Oscar nominations won’t be announced for another month, but at least one prediction can already be made with confidence: no Holocaust films will be among this year’s major contenders.
That’s both a relief and something of a surprise, given the ubiquity of the genre at recent Oscar ceremonies. Holocaust movies haven’t yielded too many actual winners in recent years — Kate Winslet claimed one for “The Reader,” and Christoph Waltz another for “Inglourious Basterds” — but the number of movies was itself sufficient to garner attention, a popularity that could occasionally be uncomfortable.
Awards and nominations for the movies have become so common, in fact, that it’s conventional wisdom to see the films as Oscar bait — a point that’s been made resentfully by Spike Lee and satirized elsewhere by Ricky Gervais. (In Gervais’s case it was with the help of Winslet, which made it seem all the more grubby when she won her first Academy Award for exactly that sort of movie.)