John Travolta’s Critically Reviled ‘The Fanatic’ Gets Oscar Campaign, Because Why Not

The odds Travolta breaks into a crowded Best Actor race that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, and Joaquin Phoenix are zero and below.
John Travolta's The Fanatic Is Being Campaigned for Oscars
"The Fanatic"

The Oscar race for Best Actor is chock full of heavyweight contenders, from Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker” to Leonardo DiCaprio in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Adam Driver in “Marriage Story,” Robert De Niro in “The Irishman,” and Antonio Banderas in “Pain and Glory,” among others. But what about John Travolta in “The Fanatic”? Anyone with common sense knows the “Grease” legend has zero chance of landing a nomination for a film that has received some of the most horrendous reviews of 2019, but that’s not stopping an Oscars push from being launched.

“The Fanatic,” infamously directed by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, opened in late August from Quiver Entertainment. Travolta stars as the super-fan of a horror actor (played by Devon Sawa) whose obsession turns psychotic when the Hollywood star proves dismissive of him.

An FYC ad for “The Fanatic” has been circulating on social media and was spotted by Next Best Picture writer Will Mavity. Neither Travolta nor Quiver Entertainment responded to IndieWire’s request for comment, but the FYC ad does make an appearance in Deadline’s most recent edition of the Awards Line digital magazine (see page 59). The magazine is targeted at awards voters and the November edition includes ads for top contenders such as “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story.”

The FYC advertisement features Travolta’s character, Moose, next to critical pull quotes hailing the actor as “amazing” in the movie. One quote, attributed to CBS, says, “John Travolta nails it in this movie. His acting transcends the written word.” The pull quotes mention publications but oddly leave out the names of the respective writers.

“The Fanatic” is widely considered one of the most critically-reviled films of the year. In a rare zero-star review, critic Brian Tallerico wrote, “‘The Fanatic’ hates fans. It hates actors. It hates tourists, shop owners, and servants. It really, really hates autistic people. And it hates you. It’s a movie that thinks you’re an idiot, someone who won’t see through its shallow provocations, illogical behavior, and vile misanthropy.”

Check out the FYC “Fanatic” advertisement in the post below.

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