Colin Firth, Amy Ryan and Dane DeHaan.

Robert Duvall - Gods and Generals

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor - The Judge

Year: 2003

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 8%

In a career that has span almost 60 years, there are bound to be some stinkers in Robert Duvall's filmography. But the one which stunk the worst is this failed attempt to get audiences interested in the Civil War. An ambitious $56 million budget and a running time that reached over three hours added to some toxic reviews meant that this is one film that Duvall would happily erase from his CV.


Ethan Hawke - Getaway

Nominated for Best Actor - Boyhood

Year: 2013

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 2%

Ethan Hawke's recent career has been a curious mix of acclaimed indies and loathed B-movies so while Before Midnight might have scooped its fair share of plaudits in 2013, months later he was headlining this turkey. It's a brainless action movie which sees him star alongside Selena Gomez and was commonly seen as the worst film of the year.

Edward Norton - Pride & Glory

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor - Birdman

Year: 2008

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 35%

Known as a bit of a control freak, Edward Norton doesn't have any out-and-out disasters on his CV yet aside from the many great films he's starred in, there are some definite disappointments. This generic and derivative cop drama, which paired him with Colin Farrell, is one of those. It languished in development hell and then suffered from release delays before finally arriving in 2008, to little acclaim.

Mark Ruffalo - A View From The Top

Nominated for Best Supporting  Actor - Foxcatcher

Year: 2003

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 14%

Given how respected he is now, there's a surprising amount of dead wood in Mark Ruffalo's CV. At least before he finally got into his stride. One of the least memorable is his role opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in a comedy about an air hostess that the actress herself loathed, calling it "A View From My Ass" which actually works as a better title.

J.K. Simmons - Jobs

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor - Whiplash

Year: 2013

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 27%

Despite being mostly awesome in any film he stars in, J.K. Simmons is often unable to find projects that match his talents. So while the good eggs are few and far between (Sam Raimi's Spider-Man franchise, Burn After Reading, Up In The Air), the rotten ones are far more apparent, such as his involvement in the Ashton Kutcher Steve Jobs biopic. Everything you need to know about Kutcher's ability to take on such a role is shown in this gif.

Patricia Arquette - Little Nicky

Nominated for Best Supporting Actress - Boyhood

Year: 2000

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 22%

Before Boyhood, it had been 11 years since Patricia Arquette had last starred in a film that gained some positive notices from critics. And that was kids movie Holes. One of her weakest choices was the film that gave Adam Sandler his first, but as seen recently, not his last flop. It also nabbed her a Razzie nomination for Worst Supporting Actress.

Laura Dern - Little Fockers

Nominated for Best Supporting Actress - Wild

Year: 2010

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 10%

Laura Dern is an actress who is unafraid of taking a risk but it was her choice to play it really safe in the tired sequel Little Fockers that brought her the weakest point in her career. Dern played a headmistress in the largely forgettable third instalment that was hated by critics. Recent roles in Wild and The Master suggest she's back on the straight and narrow.

Keira Knightley - Domino

Nominated for Best Supporting Actress - The Imitation Game

Year: 2005

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 19%

After finding blockbuster success in the Pirates franchise, this was a rather ill-advised attempt to turn Keira Knightley into a gun-toting action star. Failing to land with either critics or audiences, Knightley's turn as a model turned bounty hunter was an embarrassing blip for the young actress.

Emma Stone - Movie 43

Nominated for Best Supporting Actress - Birdman

Year: 2013

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 4%

A bit of a no-brainer, this one. Emma Stone's involvement in the famously awful sketch comedy Movie 43 is a bit of a mystery but, like her famous, and now embarrassed, co-stars, it was probably a favour that spiralled out of control. At least she was in good Oscar-winning company.

Meryl Streep - Lions For Lambs

Nominated for Best Supporting Actress - Into the Woods

Year: 2007

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 27%

Receiving her record-breaking 19th nomination this year, it's hard to think of Meryl Streep having made any major errors in her career. But in 2007, she made some rough choices with failed Oscarbait Rendition, talent-wasting drama Evening and this preachy 'War on Terror' lecture from Robert Redford. A message movie that is all message and no movie, it was a regrettable decision for both Streep and co-star Tom Cruise.