At the end of February, the 89th Academy Awards will air once again, and we will be treated to an evening of pageantry, back-patting and self-congratulations. Top Oscar contender La La Land will probably take home its fair share of awards, and Jimmy Kimmel will test his abilities as an Academy Awards host for the first time ever.
The thing is, this awards season is already feeling a tad ho-hum. There aren’t many surprises, and the winners were probably accurately predicted a month ago.
This is why we need some fresh, new Oscar nomination categories to spice things up just a little bit. The public needs a reason to re-engage with this awards ceremony, and some unique awards could definitely stir things up a bit.
Here are just a few possible suggestions for potential new Oscar categories, based on the behaviors and tropes which are most commonly awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
Otherwise known as the “Tom Hardy Category,” this award goes to whichever actor managed to portray the least intelligible character throughout the course of the year. The more obscured their words, the better — and a Southern accent is just the cherry on top of the overacting sundae. Naturally, Jeff Bridges would probably be a shoe-in for this category on any given year.
“Best Movie Miraculously Not Based On A Book”
It’s fairly rarifying to see a movie that is not inspired from some preexisting intellectual property. From superhero movies, to movies based on murder mysteries, to biopics inspired by autobiographies, pretty much every film has its own fandom before it even hits theaters. Because they are so few and far between, it’s important to honor the films that defy this trope. However, I will admit that doing so would be a risky move, since there would probably never be more than five films to choose from.
“Best Dad Movie”
Unlike the previous suggestion, nominees in this category are almost assuredly based on a paperback book that can be found in the airport. These are the movies that dads the world over will fall asleep watching in their recliners (while later insisting that they saw the whole thing). From Sully, to Bridge of Spies, to Captain Phillips (okay, basically every single Tom Hanks movie), it’s important to sequester these films from the rest of the movies — lest they somehow get nominated for Best Picture and ruin everything.
“Least Believable Uggo”
It never fails: someone always tries to earn a golden statuette by actively downplaying their God-given physical beauty to prove to the plebeians of the world that they, too, can sympathize with average people. Occasionally, these efforts even involve extensive facial prosthetics to make one’s face appear less perfect (looking at you, Nicole Kidman), or shaving off one’s eyebrows (CHARLIZE). These are all valiant efforts, but they don’t necessarily deserve an Oscar for Best Actress.
“Best Actor Who’s Trying To Do Other Stuff Good, Too”
This award is reserved for that actor who also wrote and directed their movie (they were probably the producer too, who are we kidding). They’re desperately seeking our attention, and throwing an award at them is the only feasible way to get them to stop.
“Darkest Undereye Shadows”
Not to be confused with “Least Believable Uggo,” this award goes to every actor who went above and beyond to look haggard and haunted for their dramatic role — and by “above and beyond,” I mean that they had the makeup artist add some extra dark shadows underneath their eyes. Moving! Complex! Riveting! Give them an award!
“Best Actress Who Isn’t Meryl Streep”
It’s only fair that Meryl be excluded from this category. It’s time to give everyone else a chance. She can just win her own award every year.
No, not the Best Actor — the Most Actor. This category is created for the actors who drove everyone insane with their unbreakable Stanislavsky method, and who could barely keep themselves from restlessly chewing the scenery. They’re the ones notorious for never breaking character, they’re the ones who meditated for an hour before going on set, and they’re the ones who stuffed their mouths with cotton balls to create a believable accent. They may not be acting with the most finesse or talent, but they sure are doing a lot of it.
“Most Expensive Payroll”
When a studio feels the need to ensure a film’s success, they will often stack the cast with so much recognizable talent that the whole thing feels like a series of cameos in a Muppets movie. This rarely results in a critically successful film, but, hey — might as well give them a statue for trying.
“Best Use Of Kate Winslet’s Breasts”
If you want to catch a film critic’s eye, you’d do well to include a pair of Kate Winslet tits in your movie. While they may not win the final award, they will certainly garner you a nomination. This category exists to honor the many (many) movies that feature this talented actresses’ equally famous bosom, and the many ways that they have contributed to the history of cinema.