My favorite TV night of the year is Academy Awards Night. Unfortunately, ever since becoming a mom I rarely have time to see more than a couple of the Best Picture nominees. This stinks, but luckily for me I have proven pretty good at faking my way through Oscar conversations using knowledge gleaned from half-listened-to reviews by my family and friends, waiting room copies of “Entertainment Weekly,” and snarky comments on Twitter and Facebook!
As a public service announcement to busy moms everywhere, I present a guide to faking your way through this year’s Best Picture nominees:
War Horse – For a few hours I thought this was called “War Whores” until Mike told me it was about a horse that fights Nazis or something (I wasn’t really listening). What the hay, Steven Spielberg? I think it is time you make another Indiana Jones.
Suggested comment: “It’s second tier Spielberg” or “did you know the horse is named Moonstar, and also appeared in Clash of the Titans?'” (note: this isn’t true but who’s going to know?)
Midnight In Paris - This is the new Woody Allen movie. I know because someone in our house is like, “Oh my God! Woody Allen is the greatest American director ever! We need to watch another documentary on him!” Hint: that person isn’t me or Annabel. Anyway, Mr. Woody Allen Expert gives this a thumbs up.
Suggested Comment: “Woody’s best since Annie Hall!” and “A delightful romp.”
The Help – I saw this one. Who am I kidding? You did too.
Suggested Comment: “Not as good as the book” or “Even better than the book!” The key is to mention the book so it sounds like you read the book AND saw the movie.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – I saw this one too! This movie is about a little boy and his mother (Sandra Bullock! Love her!) trying to cope with Tom Hanks’ death in 9/11. Well, not Tom Hanks, but the character Tom Hanks plays. Very touching movie. Max Von Sydow was great.
Suggested Comment: “I think Sandra Bullock really channeled all her pain from her divorce into this movie.”
Moneyball - Me: “Brad Pitt! Yes! What’s it about?!” Mike: “Pitt plays Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland A’s, who used statistical data to quantify a player’s value instead of traditional baseball scouting, and revolutionized the way baseball executives everywhere approach their jobs!” Me: “…oh.”
Suggested comment: “The subject matter seems dry, but the filmmakers really brought it to life,” and “One of the best films about sports ever made.”
The Descendants – George Clooney is in this one, like I need to tell you ladies that. Rawr. Another plus is that it is set in Hawaii! On the other hand, it’s pretty depressing (the plot is about dealing with a mom’s death).
Suggested comments: “They really captured the true Hawaii” and “Quirky yet brimming with genuine emotion.”
Hugo – My brother talked to me about this one for about ten minutes so I can tell you it was directed by Martin Scorsese, is in 3D, and… that’s about it. Hmm. I should have listened a little more. Wait! The commercial! I saw the commercial and it stars a little boy!
Suggested Remarks: “A real departure for Scorsese” and “The 3D was even better than Avatar.”
Tree of Life – Hmm. For a movie starring Brad Pitt this one is flying pretty low under the radar. Whoa! A quick Google search just revealed this movie to be 140 minutes long. Combine that with my In-Laws comment that they slept through it, and I think we have the “art film” of the bunch.
Suggested remarks: “It’s challenging but visionary” and “beautiful and thought provoking.”
The Artist – An old lady at the nail salon raved about this one. It’s in black and white and silent, so perhaps it goes without saying that this was made by French people.
Suggested remarks: “Utterly charming” and “An unexpected delight.”
Enjoy the Oscars, everyone! And if these tips don’t work remember: you can never go wrong with talking about the fashion!