Best Picture Nominees in 60 Seconds

The Academy Awards are this Sunday, and if you’re like most people, you haven’t found the time to see all nine Best Picture nominees. Heck, I have found the time and – in most cases - I regret it. Still, if you want to know the gist of the top flicks before the Oscars ceremony, check out my sixty second summaries. Think of them as super condensed screenplays. But BE WARNED– these mini-scripts are full of SPOILERS and SARCASM.

The Help
Viola Davis: I am a black maid. By barely emoting, I can show you how much my life sucks.
Emma Stone: I am a young white woman who doesn’t wear makeup, I also know what it’s like to be looked down upon by society.
Viola Davis: I don’t even need to roll my eyes to convey how ignorant that statement is.
Octavia Spencer: I need to poop, so I’ll use my boss’ bathroom.
Bryce Howard: That toilet is for white people’s poop only! You’re fired!
Jessica Chastain: I’m white trash and need a maid, so come poop - I mean work - at my house.
Octavia Spencer: Okay, but the next time I poop, I’m going to keep it and bake it into a pie to feed to my former boss. I am very, very funny like that.
Emma Stone: That’s a great story, I’m going to use it in a book about black maids. Will you share your stories, too, Viola?
Viola Davis: Whatever.
Emma Stone: Hey, that bestselling book you dictated to me just got me a swell publishing job in New York. Now I can get out of this hellhole. Things are finally working out for us struggling gals, huh Viola?
Viola Davis: Actually, I just got fired for no reason, but talk to you never, I guess.

The Tree of Life
Dad: The world is awful.
Big Bang: BANG! The world is created.
Son: What is the meaning of life?
Dad: Shut up! [Hits son.] I treat you awfully because the world is awful and you need to be prepared.
Dinosaur: Hi, just wanted to briefly remind you that I was once here. K, bye.
Son: You’re so mean, Dad, I wish you’d go away.
Dad: Conveniently, I am going on a business trip to travel the world and see all of its awfulness.
Son: Now life will be good!… Wait, it turns out I’m awful, too. Without my awful father around to keep me in line, I do awful things. What should I do, Mom?
Mom: Um… ask your awful father when he comes home. This film is about the history of the whole fucking world, yet apparently evolution does not allow for any strong female characters.
Birds: Hi, we’re just flying by quickly. Don’t forget that we are also a kind of life.
Dad: Son, I’m sorry for being so awful. Maybe the world isn’t so awful.
Sun (not to be confused with son): I am incinerating the awful world. Life is over.
Son: But for some reason, I’m still here. Would it have killed the screenwriter to be a bit more linear? Maybe the film is purposely awful to represent how awful the world is.

The Artist
Title Card: Never before has a silent film said so little.

Midnight in Paris
Owen Wilson: As a writer, I wish I lived in Paris.
Fiancée: Ugh, you’re ridiculous.
Owen Wilson: As a writer, I wish I lived in the 1920s.
Fiancee: Ugh, you’re ridiculous.
Owen Wilson: Oh my gosh, I just inexplicably went back in time to the ‘20s.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: Hi.
Ernest Hemingway: Hi.
Gertrude Stein: Hi.
Pablo Picasso: Hi. Here is my beautiful girlfriend, Adriana, by all means fall in love with her, my time-traveling friend.
Owen Wilson: The past is awesome. I finally have everything I’ve ever wanted!
Adriana: Nothing will stop us from being together forever!
Owen Wilson: Actually, I should probably learn how to live in the present. Sorry.
Gertrude Stein: Look, I’m a feminist and all, but before you go back, you should know that your bitch fiancée is a cheating whore.
Owen Wilson: [travels back to present day] Are you cheating on me?
Fiancee: Yup.
Owen Wilson: Looks like I’m moving to Paris.

The Descendants
Clooney: Alex, come visit your mother, she’s in a coma.
Wife: [Lies in a coma.]
Alex: Nah, she’s a bitch. P.S. She was cheating on you.
Clooney: What?! We must go have an awkward conversation with my dying wife’s lover. Go get your sister!
Alex: Family vacation!
Clooney: I have spent my wife’s last living days traveling around Hawaii to find you, guy who cheated with my wife, and yet now that I’m here, I have nothing meaningful to say.
Guy Who Cheated with Clooney’s Wife: She loved me and wanted to divorce you. But if it makes you feel any better, I didn’t give a shit about her and was just ruining your marriage for kicks.
Clooney: For nonsensical reasons, that does make me feel better.
Alex: Hey, Dad, remember that subplot where you own a lot of land with your extended family and have all agreed to sell it to become wildly rich? It’s time to sign those papers.
Clooney: Oh that? I’ve changed my mind because I’ve learned an important lesson this past week - you can dick your family around all you want and they’ll still find a way to forgive you in your final hour. [Kisses comatose wife. Removes her life support.]
Wife: [Dies.]

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Oskar: My dad died in the Twin Towers on 9/11. As a result, I am very strange now, right, Mom?
Sandra Bullock: Right. It sure fucked you up. It also doesn’t hurt that you might have Asperger’s. The tests were inconclusive, but we mention that to account for your inconsistent character traits without having to commit to the disorder fully.
Oskar: I’m pretty sure my dad left me a secret message before dying, so I’m going to go behind my mom’s back and invent an elaborate mystery to solve that involves interviewing hundreds of strangers about some key I found. Let’s start with Viola.
Viola Davis: Hey, don’t mind me, I’m just stopping by to give a more profound performance here in just a few minutes than I do in all of The Help.
Oskar: This is hard work talking to all of these people given my potential social disorder and questionable motives. Perhaps I should enlist a sidekick.
Mute Old Man:
Oskar: You don’t talk, but you’ll do.
Mute Old Man:
Oskar: Hmm, I’m starting to deduce that you are actually my grandfather, Mute Old Man, but I have another mystery that I fabricated that needs to be solved first.
Viola Davis: Hey, sorry to pop in again. I know I’m the first stranger you spoke to, but it’s time to admit that I actually know who that key belongs to after all, and it has nothing to do with your dead father.
Oskar: [Cries.] You’ve destroyed my long-running delusional pursuit.
Sandra Bullock: You still have your mother, though, Oskar. And don’t think I don’t care because I actually knew you were running around New York City meeting with strangers to talk about a meaningless key this whole time!
Oskar: So you knew I was repeatedly putting myself in danger and let me do it anyway? Maybe you’re as crazy as me after all - we can be a family again. Plus, I think I’ve now made peace with Dad’s death, so everything’s finally good.
Sandra Bullock: Yup. Except that you probably still have Asperger’s.

General Manager: I love managing baseball! Too bad it’s too expensive to pay for a winning team.
Sports Nerd: Numbers, numbers, numbers.
General Manager: So you’re saying if I hire players based on statistics rather than conventional wisdom, we could win?
Sports Nerd: ###
Players: We are baseball’s bad boys who other teams don’t want because we cause a lot of trouble despite the fact that we get on base a lot.
General Manager: You’re hired! This is a good idea, right?
Sports Announcer: This is a terrible idea.
Sports Nerd: ###
Team: [Loses many games.]
Sports Announcer: This was still a terrible idea.
General Manager: Daughter, you still love me even though my team sucks, right?
Daughter: [Sings horrible song, unabridged, for no reason whatsoever.]
Team: [Wins record-breaking 20 games in a row.]
Sports Announcer: This is an example of some brilliant sports managing!
Ex-Wife: I suddenly find myself attracted to my ex again now that his team is winning. The fact that he’s always looked like Brad Pitt doesn’t hurt either.
General Manager: We are going to rule so hard in the playoffs!
Sports Announcer: Wow, this team has sucked so hard in the playoffs. Bad sports managing!
Sports Nerd: ###

War Horse
Boy: I love my horse! Please don’t sell it to the army, Papa.
British Soldier: Don’t worry, boy, I also love this horse. I promise to take care of him. [Dies.]
Nice German Soldiers: Oh, hey, a horse! We will love this horse forever! [Die.]
Young Girl: Look, grandpa! It’s a horse! Now he is mine forever!
Mean German Soldiers: Not so fast, we are going to steal this horse from you.
Young Girl: [Dies.]
Horse: [Makes friends with another horse.]
Friend Horse: [Dies.]
Horse: [Gets tangled in barbed wire.]
New British Soldier: It is remarkable that this horse survived such a bloody battle.
New German Soldier: It is remarkable that we have managed a temporary truce just to rescue this horse.
New British Soldier: Indeed, this horse has taught us a valuable lesson about war.
Both Soldiers: [Presumably die shortly thereafter.]
Boy: Now that the war is over, I will buy back my miracle horse.
Young Girl’s Grandpa: Actually, I’m going to outbid you for it.
Boy: This horse has survived so much only to be taken away from me again.
Young Girl’s Grandpa: Fine, you can have him. Owning him would probably mean the death of me anyway.

Officer: I am the coyote to your roadrunner, Hugo! [Chase scene ensues.]
Hugo: Woo, I escaped yet again. Hi, I’m an orphan.
Isabelle: Me, too. Friendsies?
Hugo: I guess. Wanna see a movie?
Isabelle: My godfather won’t let me see movies. It’s peculiar how adamant he is about this.
Hugo: Let’s do what most kids our age do and research cinematic history to see if that turns up any clues.
Isabelle: Oh my god, my godfather was once an important filmmaker!
Godfather: That may be true, but no one cares now.
Film Historian: Hey, talk about showing up at the right place at the right time, but I can assure you that your contributions are significant.
Godfather: But none of my films have survived, so let’s just forget about it, okay?
Film Historian: What if I am inexplicably able to find all of the films you thought you destroyed?
Godfather: Then I will feel respected and stop being so grumpy.
Officer: I could stop being grumpy, too, I guess.
Isabelle: Now I get to watch movies all of the time! We did it, Hugo!
Hugo: If by “it” you mean make a pointlessly self-important movie about the magnificence of filmmakers and need for cinema preservation that is designed to fellate Hollywood’s elite while half-heartedly placating the plebeians with 3D effects, then yes we did!

1 comment:

Linnéa said...

So great. I love you.