The Oscarator™: Here’s Your Best Chance at Winning an Academy Award Nomination


We’ve all been there. You finally get around to watching this year’s nominees, and you think, “Didn’t I see pretty much this same Oscar-bait movie last year?” Yes, you probably did, thanks to the McKee/ Weinstein-driven formula behind most Best Picture candidates. But now you can build your own! Just mix and match elements from these five categories to green-light a surefire nominee:


A minority professor (Eddie Redmayne) who finds love while facing historic challenges

Leonardo DiCaprio as a man mourning the death of his wife

Tom Hanks as a man resembling what Steven Spielberg wishes his dad had been like

An American solider (Bradley Cooper) who is super brave
and super scarred but screwed over by bureaucrats

An immigrant from times when immigration seems quaint
and exciting rather than scary (Marion Cotillard and/
or Saoirse Ronan)

An action hero who kicks
ass in the only nominee that
normal people have seen


Old-timey Princeton

The Old West, but
monochromatic and sad

The Cold War, but with buttery, heavenly light blasting through every office window

Middle America’s idea
of the Middle East

A CGI New Amsterdam
that goes kind of watery in the couple shots you see of it

Mars or the wasteland or
Middle-earth or something


How hard physics and/
or oppression are

How hard making the movie is

The Russians and the
Germans and also some
American bureaucrats

1. Taliban 2. ISIS 3. Liberals

The old world’s (and
screenwriters’) insistence on making women prostitutes

Tom Hardy‘s probably available

No-Hope Low Point 15 Minutes
Before the Happy Ending

Walton Goggins makes a
big thing out of using a slur
white folks actually used all
the time back then

The white hero dies, weeping for his wife, until a Native American heals him with spirit magic

DEFCON 1/The hero’s son
cries because he has no one
to play catch with

The extended scarification
of the Americans’ flesh

That louse might
be married already!

He’s been shot, and he already lost his bulletproof vest!

Dialogue That Producers
Will Quote in Oscar Speeches

“An action and reaction
comprise one single
interaction — especially in
matters of the heart.”

“You, Pale Man, fight for us all.”

“You’ve taught me that you Russkies hug your kids, too.”

“That flag never means
more than when it’s holding
in your entrails.”

“What does it matter
where I’m from? I’m an
American now.”

“I always wear a second vest.”