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My Movie Has a First Name...

By Clint J. Froehlich, Crimson Staff Writer

Some problematic trends have emerged—or perhaps re-emerged—during this year’s Oscar season. For one, the Foreign Language Film situation has turned into an abysmal nightmare. Each country can submit only one film to be “considered,” and the nomination process is comparable to a police manual, with strange rules about the nationality of the creative talent, where the film was shot, and when and where it opened. Because the submission process is so labyrinthine, films like Almodovar’s Bad Education, Kar-Wai Wong’s 2046, Akin’s Head On, Marston’s Maria Full of Grace, Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement, and Salles’s The Motorcycle Diaries didn’t even end up as possibilities due to a series of regulations.

Additionally, most of the movies in competition this year are yawningly average narrative star vehicles—things can’t be looking up when Martin Scorsese’s slumming project is the frontrunner. Not to mention that I would rather watch Surviving Christmas than see Finding Neverland again.

But nonetheless, with the Oscars coming up Sunday, I have descended into my annual dreamy state of mind in which I think of nothing but “when will I get my Oscar?” More importantly, how will I get said Oscar? This is a difficult question, and one that can be answered in various ways. Thus, I’ve spent a whopping thirty minutes constructing this self-serving guide that I will be referring to over the next few years in the service of winning my much-deserved Oscar. Frankly, they should have given me one simply for being born, but unfortunately for me Terms of Endearment came out that year, and I’ve got nothing on Shirley MacLaine.

First I have to make a film, as I will be winning for Best Picture, Director, Editor, Cinematographer, Art Director, Costume Designer, and Live-Action Short Film (for my on-set video diary.) The film will of course be a biopic, considering that three of the five Best Picture nominees this year (Finding Neverland, Ray, and The Aviator) are based-on-a-true-story, nostalgia-drenched, indulgent soap operas. My biopic, however, will break new ground in special effects and narrative form. Titled The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of Women in Science, it will chronicle the life of Lawrence H. Summers during his rocky years as President of Harvard University.

But where this film will differ from other biopics is in its fictional conclusion in which female undergraduates concentrating in the sciences stage a coup in Mass. Hall, leaving Summers locked in his office for years. There he develops horrific obsessive-compulsive behavior, stops a merger between United and Alaska Airlines, builds the world’s biggest jetliner, and courts movie stars Kate Beckinsale and Gwen Stefani.

Tom Hanks will gain 750 pounds to play the title role, and Nicole Kidman will put on a prosthetic face resembling the one she had in the late 1980s to play his professor girlfriend. I will make a stab at winning a Visual Effects Oscar for a jaw-dropping sequence in which war machines from Pluto attack Holyoke Center. This sequence will have nothing to do with the rest of the film.

After the film opens to unthinkably positive critical and commercial acclaim (with US Weekly calling it “even better than reading our Brad & Jen commemorative issue”), I will become a regular on David Letterman, appearing three times a week. Move over Harvey Pekar. Audiences will fall in love with me so much —charm, intelligence, good humor, mature hair line—that Academy voters will begin to fear for their lives if they don’t vote me in.

Did I mention that Miramax will finance the film? Obviously they will—I’ll need an aggressive marketing campaign and Harvey Weinstein going door-to-door in Beverly Hills. The campaign will be so intense that Miramax will purchase covers of magazines as diverse as Vanity Fair and Redneck Trucker to place “For Your Consideration” ads. They will include a quote from Variety that reads, “Miramax and Froehlich have outdone themselves. Only next year when The Good-Willed English Patient who Goes to Chicago and Climbs a Cold Mountain comes out will a better film be released in America.”

But first things first: I have to nail the Golden Globe acceptance speech (which I won after seducing the entire Hollywood Foreign Press).

Some excellent models for award-winning behavior emerged at this year’s Globes ceremony. Thus I will follow suit and use Natalie Portman ’03 and Jamie Foxx’s shining examples. Upon reaching the podium, I will say, “Wow, I’m so surprised. I thought they were going to give it to Dial 9/11 for Terror. Being in the company of Michael Bay is really extraordinary.”

Next, I will channel the brilliance of Portman by putting on my best twelve-year-old voice and calling Weinstein my “daddy.” After thanking my now-deceased cat Trixie for her contribution to my artistic life, I will choke up while trying to say how proud my Grandma is of me. Unable to finish due to the beautiful combination of wistfulness and optimism that my victory embodies, I leave stage while behind me Ms. Kidman, overwhelmed with emotion, falls through a crack in the floor. After this routine—the Oscar: in the bag.

—Staff writer Clint J. Froehlich can be reached at

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