Thursday, July 2, 2015

Topic Of The Day: The Norbit Effect: Does It Exist?

Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of Topic Of The Day. For today's topic, since I recently delved into whether or not young actors that win Oscars are hit by a supposed Oscar curse by simply winning, I will dive into another slight Oscar speculation. That is whether or not the Norbit Effect exists.

Back in 2007, Eddie Murphy was the heavy frontrunner to win Best Supporting Actor for Dreamgirls. But around voting time, the critically reviled Norbit came out and because Murphy infamously lost the Oscar to Alan Arkin, there was plenty of speculatuon that Norbit was a huge factor into his loss. Since then, whenever an actor is up for an Oscar and has a critically panned film released around voting time, people say that particular actor might fall victim to the Norbit Effect or be Norbited.

During this year's awards season, Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore were heavy frontrunners for Best Actor and Actress. But as voting began, they each came out with a film that was critically demonized: Jupiter Ascending for Redmayne and Seventh Son for Julianne Moore. Both films had people whispering whether they'd be Norbited. But I think the difference between those two and Eddie Murphy is that Murphy's stamp of approval was all over Norbit. He wrote, produced, and starred in it. But in the case of Redmayne and Moore, they were two good actors stuck in a panned movie. Plus, those two don't have as many Norbits on their resumes and since awards season kicks into high gear within the first few months of the year, that part of the year is often known as the "dump months." Those months are when films that the studios don't really believe in, critically or financially, get released. So for any actor that supposedly falls prey to being Norbited, it is mostly awkward timing when a poor quality film is released during the prestigious awards period.

Also, while I'm sure Norbit didn't exactly help Eddie Murphy's cause, I don't think it was the only factor in his loss. Despite scoring 8 Oscar nominations, Dreamgirls was snubbed for Best Picture. So I'm sure there wasn't a whole lot of enthusiasm for the film. Plus, because Murphy lost to Alan Arkin, voters probably had that feeling of "It's his turn" and got sentimental by voting for Arkin because he's an older veteran.

So I don't really think there is a Norbit Effect. While I'm sure that Norbit was one factor to Eddie Murphy's loss in particular, the same doesn't apply to every actor that has a bad movie released around voting time since the Oscars just happen to take place during the "dump months". Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!