As we slowly crawl our way out of the damp, murky depths of 2022 into the harsh light of 2023, we are met with the same tired media discourse we encounter every year: the Academy Award nominations.
Whether you care about the Oscars or not (probably not), it’s impossible to ignore them. No matter who you are or what you do, at some point between now and March you will inevitably be asked by a coworker or friend; “Can you believe that Reddit-ass movie got a Best Picture nomination?” or “Did you see The Whale? I’m glad Fraser’s back, but it’s low-key kind of mean to fat people,” or any other myriad of unsolicited takes about a meaningless event that hasn’t held real weight in decades.
If these interactions can’t be avoided, there has to be some way to politely defuse them, right? Perhaps there’s some resource of canned responses out there capable of convincing the opposite party that you not only know what they’re talking about, but have an opinion innocuous enough to deter further prodding.
You may be asking yourself right about now, “but Hard Drive, wouldn’t that be lying?” Does the Tin Man have a sheet metal dick? Grow up. Let’s be honest; the Oscars voting committee didn’t watch those movies either.
Here’s the top 10 easiest films of 2022 to lie about having seen before the Oscars:
Elvis (dir. Baz Luhrmann)
This one’s an easy layup. An indulgent, romanticised Wikipedia summary reflecting on the meteoric rise of a beloved artist: the classic musician bio-pic. You can say about this what you would about quite literally any of the rest of them.
“I wish they got into the era when he was doing the real nasty shit.”
Avatar: The Way of Water (dir. James Cameron)/Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (dir. Ryan Coogler)
You’re in luck folks, it’s a twofer. Basically the same movie, varying shades of blue guys therein.
“It was a visual feast, but how they portrayed the indigenous people was kinda fucked up.”
Everything, Everywhere All at Once (dir. Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert)
Love it, hate it, or really really hate it, Everything, Everywhere has been an unavoidable presence over the past year. Here’s a good one for the gamers out there.
“I can’t believe they got the bat sound from Melee!”
The Banshees of Inisherin (dir. Martin McDonagh)
This one isn’t even a lie as such.
“I had no idea what the fuck anyone was saying.”
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (dir. Rian Johnson)
Maybe not exactly throwing you a bone here, but if you saw The Menu, just say whatever you thought about that movie and you’d probably be dead on. Take mine, for example:
Top Gun: Maverick (dir. Joseph Kosinski)/The Fablemans (dir. Stephen Spielberg)
Whether you wanna grow up to make movies or bomb nebulous, faceless foreign nationals in the name of American democracy, the sentiment rings the same.
“The movies are back!”
The Whale (dir. Darren Aronofsky)
This one’s become a little bit off a hot button in recent weeks. Smart money is on just not touching it and letting people assume you’re either too reserved and confident in your take to engage in discourse, or that you’re so righteously offended that you refuse to waste your breath. In either case, you come out looking smart as a whip.
TAR (dir. Todd Field)
Feel open to freestyling with this one, either answer will fly in this case.
“She was right.” Or alternatively, “She was wrong.”
This tactic can also be applied to pretty much any other movie with a female lead.
Triangle of Sadness (dir. Ruben Ostlund)
It’s rich people and poor people on a boat. You figure it out, man.
“It really says a lot about society.”
EO (dir. Jerzy Skolimowski)
Consider EO kind of the bingo freebie of the lot. You can easily get away with this one just by sort of leaning into it as a gag.
But like, you say it like a donkey braying. Because there’s a donkey in the movie. That’s kinda funny, right? Whatever. If you cared about forming a real opinion, you wouldn’t be reading this article anyway.