John Travolta seeks an Oscar nomination for The Fanatic performance

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

The Fanatic John Travolta Fred Durst

I enjoyed director Fred Durst's celebrity stalker movie THE FANATIC when I watched it back in August, but I'm fully aware that my 8/10 review is one of just a few positive reviews that are out there. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, only 17% of the reviews are positive.

At the heart of that film is a performance from John Travolta that viewers seemed to be split on. A lot of even the negative reviews had positive things to say about Travolta – that he gave a "committed performance" but it couldn't save the movie, that he "throws his whole being into an extreme, torrential performance", that the movie might have been better if everyone involved had made even a fraction of the effort Travolta made, that he plays his character with "extravagantly wounded ferocity." And then there were reviews that called his performance ridiculous, embarrassing, cringe-inducing, or "absurdly apeshit"… I get it. He plays an odd character and throws himself into it completely, but I ended up caring for and feeling sympathy for the guy, so I say it was a job well done.

In THE FANATIC, Travolta plays a guy called Moose, 

who gets cheated out of meeting his hero, Hunter Dunbar (Devon Sawa). Moose then hunts down Dunbar to get the celebrity interaction he feels he deserves. Harmless at first, Moose’s actions begin to take a dark turn. Against the advice of his friend Leah (Ana Golja), Moose begins to make frequent visits to his hero’s private home. As the visits continue to escalate, Dunbar finds himself in increasing danger.

I liked THE FANATIC and Travolta's work in it, but I know there's no chance that he's going to earn an Oscar nomination for the film, even though a "For Your Consideration" ad has been sent out encouraging Academy members to give him the nod.

A lot of people are going to be making fun of this, as that person who shared the ad on Twitter did, but Travolta actually has already won an award for playing Moose. He was given the Lead Acting Award at the Rome Film Festival. The festival's artistic director Antonio Monda said, 

I'm delighted and honored to bestow this award on John Travolta for his performance in THE FANATIC. It's a stirring and surprising performance that succeeds in showing how dreams often turn into nightmares in Hollywood."

An Oscar for THE FANATIC surely won't be joining that award on a shelf in Travolta's home, but maybe he will finally get one for something else in the future. Travolta has received Academy Award nominations for SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and PULP FICTION, but didn't win.

Source: Rotten Tomatoes, Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.