As film fanatics everywhere gear up for The 89th Academy Awards this Sunday night, many are placing bets on who will take home the golden little people and, even more importantly, who won’t. It’s safe to say that the largest televised act of Hollywood self-congratulation is a curiously controversial event, yet we’re called back annually by the siren song, all set to be dashed upon the craggy golden person-shaped rocks, where we join many a mighty ship of the years past. “Why do we respond to that siren’s call?” you may ask. Well, there’s a certain cinematic formula that will wrap us up in its scaly tentacles and demand an emotional response, and each year a certain combination of directors, producers and actors get that formula just right. Seth Meyers has taken to capturing exactly what that formula looks like in his parody trailer for fake film Oscar Bait.
It’s a pretty swing, taking on big-hitter items like racial or familial tension, homosexuality and train-watching, but it also manages to snag the more minute details, like dressing Meyers almost exactly like Lee Chandler in this year’s Oscar bait Manchester by the Sea. Littered at the front end with blurbs like “I didn’t cry once, but the main character cried 47 times,” and “The most blatant attempt to win an Oscar since The King’s Speech,” the video then tackles cinematography with digs at the Ridley Scott/Terrence Malick-esque shot of a man’s hand grazing wheat, the infamous dolly zoom, “that weird Spike Lee thing where the character is gliding towards the camera, and it’s like, is he walking? Is he floating? What the hell is that?” and so much more.
Check out the bit above, and please be sure to pay a visit to that weird little art theater one town over, the one that shows the films you might not see anywhere else. They’ll be happy to see you.