You know that look.
You’re standing at the after party of a special screening for that Oscar hopeful. You know the one. The one with the celebrity hosts and the well-known Chef and the movie-themed alcoholic drinks, and the after-screening Q&A hosted by that well-known, sad-sack, big-worded journalist who always wanted to be a screenwriter?
No, I’m not talking about me.
Well, you’re at the after party and you’ve already eaten your third crab cake, and you’re eyeing the trays of Kobe beef that keep getting bogarted at the swinging kitchen door by agent assistants who clearly aren’t paid enough to go grocery shopping, and you are standing opposite one of the publicists for the studio that is releasing the film you just sat through and they ask you what you thought of the movie.
They really shouldn’t do that.
That’s when you say something that they wish you’d stop saying, and definitely not writing, or else the entire publicity and marketing strategy of their film, and their attempts to get nominated and win a golden award of than eunuch dude, is going to crash upon the rocks of despair. So they give you that look, that basically tells you to shut up so the other people around you don’t start thinking what you’re saying, and you do so. Especially because there’s a tray of Kobe beef nearby and there’s only two left.
This Awards Season, every studio marketing head and the minions that support their campaigns have their own trigger warnings of things that they can’t say, that writers shouldn’t say, and that they don’t want anyone talking about for fear of such earwigs finding their way into the voters’ or public consciousness.
And since Oscar voting is now locked and loaded, we’d like to tell you what the studios would wish you…would…stop…saying!
Ford v. Ferrari: “It’s like those old movies Hollywood used to make.”
Joker: “It’s very violent, and really depressing and was directed by the guy who did The Hangover.”
The Irishman: “It took me three separate days to make it through the movie, I kept having to stop to take a break.”
Jojo Rabbit: “It was funny.” “It was sad.” “It was about Nazis.”
1917: “This generation’s Saving Private Ryan.”
Uncut Gems: “Just like Good Time.”
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: “Well, it really picks up in the last twenty minutes of the movie.”
Little Women: “It would have been really confusing and hard to follow, but thanks to Jo’s haircut, I was able to figure out what was going on.”
Marriage Story: “It’s a lot of arguing.”
Parasite: “From the guy who did that movie Okja.”
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: “There’s really not that much Tom Hanks in the movie; it’s mostly about a guy who hates his dad.”
Bombshell: “I liked it better when it was that Showtime show with Russell Crowe.”
Dolemite Is My Name: “It’s Eddie Murphy’s funniest role since Beverly Hills Cop” or “It’s a modern day Ed Wood.“
The Farewell: “Three-fourths of the movie is subtitled.”
Hustlers: “J. Lo doesn’t actually get naked.”
Knives Out: “It’s by the guy who made The Last Jedi.“
Pain and Glory: “It’s not as good as Parasite.“
Richard Jewell: “Richard who?”
Rocketman: “It’s actually a musical.”
The Two Popes: “It’s just two guys talking.”
Thankfully, there won’t be any parties, or screenings, or opportunities to not say these things for some time now. It’s a blessing, in fact, for me.
And, well, it’s a blessing for them.