The throwback-y trailer for The Judge is quite deserving of both love and mockery, given that it has all the hallmarks of a '90s Oscar-bait drama, down to the billing, and I'm sure Vincent D'Onofrio is still smarting about it. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, here's how the actors are billed on-screen: Academy Award Nominee Robert Downey Jr., Academy Award Winner Robert Duvall, Academy Award Nominee Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio who's clearly never done anything good with his life, and Academy Award Winner Billy Bob Thornton.
Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit. But poor D'Onofrio, a fine actor in his own regard, sticks out like a sore thumb in that cast list since he's never netted an Oscar nod. This is a hilariously common trend in movie trailers: someone makes the decision to credit the cast with their trophy wins or nominations, realizes there's one or two actors who lack that credit, but barrels on through anyway. It's an easy YouTube rabbit hole to fall down: which movies, in an effort to puff themselves up to audiences about their massive prestige, ended up being horribly rude to one actor?
It's pretty clear why the Adaptation trailer makes the choice to bill Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep as Academy Award Winners. Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman's meta-movie about the difficulty of screenwriting is tough to encapsulate in a couple of minutes, and while the trailer does a good job of preparing you for the insanity, it helps to remember that this is fully-stocked with talent. Including poor Chris Cooper, who gets an "and" credit to salve his lack of a nomination. The irony is, of course, he won a trophy for this role.