Friday, 21 February 2014

Film School Friday Lesson #23 - How To Win An Oscar

Last time, Film School Friday taught readers how to survive a Valentines break up by murdering their exes in the most dramatic way possible. The problem with that is that the suffering won't last for long, even if you tie your ex to a chair and starve them to death while forcing them to watch Super Size Me on an Imax sized screen. It's just not enough.
This is where I'm going to throw caution to the wind and suggest something unusually sensible for once, something that won't get you arrested or leave you stranded in space, barking to a random Chinese man fifty gazillion miles away. Pay attention. This won't happen again any time soon. My advice to the spurned lovers out there is to just simply be the bigger person. No, I'm not saying you go out and re-enact Super Size Me on a grand scale, but you do need to have some dignity and try not to get petty about things. What's the best way to do that? Win an Oscar. That'll show those smug, good for nothing bastards what they're missing out on, so start writing your speech, pick out a dress and grab that award polish as you read on for today's lesson.

robin thicke 1
Lesson #23 - How To Win An Oscar  
First off, the Academy lap it up when actors play real people. Maybe it's easier for them to judge a performance if they can compare it to the actual person the role is based on or maybe they're just mildly autistic and can't understand pretend characters. Why else do you think the Academy awarded Dustin Hoffman an Oscar for Rain Man? Past winners have played historical figures such as Gandhi, Edith Piaf and even June Carter from Walk The Line, so really, anyone's game. May I suggest someone famous and current like Al Gore or... Robin Thicke? You know, the sleazy singer behind 2013's biggest single Blurred Lines... Great choice right? However, this alone will not guarantee you that Oscar.
Handicap Your Performance
Remember, to really grab the Academy's attention, your performance must be based on a real person suffering from a mental or physical impairment. Jamie Foxx in Ray, Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot... Hell, even Nicolas Cage won an Oscar just for turning up to the set drunk, pretending to be in character. For those of you keen to win that little gold paperweight, I recommend we still go with Robin Thicke, but lets give him a hip replacement. Just imagine that all those years of grinding women awkwardly in music videos has finally taken its toll... That's dramatic gold right there!
PianistThrow In A Nazi Or Two
The Holocaust is all the rage with the Academy. Schindler's List, Sophie's Choice, The Pianist, The Reader... I could reel off hundreds, maybe even thousands more Holocaust films that have won Oscars so we clearly have no choice here. We'll still follow the life of Robin Thicke of course, but to really get the voters going, let's set it in 1930's Poland. I can see it now; Mr Thicke is recovering from hip replacement surgery in a Polish hospital when the Nazis show up and confiscate his Beetlejuice pants, throwing him into the nearest concentration camp, which just so happens to be...DUN DUN DUUUUN! Auschwitz. But why did they throw Robin Thicke in there? Sure he's offensive to just about everyone, but what did he do to piss off the Nazis?
Gay Camp
Let's make him gay. Now, I'm not making any claims about Robin Thicke's actual sexuality, but for the sake of that Oscar, we all know he has to be gay. Maybe Thicke bonds with a fellow patient in the hospital or maybe he gets it on with a closeted Nazi officer. I don't mind how he does it, but the gayer the better. Lord knows the Oscars lap it all up.
Should we end the film on a happy note, with Thicke and his lover riding off together in the sunset? Hell no! The Academy love seeing homosexuality in their films, but only if it ends badly for everyone concerned. Close minded bastards. Just check out Brokeback MountainMilk or Philadelphia if you don't believe me. It's the gas chamber for you Mr Thicke.
Shopping For Prosthetics
So the biopic's sorted in terms of plot, but before we can consider starting production on our glorious picture, we need to decide how to alter Thicke's appearance beyond recognition. The Academy love nothing more than trying to figure out who the actor actually is underneath the mountain of prosthetics and make up so let's run through the list of past winners;
no-country-for-old-men-no-country-for-old-men-23-01-2008-21-11-2007-1-gCharlize Theron and Nicole Kidman went ugly for their wins so we'll strap a foot long nose onto Thicke's face. Easy enough. Christian Bale ate so many Dunkin Donuts for his latest nomination in American Hustle that the company went out of business  so let's start the film with an obese Thicke and then use liposuction to bring his weight down to 3 pounds by the end of his stay in Auschwitz. If it works for Natalie Portman in Black Swan then it will work for us too. Finally, let's make Thicke grow his hair out ridiculously long and then stick a bowl on his head and cut round it Javier Bardem style. However, if all of this sounds like too much effort, we could always just CGI Mr Potato Head's face onto Thicke's. Same difference.
Casting Is Key
Uh oh. I just realised two important things. 1) Thicke is a musician and therefore a terrible actor. 2) Thicke probably wouldn't want to play himself anyway as he's far too 'popular' in music to even consider such a tough role. S**t, what do we do, what do we do... Got it! We'll get Meryl Streep in. If all else fails, the Streep factor 100% guarantees an Oscar. The legendary actress actually won her third Oscar just for turning up to the award show. She hadn't even made a film! Now that's impressive. Just be careful what you say about her though. Anyone around you - family, friends, pets - absolutely anyone around you at this moment could actually be Meryl Streep. She's that good.
Once you've finished making your Robin Thicke biopic and winning that Oscar, come back in two weeks for a directing masterclass, where we'll learn the art of making terrible terrible films from the King of Crap, M. Night Shyamalan. See you then kids!

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