In anticipation of next week’s Academy Awards, I would like to make a bold claim. After years of close scrutiny and study of the awards, I believe that I am now in possession of the knowledge necessary to create a film that would not only be a shining Oscar darling, but would become the divine standard against which all future Oscar contenders would be measured. The politics and fashion lobbying that currently enshroud the Oscars would be obliterated by the film’s awesome emotional power. Seventy-seven years of Oscar history has built up to this pinnacle; my film would be a shining beacon of inoffensive, tear-jerking popular bliss, a sentimental and escapist ode to guide all other films to the harbor of Oscar-winning safety.
My reasoning is simple. One must simply fuse together all the elements that the Motion Picture Association of America so demonstrably cherishes, creating a grand and perfect collage infinitely superior to the sum of its parts. Bear witness, my friends.
The lead character would be a blind, mentally challenged, obsessive-compulsive and/or schizophrenic man who, despite his uncaring and harsh surroundings, still maintains a heart of gold. He would be played by a previously Oscar-revered, unthreatening actor such as Tom Hanks or Adrien Brody. Naturally, our lead would need a kooky, flawed, but loyal sidekick, always ready with a one-liner for comic relief. For this, we’d need Steve Buscemi. Gwyneth Paltrow or Laura Linney would suffice as the obligatory softhearted love interest.
Our heroes would be caught in a sweeping, epic tale of love and war that unfolds in a romanticized version of some historical period, be it Victorian England, ancient Rome, or perhaps even a doomed ocean liner. John Williams would compose the score. I needn’t mention the sequel, in which a wise old minority character shows a previously unenlightened racist the error of his or her ways.
No heartstring in these great United States would be left un-tugged, and no tear ducts would be left un-triggered. The picture’s release would be the most talked about, culturally defining event since the resurrection of Christ or the Brad-Jen breakup. You might scoff at my plans, but believe me when I say this; when I’m sipping Chianti with Rupert Murdoch and the Weinsteins, the last laugh shall be mine.