Over 35 films were honored with Academy Award nominations on Thursday, not including the short films. With such a wealth of movies, it can feel impossible to see them all, especially when many Oscar-nominated films only enjoyed limited releases and are not yet available on DVD. Did you miss Room? Well, you're out of luck. The harrowing story of a young woman's attempt to escape her long-time kidnapper with her 5-year-old son was released in only a handful of theaters in November and is not going to be released on DVD until March — after the 2016 Oscars. Other films, like The Revenant and Carol, are currently out in theaters, but unless you have a week's worth of days free to go to the movies, catching up on all Oscar films is a daunting task. Lucky for you, you don't have to see all the Oscar movies before the big night, because these tips will tell you how to act like you've seen all of the 2016 Oscar movies.
Acting like you've seen ever Oscar movie can be tough, and pulling off such a feat requires dedication, research, and more than a little fibbing. But, it is possible — believe me. Follow these tips, and you'll be able to fake your way through Oscar night and earn a reputation as a cinephile with your friends.
1. See A Few Oscar-Nominated Films
This is easy. Pick just a couple of nominees from the Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress categories, as these will no doubt be among the most discussed at whatever Oscar party you attend. Try to see at least a few of the most nominated movies — in this case, The Revenant, which is leading with 12 nominations, and Mad Max: Fury Road (10 noms) or Spotlight (6) are my best recommendations. That way, you can keep your comments to those movies, and sound like a total expert.
2. See A Few Oscar Snubs
Odds are you've seen one movie this year that is considered a huge snub: Creed, Straight Outta Compton — even Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which many people thought deserved a Best Picture nod. If you haven't, do a little research and pick a movie you think you might like and watch it just so you can have an informed opinion on one thing. If you complain loudly about an Oscar snub, you won't have to talk about anything else.
3. Know Your Plots
Do enough research so that you don't confuse the plots of The Martian and Spotlight. That is a major party foul that just might get you exiled from the Oscars, or at least whatever conversation you're having. Keep plots and titles straight and try to know enough so that you could name the movie based on plot alone.
4. Develop Strong Opinions
Didn't see Carol? Who cares. Jump on the "Carol was robbed" bandwagon and you can fake it 'til you make it.
5. Pick A Best Actor Winner Other Than Leonardo DiCaprio
This one is important. You might think that faking an opinion about the Best Actor race would be easy, what with Leonardo DiCaprio long overdue to take home the golden statue and The Revenant's Oscar nomination domination. However, if you truly want to act like you've seen every single Oscar movie, you're going to need to pick a Leo runner-up. "Yeah, Leo deserves it, but what about Michael Fassbender? He, like, became Steve Jobs."
6. Read Reviews
Know what the critics are saying. For example, Jennifer Lawrence earned a nomination for Best Actress for Joy, but, overall, critics have been conflicted about the film (at best). If the critics hate the movie, it's unlikely it will win anything other than, perhaps, some of the more technical awards. Don't be the only person in the room shocked when Lawrence doesn't get her second Oscar.
7. Don't Bring Up A Movie You Haven't Seen
So, I know I said you could fake it 'til you make it, but there's no need to do so unnecessarily. If you haven't seen The Hateful Eight or The Danish Girl, don't volunteer to start a conversation about it unless you feel confident that either a) the conversation will be short, or b) the other person will do all of the talking. Don't go looking for situations where it might become obvious that you're faking.
If, by any chance, you get tired of acting like you've seen every Oscar movie, just own it! Who has three hours to see The Hateful Eight anyways?
Images: Warner Bros.; Giphy (7)