John Travolta fancies himself for an Oscar for his critically panned 'The Fanatic'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
John Travolta in The Fanatic (Credit: Quiver Distribution)

If there was an Oscar for Most Baffling Screen Hair, then John Travolta would be a shoo-in come February, but instead, the Pulp Fiction star is shooting for something more high profile.

The makers of The Fanatic, directed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, appear to be throwing Travolta's hat in for the Best Actor gong.

This is the same movie which Metacritic deemed to be worthy of 'overwhelming dislike' thanks to its less than celebratory notices.

But despite this, the makers of the movie are putting out For Your Consideration ads to attract Oscar votes.

Travolta could struggle in the coveted Best Actor category, however, with Adam Driver, Robert De Niro, Joaquin Phoenix and Leonardo DiCaprio likely fighting it out.

Nonetheless, the ads feature celebratory quotes for the movie, ABC apparently having said the Grease icon is 'amazing in this film'.

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In it, Travolta played Moose, an autistic man who becomes fixated with fictional horror movie actor Hunter Dunbar (Devon Sawa), and then kidnaps him.

Very much aside from the concerns about the sensitivity of portraying a man with a mental condition in such a manner, reactions to Travolta's performance were, shall we say, mixed.

Travolta and Devon Sawa in The Fanatic (Credit: Quiver Distribution)

“The movie does not live up to the extravagantly wounded ferocity with which Travolta attacks his part. It doesn't even live up to the haircut,” reckoned The Washington Post.

Added The Hollywood Reporter: “An actor who should retire meets a director who never should've started.”

The Wrap was less kind: “A brainless, exploitative folly which gives John Travolta free rein to mine the history of cringe-worthy autism portrayals for an offensively garish Frankenstein pantomime of unhinged obsession.”

We'll see whether Travolta makes the cut when nominations are announced on January 13, 2020.

The Oscars follow on February 9.