(film) A film or films perceived to have been produced at least partially in order to be nominated for, and hopefully win, an Academy Award.
1968 December 16, New York Magazine, volume 1, number 37, ISSN0028-7369, page 5:
"O'Toole and Hepburn are memorable and matchless. You'll never see better performances. These are both Oscar bait outings.
2005, Steve Pond, The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards, page 261:
Director Steven Soderbergh's Traffic was more typical Oscar bait, but the high-minded three-hour film about the drug trade along the US/ Mexican border was also inconsistent, and Soderbergh's fondness for mixing in grainy film stock and jerky handheld cameras didn't figure to endear him to older Academy voters.