For Your Consideration (2006)
Lights! Camera! Action! Praise goes to the heads of the cast of Jewish drama Home For Purim when their performances generate 'Oscar buzz.'
Trouble On Set: The increased attention on the film causes the Hollywood execs to demand awful changes, and forces the cast into a demeaning publicity blitz.
Chances Of An Oscar: Yes - but not for the stars who think they deserve one.
My Week With Marilyn (2011)
Lights! Camera! Action! Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) heads to Britain to co-star with Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) in The Prince And The Showgirl .
Trouble On Set: A clash of American and British acting styles, as Marilyn outrages Olivier by forgetting her lines, turning up late and insisting on keeping acting coach Paula Strasberg with her at all times.
Chances Of An Oscar: Zilch - The Prince And The Showgirl wasn't nominated.
White Hunter, Black Heart (1990)
Lights! Camera! Action! Hollywood director John Wilson (Clint Eastwood) heads to Africa to make his latest movie, but is more interested in hunting elephants.
Trouble On Set: A bust-up with Wilson's friend Pete Verill (Jeff Fahey) over his sinful insistence on killing animals instead of making the film.
Chances Of An Oscar: This is a fictionalised version of John Huston's The African Queen , which did indeed win an Oscar for Humphrey Bogart's lead performance.
Son Of Rambow (2008)
Lights! Camera! Action! Unlikely friends Will (Bill Milner) and Lee (Will Poulter) bond over a shared love of First Blood .
Trouble On Set: Will has been brought up by a religious sect who ban him from watching movies. Sylvester Stallone never had this problem.
Chances Of An Oscar: The boys aren't aiming for the Academy; they just want to get their film shown on the BBC show Screen Test .
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Lights! Camera! Action! Hapless actors Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller) and Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey, Jr) are dropped in the jungle to shoot Vietnam epic Tropic Thunder guerrilla-style.
Trouble On Set: The stars think they're being filmed with hidden cameras, but the director is dead and they're walking into a drug war.
Chances Of An Oscar: Believe it or not, Speedman wins ol' Goldenhead.
Broken Embraces (2009)
Lights! Camera! Action! Director Mateo Blanco (Lluis Homar) falls in love with star Lena Rivas (Penelope Cruz) while making Spanish farce Girls And Suitcases .
Trouble On Set: Lena's other lover is the film's obsessively jealous producer, who conspires to wreck Blanco's relationship and his career.
Chances Of An Oscar: Slim, after Blanco is blinded and Martel deliberately edits the film using the worst takes.
State And Main (2000)
Lights! Camera! Action! The cast and crew of Walt Price's (William H. Macy) new film The Old Mill turn up in a small town to begin shooting.
Trouble On Set: The mill burnt down decades ago, forcing major rewrites from screenwriter Joseph Turner White (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Meanwhile, leading man Bob Barrenger (Alec Baldwin) is upsetting the locals by thinking with his dick.
Chances Of An Oscar: They don't have time to worry about that now. They have a film to make.
Through The Olive Trees (1994)
Lights! Camera! Action! An Iranian director visits the remote village of Koker to make And Life Goes On..., a film about the aftermath of a real-life earthquake.
Trouble On Set: An amateur actor hired for the film is distracted when he decides to propose to a local girl whose family don't like him.
Chances Of An Oscar: And Life Goes On... was a real film (directed by Abbas Kiarostami, who also made this). He's never even had a nomination.
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962)
Lights! Camera! Action! Role reversal and then some, as child star Baby Jane is usurped when sister Blanche becomes the bigger movie star.
Trouble On Set: Blanche is crippled in a car accident... years later, Jane (Bette Davis) is still terrorising her sister (Joan Crawford) by feeding her dead parakeet for dinner.
Chances Of An Oscar: For sheer eye-rolling hysterics, they both deserve one.
Inland Empire (2006)
Lights! Camera! Action! Nikki Grace (Laura Dern) accepts a role on Kingsley's (Jeremy Irons) latest film, On High In Blue Tomorrows .
Trouble On Set: The story's roots in a Polish folk tale have already seen one attempt to film it cursed... and so is this one.
Chances Of An Oscar: Who knows? Maybe the talking rabbits will win.
Stardust Memories (1980)
Lights! Camera! Action! Sandy Bates (Woody Allen) reminisces as he attends a retrospective of his work.
Trouble On Set: Women troubles, of course. But mainly it's the annoyance of fans who keep telling Sandy they prefer his "early, funny" films.
Chances Of An Oscar: Yes, but "I would trade that Oscar for one more second of life."
Be Kind Rewind (2008)
Lights! Camera! Action! Mike (Mos Def) and Jerry (Jack Black) become an amateur remake squad when Jerry accidentally erases all of the VHS tapes at rental store Be Kind Rewind.
Trouble On Set: They have no money, no crew and no copyright, but they still manage to create 'sweded' versions of Ghostbusters , Rush Hour 2 and many others.
Chances Of An Oscar: They're more likely to get sued by the studios.
Shadow Of The Vampire (2000)
Lights! Camera! Action! German director F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich) films his take on Dracula - Nosferatu - starring the unusual Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe).
Trouble On Set: Schreck isn't acting - he's actually a vampire, hired to enhance the film's realism.
Chances Of An Oscar: There weren't any Oscars when Nosferatu was released in 1922, although Murnau's Sunrise would become the big winner at the first Academy Awards.
Lights! Camera! Action! Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) gets funding to make sci-fi thriller Chubby Rain on condition he cast action star Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy).
Trouble On Set: The catch? Ramsey won't agree to be in the film, so Bowfinger shoots the film without his knowledge, using hidden cameras and dorky lookalike Jiff (also Murphy).
Chances Of An Oscar: For a no-hoper like Bowfinger, it's enough he got Chubby Rain in the can.
The Aviator (2004)
Lights! Camera! Action! Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) spares no expense trying to make WWI flying drama Hell's Angels as realistic as possible.
Trouble On Set: By the time he's waiting for the clouds to part, Hughes is the only one mad enough to do the aerial stunts he needs.
Chances Of An Oscar: It wins Best Cinematography. Worth waiting for those clouds to disappear, then.
A Cock And Bull Story (2006)
Lights! Camera! Action! They said classic comic novel Tristram Shandy was unfilmable. But stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have different ideas.
Trouble On Set: While Mark the director (Jeremy Northam) figures out how to adapt the famously laidback story, Coogan and Brydon was busy becoming real-life versions of their baudy, bickering characters.
Chances Of An Oscar: A tricky film to market, especially after the director cuts the expensively staged battle scene because "it isn't funny."
Gods And Monsters (1998)
Lights! Camera! Action! The elderly director James Whale (Ian McKellen) recounts his glory days as a horror director to gardener Clayton Boone (Brendan Fraser).
Trouble On Set: In comparison to his tormented private life, Whale's shooting of classics like The Bride Of Frankenstein went without a hitch.
Chances Of An Oscar: Since Whale worked exclusively in genres outside of Hollywood's notion of quality, he was criminally looked over.
Man Bites Dog (1992)
Lights! Camera! Action! A documentary crew films a 'fly on the wall' study of serial killer Ben (Benoit Poelvoorde).
Trouble On Set: The crew becomes increasingly complicit in Ben's crimes, until he encourages them to join in with the rape of his latest victim.
Chances Of An Oscar: It's doubtful the police would allow the footage out of the evidence locker.
Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
Lights! Camera! Action! Heather Langenkamp, star of the original A Nightmare On Elm Street , is targeted by Freddy Krueger.
Trouble On Set: Any horror star's worst nightmare - a fictional character that has lost all sense of which is the fantasy, and which is the reality.
Chances Of An Oscar: Had it been subtitled and directed by Fellini, it'd stand a good chance. With Craven calling for more blood... probably not.
Lights! Camera! Action! In the Florida Keys, 1962, showboating filmmaker Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman) attends the premiere of horror sensation Mant!
Trouble On Set: Woolsey's seat-shaking gimmick Rumble-rama is nothing compared to the real-life threat of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Chances Of An Oscar: Sadly, Mant! (Half-Man! Half-Ant! All Terror!) isn't the kind of movie to woo the Academy.
The Bad And The Beautiful (1952)
Lights! Camera! Action! Ruthless producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) tries to make it to the top, no matter what.
Trouble On Set: Mostly caused by Shields, as he uses director Fred Amiel (Barry Sullivan), star Georgia Lorrison (Lana Turner) and writer James Lee Bartlow (Dick Powell) to prop up his ambition.
Chances Of An Oscar: Shields is his own worst enemy, so he'll botch the job long before the Academy votes.
Get Shorty (1995)
Lights! Camera! Action! Loan shark Chili Palmer (John Travolta) gets a taste for Tinseltown when he pitches a movie to Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman), the producer whose debt Chili has to collect.
Trouble On Set: Chili has a rival - drug dealer Bo Catlett (Delroy Lindo) also fancies himself as a wannabe Hollywood hotshot.
Chances Of An Oscar: 50/50 - it depends how much dirt Chili has on the voters.
Lights! Camera! Action! Orphan Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) realises that the grumpy toy shop owner in the railway station where he lives is none other than forgotten film director George Melies (Ben Kingsley).
Trouble On Set: Melies recounts the glory days when he made hundreds of films more or less by hand... but also the dark days when he had to let his films be melted down in order to make enough money to survive.
Chances Of An Oscar: America is too far away for Melies; he'll settle for rehabilitation as a pioneer of French cinema.
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Lights! Camera! Action! Friends Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) grow up in Texan town Anarene and idle away the hours in the cinema run by Sam The Lion (Ben Johnson).
Trouble On Set: Never mind Sonny and Duane's various romantic entanglements. When Sam dies, there's a chance the movie theater will close for good.
Chances Of An Oscar: Anarene is about as far away as Americans can get from Hollywood glamour.
Swimming With Sharks (1994)
Lights! Camera! Action! Studio whipping boy Guy (Frank Whaley) bites back after too much abuse from bullying exec Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey).
Trouble On Set: Guy kidnaps Buddy, ties him to a chair and gives him a taste of his own medicine.
Chances Of An Oscar: It'll be a miracle if these two actually get any work done.
Lights! Camera! Action! Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) gets a case of writer's block trying to pen an adaptation of Susan Orlean's The Orchard Thief .
Trouble On Set: Kaufman isn't helped by the fact that twin brother Donald (also Cage) is living the high life after writing thriller The 3 with no trouble whatsoever.
Chances Of An Oscar: Impossible to separate fact from fiction here; the fact is, they did make a film about Kaufman's difficulties… and it did win an Oscar (Chris Cooper for Best Supporting Actor).
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Lights! Camera! Action! Hollywood cops Edmund Exley (Guy Pearce), Bud White (Russell Crowe) and Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) investigate a case with an unusual Tinseltown connection.
Trouble On Set: The clues point to Fleur-de-Lis, an elite club where "everything you desire" becomes possible because it employs hookers who are lookalikes of Hollywood stars, like Veronica Lake-a-like Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger).
Chances Of An Oscar: For girls like Bracken who made the move to L.A., this is the closest they'll ever get to stardom.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
Lights! Camera! Action! Toontown icon Roger Rabbit, star of hits like Something's Cooking , is framed for murder.
Trouble On Set: Can toon-hating P.I. Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) put aside his prejudice to reunite the worlds of live-action and animation?
Chances Of An Oscar: If Toontown awarded Oscars, it'd bag every gong going.
Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Lights! Camera! Action! Comedy director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is determined to do a stylistic U-turn by making social realist drama, O Brother Where Art Thou?
Trouble On Set: Since Sullivan has no experience of hardship, he hits the road disguised as a hobo... and ends up in a labour camp.
Chances Of An Oscar: Sullivan gives up the pretence of serious drama - and any likelihood of awards - when he realises that comedy is his calling.
Boogie Nights (1997)
Lights! Camera! Action! Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) reinvents himself as 'Dirk Diggler' to become the star of porn auteur Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds).
Trouble On Set: During the free-love, shoot-on-film 1970s, everything's great. But the 1980s, cocaine and videotape are lurking in wait...
Chances Of An Oscar: In a word, no.
The Purple Rose Of Cairo (1985)
Lights! Camera! Action! Fangirl Cecilia (Mia Farrow) is so besotted with romantic comedy The Purple Rose Of Cairo - and specifically its hero, Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels) - she goes back to the cinema to see it over and over again.
Trouble On Set: Tom notices Cecilia and walks out of the film to talk to he, leaving his fellow characters twiddling their thumbs.
Chances Of An Oscar: It's unlikely the studio will be promoting a film that even its lead character isn't interested in.
Living In Oblivion (1995)
Lights! Camera! Action! Aspiring indie filmmaker Nick Reve (Steve Buscemi) is trying to shoot his low-budget relationship drama.
Trouble On Set: A preening star (James LeGros) and a dwarf (Peter Dinklage) unhappy about being typecast - "Do you know anyone who's had a dream with a dwarf in it? No! I don't even have dreams with dwarves in them."
Chances Of An Oscar: Slim. Reve's film is at the spit-and-sawdust level of indie cinema.
A Star Is Born (1954)
Lights! Camera! Action! Faded star Norman Maine (James Mason) gets a shot at redemption when he falls in love with up-and-comer Esther Blodgett (Judy Garland).
Trouble On Set: A tale of two stars - Esther, renamed Vicki Lester, hits the big time; while Norman becomes an unemployed alcoholic.
Chances Of An Oscar: A win for Vicki Lester… even if drunken Norman derails the ceremony.
Peeping Tom (1960)
Lights! Camera! Action! Londoner Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) gets into home movie-making after being constantly filmed in a variety of experiments by his psychiatrist father.
Trouble On Set: Mark has an unusual filming technique - he fits a bayonet to the camera so he can kill helpless women and record their dying screams.
Chances Of An Oscar: Well, it'd make a change from Merchant Ivory films as ambassadors of British culture.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Lights! Camera! Action! Amateur filmmakers Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams head into the woods on the trail of the mythical Blair Witch.
Trouble On Set: Weird tree sculptures, bundles of teeth and hair, and a very creepy abandoned house. Maybe the Blair Witch isn't so mythical, after all?
Chances Of An Oscar: A long-shot for Best Documentary... but who would pick up the award?
Super 8 (2011)
Lights! Camera! Action! Adolescent auteur Charles Kaznyk (Riley Griffiths) enlists the help of his classmates to make amateur zombie epic The Case .
Trouble On Set: An attempt to add production values by shooting in a railway station goes awry when the camera accidentally films an alien escaping from a train smash.
Chances Of An Oscar: On the strength of The Case , probably not, but it's early days. Give Kaznyk a sequel!
The Artist (2011)
Lights! Camera! Action! When sound arrives in Hollywood, George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) bucks the trend by filming another silent movie, jungle adventure Tears Of Love .
Trouble On Set: Nobody wants to see Valentin when they can hear other stars… notably the object of Valentin's affection, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), now a major star.
Chances Of An Oscar: For Tears Of Love ? Zero. Fortunately, Peppy persuades Hollywood to give Valentin another shot, this time making a musical.
King Kong (1933)
Lights! Camera! Action! Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) hires Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) to play the love interest in his latest adventure documentary.
Trouble On Set: Denham probably hadn't counted on just how single-minded the island's giant ape was when it came to falling in love.
Chances Of An Oscar: Denham gives up on the idea of completing his film and decides to make his money by parading Kong on the New York stage. Bad idea.
Sherlock, Jr (1924)
Lights! Camera! Action! A daydreaming projectionist (Buster Keaton) must play detective when he's framed for theft.
Trouble On Set: Keaton dreams that he 'walks' into a film, only to find he's in various difficulties when each shot cuts to the next.
Chances Of An Oscar: It's all in Buster's head. He'll have to make do with clearing his name and winning the girl.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Lights! Camera! Action! Aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts) stuns with an audition piece for director Adam Kesher's (Justin Theroux) latest film, The Sylvia North Story .
Trouble On Set: It's likely that 'Betty' is the construct for failed wannabe Diane Selwyn (also Watts), facing a bleak future after too many professional and romantic rejections.
Chances Of An Oscar: None whatsoever for Diane... but somewhere Betty is winning Best Actress.
Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)
Lights! Camera! Action! Cheating slightly to include a documentary, but the making of Apocalypse Now is the gold standard of 'real-life' movies about movies.
Trouble On Set: Martin Sheen's heart attack, Marlon Brando's truculence in refusing to read the script and a typhoon destroying the set - as Francis Ford Coppola said, "We were in the jungle, there were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane."
Chances Of An Oscar: Apocalypse Now won two, Best Cinematography and Best Sound.
Lights! Camera! Action! Hollywood producer Jerry Prokosch (Jack Palance) has hired Paul Javal (Michel Piccoli) to write a script for Fritz Lang's new version of The Odyssey .
Trouble On Set: Paul's dithering over the project causes his marriage with Camille (Brigitte Bardot) to hit the skids, while Lang isn't happy shooting in Cinemascope - "good for only snakes and funerals".
Chances Of An Oscar: Weirdly, Prokosch's cod-psychological reading of Odysseus as a modern neurotic might actually appeal to Oscar voters, although it would be a posthumous win for the producer.
Ed Wood (1994)
Lights! Camera! Action! Enthusiastic but talent-challenged Ed Wood Jr (Johnny Depp) embarks on his most ambitious project, Plan 9 From Outer Space .
Trouble On Set: Wood's star Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau) dies, so Wood simply hires a chiropractor as Lugosi's stand-in.
Chances Of An Oscar: The only prizes Plan 9 From Outer Space ever won were for Worst Film awards.
Barton Fink (1991)
Lights! Camera! Action! Hot Broadway playwright Barton Fink (John Turturro) is fast-tracked to Hollywood to pen the next Wallace Beery wrestling pic and holed up in the decrepit Hotel Earle.
Trouble On Set: Barton, prophet of the common man, gets writer's block, and the continual interruptions of neighbour Charlie Meadows aka Mad Man Muntz (John Goodman) aren't helping either.
Chances Of An Oscar: Barton is deemed too high-faluting for Hollywood and told his work will never be produced.
The Player (1992)
Lights! Camera! Action! Studio executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) greenlights terrible legal thriller Habeas Corpus , in the hope of blaming rival Larry Levy (Peter Gallagher).
Trouble On Set: Mill is distracted; he's been getting death threats, murdered the disgruntled screenwriter he thought responsible, and then realised the killed the wrong guy.
Chances Of An Oscar: Habeas Corpus started out as awards-bait; by the time Mill has finished, it's a Bruce Willis / Julia Roberts movie with a happy ending. Go figure.
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Lights! Camera! Action! Film director Salvatore remembers growing up in the Sicilian Cinema Paradiso, where projectionist Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) taught him about the movies.
Trouble On Set: The local priest/censor insists on ruining all the films by cutting out all the kisses... although Alfredo doesn't let them go to waste.
Chances Of An Oscar: The grown-up Salvatore is reputedly very famous, but he keeps Alfredo's word not to indulge in nostalgia by filming his childhood.
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Lights! Camera! Action! Murdered screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) narrates the story of his meeting with washed-up silent icon Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson).
Trouble On Set: Desmond is a loon who has funerals for her pet monkeys and cruelly keeps her old director Max von Mayerling (Erich von Stroheim) retained as her butler.
Chances Of An Oscar: Desmond might think she's working with De Mille, but she's going to have to be ready for her close-up behind bars.
Eight And A Half (1963)
Lights! Camera! Action! Director Guido (Marcello Mastroianni) suffers creative block while embarking on his latest film and drifts into dreams and memories.
Trouble On Set: Women troubles, as Guido tries to keep wife Anouk Aimee, mistress Sandra Milo and starlet Claudia Cardinale happy.
Chances Of An Oscar: Depends on the box office. If Guido has a hit, then all of his indulgence will be forgiven.
Day For Night (1973)
Lights! Camera! Action! Ferrand (Francois Truffaut) is shooting melodrama Meet Pamela with stars Alphonse (Jean-Pierre Leaud) and Julie (Jacqueline Bisset).
Trouble On Set: Where to start? Julie is recovering from a breakdown and has an affair with Alphonse. Fellow star Severine (Valentina Cortese) is a needy diva. And another star is killed in a car accident.
Chances Of An Oscar: Just getting the film completed is reward enough.
Singin' In The Rain (1952)
Lights! Camera! Action! Silent movie star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), working on his first talkie, The Duelling Cavalier .
Trouble On Set: Cumbersome sound equipment and the shrieking voice of co-star Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) conspire to make the preview screening a laughing stock.
Chances Of An Oscar: Much better after Don's new girlfriend Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) hits on the idea of making a musical ( The Dancing Cavalier ) instead, and even agrees to overdub Lina's voice.