If you’re anything like me, apologies! You really should get that looked at.
But also, perhaps it means you really want to go to your friend’s Oscars party this weekend but are worried that your general apathy toward award shows might leave you without much to talk about.
Which is where this handy guide comes in! Unlike years past, where my reaction to the Academy Awards has been to say “Oh, is that this weekend?” I’ve actually “done” the “research,” which means I’ve come up with some
fun good okay talking points for Sunday that you won’t find anywhere else!
Okay Talking Point 1: What are these movies about anyway?
Ah yes, more than anything, you need to know what the nominated movies are about, right? But who has the time to watch all of them? There are, like, nine movies in the Best Picture category alone! And life is quite possibly too busy/exhausting/terrifying to spend so much time and money at the theater.
Which is why, in preparation for Sunday’s awards, I did my homework, by which I mean I called my ten-year-old nephew and asked him to describe all the Best Picture nominees based on the titles. Here are the results:
Get Out: It’s about a boy who has a girlfriend who’s like, really crazy, and her family takes over people’s heads, basically like parasites. (note: I think he’s actually heard of this one.)
The Phantom Thread: It’s a movie about a thread of phantoms, like a bunch of phantoms in a straight line, and they do hula hooping contests in outer space without helmets.
Call Me By Your Name: This is a movie where a kid tells his parents not to call him sweetie or something like that and instead he tells them to call him by his last name because he wants to be taken seriously.
The Post: This is a horror movie about a post that is actually alive, and when the postman comes to deliver post, or mail, then it eats their souls and then spits them out. (note: this sounds much better than the actual movie)
The Shape of Water: This is a sci-fi movie where they test the molecule of water and take it and make it really really big and then they show people what water looks like but I don’t know why.
Darkest Hour: This is a movie about the hour at night that’s the darkest. Nothing happens, it’s just really dark, so you can take a nap if you want.
At this point in the phone call, my other nephew entered the room and they started wrestling and possibly broke the phone (I’m not totally sure, but the call did get disconnected), which means I do not have nephew-approved descriptions for Dunkirk, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, or Lady Bird, but those three seem pretty self-explanatory anyway, right? War movie, billboard revenge, growing up in Sac-town. Let’s move on.
Okay Talking Point #2: Michael Stuhlbarg’s perfect year
Look, everyone at your party is going to have an opinion on who should win in the acting categories. That’s some pretty basic stuff: I mean, they give you the nominees right there. It’s a multiple choice quiz!
To really wow your frenemies, why not gush about Michael Stuhlbarg? Not only is he an excellent actor, but look at his track record: He was in three movies in 2017, and all three were nominated for Best Picture: The Shape of Water, Call Me By Your Name, and The Post. If Stuhlbarg were a distribution company, he would be associated with a total of 19 nominations, which would be second only to Fox Searchlight.
Despite his consistently excellent work (and his ability to pick good projects), Michael Stulbarg has never been nominated for an Academy Award. He is, however, clearly some kind of Oscar-attracting demigod, and really should be cast by anyone who wants to up their chances of winning one of these false idols.
Okay Talking Point #2A: Vin Diesel’s perfect year (for Vin Diesel)
This has nothing to do with the Academy Awards, but is just as important for all of your fellow film fans to understand: In 2017, Vin Diesel was in The Fate of the Furious, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume Two, a feat that should be called the “Full Diesel”. The only way Vin Diesel could have had an even more Vin Diesel year would be if he somehow managed to fit a Riddick movie in there, which he’s definitely working on.
Note: at this point in the conversation, someone may scoff at you (probably that jerk Scott), and say that Vin Diesel is not a serious actor, at which point you may feel the need to slap that smug look off Scott’s dumb face because did he even see The Fate of the Furious? Dude was capital-A Acting.
But you don’t have to slap Scott’s dumb, dumb face! Remember, Vin Diesel was the Iron Giant, whereas Scott reheats fish in the office microwave and isn’t worth the trouble.
Okay Talking Point #3: Double Nominations in Artistic Categories!
Want to let everyone at the party know that you’re not just about the actors, but really into the craft of film? Why not
dominate the conversation at the apps table gently showcase your knowledge by pointing out that Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer, and Jacqueline Durran are all nominated for their work on both Darkest Hour and Beauty and the Beast: Greenwood and Spencer for Best Achievement in Production Design, and Durran for Best Achievement in Costume Design.
All three now have six nominations each over their careers, five as a collective unit, which is an incredible testament to how respected they are as a team. No jokes here. That’s just three badasses legit doing the work.
Okay Talking Point #4: Why No Award For Best Stunt Coordination?
Now that you’ve had a couple of drinks and there’s a lull in the party, it’s the perfect time to draw focus to yourself by pointing out how absurd it is that there’s no award for Best Stunt Coordination!
This is not a new issue, as stunt coordinators have been fighting for recognition for years, but it remains as glaring an omission as ever, as so many of the biggest moments in film come from stunt sequences. These performers do so much incredible, dangerous work, for much less pay than the stars who they’re replacing — the least we can do is give some of them a nice statue to say thanks for risking their lives to help make some of the most insane moments in film come to life.
Okay Talking Point #5: I can’t believe [blank] was [blank] years ago!
Remember the crazy Moonlight/La La Land twist ending? That was LAST. YEAR.
Feels like so long ago, right? Here are some other crazy Oscar moments that feel like forever ago, to remind everyone just how time feels like it is simultaneously moving at a snail’s pace and ever increasingly fleeting!
Two Years Ago: #OscarSoWhite/Chris Rock making a lame joke about Asians!
Four Years Ago: Adele Dazeem! Oh, remember Adele Dazeem? We were so young and full of joy back then.
Six Years Ago: The Artist wins best picture! (real talk: has anyone ever gone back and re-watched that? Is it worth it? I didn’t see it back then and kind of forgot it existed until I looked it up for this segment and really feel like there’s no point in my trying to find it, but if one of you makes a compelling argument for it I’ll see if it’s streaming somewhere.)
Twelve Years Ago: Wait, Crash? Really?
And there you have it! Five(ish) talking points that are one hundred percent guaranteed to help you win your Oscar party, which is definitely something you win, at least as far as I can remember, okay, to be honest, I don’t really know anymore, it’s been years since someone invited me to their party, can’t imagine why the paperless post must be getting lost in the system hey wait where are you going come back