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Categories: Features

Scared to go to an Oscars party because you’re not up-to-date on film news? Don’t worry, Callum Nicholas has the answers.


So your friend has just invited you over to watch the Oscars with him and all of his movie-buff friends. But just as you go to click ‘attending’, a cold shiver is sent down your spine as you come to a startling realisation – you don’t know anything about the 2016 Oscars!

I mean, you know the basics. Leonardo DiCaprio will be there, Will Smith won’t be there, the film The Gift should be there (okay that last one might be a personal qualm). But you know that if someone were to ask you anything about the eight Best Picture nominees, you’ll find yourself quickly scouting the room for the nearest exit. Now don’t panic, calm yourself down, click ‘attending’, because here is a step-by-step guide on how to cram some knowledge of this year’s Academy Awards into that big, beautiful brain of yours.

Now, let’s start with something simple:


Arguably, the only film with momentum that’s going into the Academy Awards. The Revenant is this year’s front runner to take home the gold and has an astounding TWELVE nominations to boot. And yes, one of those nom’s is for the big man (DiCaprio) himself. You can start the conversation by mentioning how DiCaprio is still yet to win an Oscar and that he totally should have won back in 2014 for Wolf of Wall Street. Alternatively, you could start a drinking game! For every time you hear the word Revenant or DiCaprio, take a drink. You know you’ll be due for at least twelve. If you’re ever stuck for information on this film, just focus on the telecast for a couple of minutes. There is no doubt that people will be talking about this film for the whole ceremony.

Pro-Tip: Watch videos of Bear attacks on YouTube beforehand.

Moving on to another fan favourite:


Mad Max: Fury Road brings a very solid ten nominations to the table, and a strong chance to win absolutely none of its respective categories. You can start a heated discussion on how Max thoroughly deserves to win Best Picture. After a lot of back-and-forth between you and your fellow debaters, you can end your argument by saying ‘the award belongs to the mad’. That will definitely make everyone go ‘whoa, this guy gets it’. Max is also a great opportunity to stock up on your Mel Gibson jokes.

Pro-Tip: Shave your head like Furiosa (Charlize Theron).

But hey, remember this guy?


Before Star Wars made everyone go to the cinema in droves, it was The Martian that was winning the hearts of everyone worldwide. The film is about Matt Damon, who was understandably left for dead, being trapped on Mars. When this film comes on screen you can use the classic ‘how many times must we save Matt Damon from other planets?’ joke, because that joke never gets old – ever. You can also talk about reality of life on Mars or how Damon could upset DiCaprio in the Best Actor race (it could happen).

Pro-Tip: Learn how to pronounce Chiwetel Ejiofor, then drop his name as many times as possible.

Now it’s time for the silent achievers:


The Academy (along with many other award shows) are in love with these films, but if you ask the ordinary person they would say ‘Who? What? You mean that one with Tommy Wiseau?’ Now is your chance to beat the crowd and say that one of these films will take home the glory, because there is a strong chance one of them will. You can also point out that even though Christian Bale is the lead in The Big Short, he has been put in the supporting category. Weird, right?

Pro-Tip: Watch The Room with Tommy Wiseau.

And now, time for the ‘just happy to be here’ clan:

brooklynspiesIf you haven’t seen these films, then don’t fret. Neither has anyone else. If someone comes up to you and says that Brooklyn is a dark horse in this year’s Best Picture race then you have every right to politely ask them to leave. Alternatively, Brooklyn is also a chance for you to brush up on your Irish accent and improvise Irish mannerisms on the fly. When Bridge of Spies is mentioned, just smile and nod and mention that Tom Hanks is a pretty cool guy.

Pro-Tip: Provide everyone at the party with traditional Irish and Russian snacks.

Well there you have it. Now you’re ready to be the life of the party at your friend’s Oscar bash! Just remember that above all else, none of these movies are as good as The Gift. How in holy hell that got zero nominations is beyond me.

Who will win Best Picture: Either Revenant or Spotlight.

Callum Nicholas

A freelance worker with a keen interest in film, music and the arts. You can also catch some of Callum's previous work at ratedcmedia.wordpress.com.

Posted on Feb 26, 2016

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