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The 3 tropes of an Oscar-bait trailer

In a world of new movie releases, how do trailers create Oscar buzz? The formula is surprisingly simple, if you know what to look for.

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“Jaw-dropping.” “From the Academy Award winner.” “Star-studded.” Chances are you already know exactly how to spot a trailer gearing up for the Academy Awards junket. The holidays are primetime for generating Oscar buzz on the year’s biggest movie releases, and movie studios will spend anywhere between $3 million to $10 million per film to capture the attention of Oscar voters. Streaming platforms are also getting in on the Academy Award action, now with new splashy wins from films like Manchester by the Sea (Amazon) and Roma (Netflix).

That means while you’re trying to pick what to watch next, you’re likely to spot some of these tropes littered throughout the trailers for the 2019 releases hankering for a nomination. Hot-button issues in Bombshell? Check. Prosthetics? (Yeah, you’ve got to see the cast member in Bombshell to know that will be a Best Actor nominee.) Nostalgia galore plus “based on a true story” in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood? Check. Watch for more tropes that are hard to miss in this year’s potential nominee films.

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