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Do You Want A Reason To Get Up Before 8 AM That Doesn’t Involve a McGriddle January 7, 2008

Posted by doctorolove in Movies, Pop Culture Rants.
2 comments

Oscar Season is beginning to heat up much like the meth lab Britney Spears keeps in the 23rd bedroom in her home (It’s out back just past the solid gold bidet and the life size cut out of the original Cooter from the Dukes of Hazard.) The entries are all in (as the rules state that the film must have been released in 2007, so sorry One Missed Call) and the nominees are probably already hermetically sealed in an envelope.

So let’s say you are an actor or actress who has been shot down more often than Tom Cruise at a WNBA mixer. You have one dream. Not to win, but just to be nominated. A nomination for an Academy Award is like a red wine stain on a white shirt: it is impossible to shake and it will follow you everywhere. It precedes your name no matter what you do (Yup, Snow Dogs was advertised as starring Academy Award winners Cuba Gooding and James Coburn) and it even raises your tax bracket (until you do a movie led the aforementioned Snow Dogs and realize that to pay for your addiction to Hummel figurines, you need to sell some Hanes underwear in a series of sexually ambiguous commercials set in an alternate universe where Michael Jordan has his own talk show….Apparently in that alternate universe, the Magic Hour was HUGE!)

You don’t necessarily need to win. Heck, if you live long enough and don’t do too many appearances on the Lifetime network, they’ll give you one anyway and call it a lifetime achievement (A Lifetime for no Lifetime!….savory the irony….tastes like Dr. Pepper, don’t it?) You just want them to announce that you were nominated and most of the time, it doesn’t even have to be a great job. Maybe you were due. Maybe everybody else sucked that year and you are recognized simply on not sucking as much (the Joaquin Phoenix theory of acting). Or maybe, just maybe you followed these simple steps. Because if you do, you’ll be shown quickly in the audience once and have to try on your best “That piece of shit won?” face.

First, determine the type of actor you are. Are you the budding new generation ingénue? Are you the long suffering character actor whose claim to fame is being called out by the guy next to you at Hooters for being “that guy” in “that Bruce Willis movie?” Are you the actor who has simply coasted on your good looks in a string of straight to DVD features and often find yourself wondering which Tara Reid vehicle best defined your career?  Once you can say you know who you are, then you can move on to step two.

Second is choosing the role that defines your type.  If you are the character actor who often plays the same type of role, your nomination will depend solely on the bon mots you get to throw around during the movie. I can venture to say that Jack Black, who is Jack Black in every film he is in (save for Nacho Libre where’s he’s Jack Black with a Spanish accent), will get nominated when he pratfalls and eyebrows his way into a well written script. If you are the ingénue, tackle a classic role. Sleep with somebody who will gladly let you tackle one of the biggest roles in literature in history (Though be careful not to surround yourself with too much talent in a big period piece…Leelee Sobieski is still waiting for that Joan of Arc movie to pan out). And if you are that guy, it’s simple….play disabled, mentally or physically. Get bonus points for actually spending a few hours with somebody who has said affliction. Or play fat when you’re thin, thin when you’re fat. Basically, don’t be you. You isn’t working. If you was working, you would be garnering seven figure checks and not rushing to get to your scene study class with the guy who played the dad on ALF.

So once the role is chosen, number three is, well, luck. You need the planets to align just right so somebody actually sees your film. You can be awesome in Critters 7: Seriously, They Greenlighted This? But if nobody watches it, then it just goes on your reel. You need the film to open at the right time. Maybe Tea Leoni garners a nomination for her stirring journalist in Deep Impact if she wasn’t overshadowed by the hotter, poutier, less clothed Liv Tyler in Armageddon. Two women in two asteroid movies cancel each other out, like positive and negative ions or more than one Culkin kid. And luck also plays into the fact that everybody else sucks too. You can always rise from the crap that’s around you if everything IS crap. When five great actors give career performance, your paraplegic turn may just fall by the wayside. Eric Stoltz in The Waterdance? Don’t remember it. It followed the rules: crippled, good script, defining moments. But Christopher Walken, Al Pacino and a bunch of other people blew up that year. And what does Eric Stoltz have to show for it?  Yup. About the same as you and I. Though he still does have that Mask prosthetic which is mad cool.

So, you dreamers, follow these rules and you too can join Randy Quaid, Whoopi Goldberg, Dan Aykroyd, Amy Adams, Haley Joel Osment and the little girl from Little Miss Sunshine and get your nomination.  (Coincidentally all of them will be starring in a new Zucker brothers movie…..coming next summer…Critics, start your engines now)