Not That You Asked: Unsolicted Advice for Selected Oscar Losers
Two days after the Oscars, and we’re all still infected with Oscar fever! Or at least we are still running a slight Oscar-related fever. Or at the very least, half-heartedly nursing what’s left of our Oscar hangovers.
Or maybe, in this unending cycle of relentless news coverage, we have already totally forgotten that the Oscars even happened.
If this is the case, well, I’m sorry. I had a dental emergency that left me in an incapacitated narcotic haze for the past two days, unable to eat solid food or even to change out of my To Haiti With Love CFDA T-shirt (which I bought the other day, partially out of sincere concern for the beleaguered island nation and partially for the cheap thrill of at last being able to afford a clothing item at Bergdorf Goodman) and now that I’m conscious again, I want to write about the Oscars. So please bear with me here: let’s all pretend it’s yesterday and we still care.
We’ve all heard of the infamous Oscar curse, in which an actor (often prematurely) wins an Oscar and then falls off the face of the Earth, only to make occasional reappearances playing opposite extremely bright and/or disabled children in Original Movies or to be vilified by vengeful ex-spouses in the Huffington Post. So maybe the winners are the ones who could really use my help this week, but that’s just too bad. I don’t like winners, especially not these winners (except for Christoph Waltz, who falls right into the sweet spot in my Venn diagram population of one, where strange, small European men old enough to be my father converge with people who have played Nazis: a revelation about my psychosexual idiosyncrasies that I find actually almost too disturbing to share–operative word: almost–which, for me, is really saying something.)
And while the assorted famous rich people I’m about to boss around may not be losers in any traditional sense, this week, at least, they’re welcome to comingle with all the underemployed and un-beloved who can’t quite seem to get an Internet meme started down here in Loserland.
So Welcome, Selected Losers! This one’s for you.
Best Supporting Actor Losers:
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones: There’s been a lot of talk this year about how you should have received the nod for your portrayal of the world’s most supportive husband in Julie and Julia rather than your turn as Chester-the-Molester in The Lovely Bones, the most moving film about serial child killers ever directed by Lisa Frank. Maybe so, but you wouldn’t have won anyway. You want an Academy Award, Stanley? Stop playing Meryl’s adorable sidekick. Not only does she get all the press out of every movie she’s in, the woman is Oscar poison (see bottom paragraph.)
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger: Woody, if I were you I’d hightail it to a good endocrinologist because the long bones of your face seem to have grown since your days on Cheers and the kerning between your teeth is looking suspiciously wide. Acromegaly can be treated these days, simply by removing the tumor on the pituitary gland that causes the excess flow of growth hormones, and after your very public struggle with the disease, you can play Andre the Giant in the heart-wrenching biopic and win the Oscar they were going to give to Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler, except that nobody likes him.
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station: Congratulations on being alive, you old bastard! Go straight to the bar and commiserate with Peter O’Toole. He might have an honorary Oscar, but you still have your pancreas, so who’s the real winner?
Best Supporting Actress:
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air: Vera honey, if you’re serious about proclaiming yourself the next Streep, you need to stop doing whatever it is you’re doing to your face, because right now you’re looking less like Our Greatest Living Actress and more like one of those clear plastic Halloween masks that make people look like they have scleroderma. You seem like a serious person. I don’t want to see you in five months playing some asshole’s ex-wife on Entourage.
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart: You’re playing a dangerous game, Gyllenhaal. Take a look at Farmiga. You can be a lot of things in Hollywood with a face pulled tighter than Jennifer Lopez’s Disney Princess wedding gown (Lopez, I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this: you are a very pretty lady, but if I can see the outline of your bellybutton through the bodice of your dress, GO UP A SIZE) except for a kooky/smug earth mother/indie princess type. Let’s let the animated corpse of Meg Ryan serve as a cautionary tale here. Okay? Okay.
Morgan Freeman, Invictus: You’ve played Nelson Mandela. You’ve played the President, you’ve driven Miss Daisy, and you were the omnipotent voice of the Penguins. The only thing left for you to do is to play God himself. Not pretend God like in Bruce Almighty, but the real God, as in God: The Biopic. (And whatever you do, don’t let Jamie Foxx talk you into letting him play “Young God.” He’s already turned the country against Ray Charles. If you let him do the same to the Almighty, we’ll all go straight to Hell.)
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker: A hearty congratulations, Mr. Renner, on the highlight of your career. I’m sure you can expect several very respectable offers after this minor triumph, and while it’s probably too late for you to be Tom Cruise, you can certainly be the next Michael Shannon, or, if you play your cards right, even the next Stanley Tucci–a versatile guy who is instantly recognizable and works all the time. I do, however, want to address some rumours I’ve heard floating around the blogosphere in no uncertain terms: STAY AWAY FROM CHARLIZE. That’s an order. You are at a critical point in your career and the last thing you need is to become Mr. Charlize Theron. Remember what happened to the last promising young actor she got involved with? That’s right: nothing.
Colin Firth, A Single Man: DEAR COLIN FIRTH/MR. MARK DARCY: I LOVE YOU, JUST AS YOU ARE. OKAY, I JUST WANTED TO SAY THAT. GOODBYE.
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire: Gabby, you are adorable. You are also extremely interesting looking and seem comfortable with that, which is why instead of losing 150 pounds and taking whatever Jennifer Hudson passes on, I think you should turn to the world of avant-garde fashion. No, I’m not having a stroke. Fashion is having a physically extreme moment right now (or is at least pretending to). What Beth Ditto is to Kate Moss, you can be to Alek Wek. I want to see you sitting front row at Paris Fashion Week and telling us about the new line you’re collaborating on with Karl Lagerfeld. And then I want you to tickle Karl Lagerfeld. Tickle him until he screams, screams for mercy, and the world will follow you anywhere. Oprah can’t live forever, you know.
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia: Oh God, Meryl. I know. How many more fucking Academy Awards can you sit through where some other lady wins, and then spends her whole goddamn speech sucking up about how much better you are then she is, while you have to sit there smiling and nodding graciously like some patrician Lady Bountiful in a fucking John Singer Sargent painting? I don’t know! I don’t know! But I think I have figured out how you can make it to the Kodak Theater stage one more time before you die.
Meryl, you are going to have to play Adolf Hitler himself.
Think about it. It’s the perfect Oscar bait role. Accent? Check. Holocaust movie? Check. Full-scale physical transformation? Check? Reviled public figure to which you can bring a heretofore unseen humanity? Check.
Get Tony Kushner to write it for you.
And if that doesn’t work, then I think you need to stop showing up to these things. Because I don’t think I can stand watching your motherly blush of gratitude in 2013 as a weeping Miley Cyrus gushes about what an inspiration you are. I just can’t.
And here is some advice for you! You can follow me on Twitter at @RachelShukert! I hope you do!
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