How to Win an Oscar

Saturday, March 4, 2006

For Best Director:
  • Make a LOT of films and the Academy will eventually award you for your contributions to the arts, especially if you suddenly change genres or film something out of your usual norm. IE: Spielberg for Saving Private Ryan.
  • Be an actor turned director like- Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, Robert Redford and Kevin Costner who have all won.
  • Be the hot new director making one of your first directorial debuts, a.k.a Sam Mendes for American Beauty.
  • Hope that your film wins Best Picture, and you're more than likely to receive an award as well.
  • Be a Man - As of yet a woman has never won Best Director :(

    For Best Actor:
  • Transform you're features. Robert DeNiro gained over 50 pounds to play boxer Jake LaMotta in his award winning role Raging Bull.
  • Play a nut or someone who's mentally handicapped / unstable. (Jack Nicholson did this for both of his Best Actor awards for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and As Good as It Gets. Tom Hanks as Forest Gump, Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man", Geoffrey Rush Shine and Laurence Olivier in Hamlet)
  • Or play someone with a physical disability like Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot, and Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Think the hunchback Richard the II, a physical impairment can give an actor great leverage.
  • Star in biography and play a real person. Ben Kingsley Gandhi, Charlton Heston, Ben-Hur, Robert DeNiro Raging Bull, F. Murray Abraham Amadeus and Charles Laughton The Private Life of Henry VIII.
  • Do two good films in a row or somewhat consistently and you'll eventually get handed an award to make up for not getting one for a previous role. It's the only way to explain Russel Crowe winning for Gladiator.

    For Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress:
  • If you're pretty then play someone less attractive. Lose the makeup, and show the lines. (Sally Field "Places In The Heart", Nicole Kidman "The Hours")
  • Take on an accent! Meryl Streep did and won for "Out of Africa" and "Sophies Choice", so did Francis McDormand for "Fargo".
  • Be Katharine Hepburn, after all she's won four of these!
  • Play a prostitute or a woman of the night. It worked for Kim Basinger in "LA Confidential" and Mira Sorvino in Mighty Aphrodite. Also Jane Fonda turned her hooker role into a Best Actress performance in Klute.
  • Be an older actress or a has been making a comeback after a couple of decades. Geraldine Page finally got her award in the 80's for A Trip to Bountiful. The same happened with Ingrid Bergman who came back to Hollywood after a prolonged absence to win for Murder on the Orient Express. At the very least this will be sure to get you a nomination like it did for Gloria Stuart in Titanic.
  • Don a costume like Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love.
  • Play a cross dresser like Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry and Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously. (And now maybe Felicity Huffman?)

    More: Check out my Oscar analysis on Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for this year's awards at Film School Rejects

    Tonight: Having an Oscar viewing party at my place. I'm making hot chocolate spiked with Kahlua & Malibu rum and trying out the fondue set that my landlords gave me for the holidays.
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