Academy Awards Drinking Game!

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Hunger Games? More like Drinking Games! It’s that time again, time for yet another installment of Country Life’s world-famous awards show drinking games. This edition? The Academy Awards! But because the only movies I saw last year were the final Harry Potter, The Muppets, and that Pearl Jam documentary (guess which two made me cry), I knew I needed to enlist the help of local artist, musician, cinephile, Jeff Probst enthusiast and Oscar addict-in-recovery, Sam Smith. Sam is one of the few living Americans who still regularly goes to the movies, and agreed to provide his liver-crushing pre-game analysis of Hollywoods’ most glamorous night.

The floor is yours, Mr. Smith.

* If Billy Crystal opens with a song-and-dance routine, go ahead and do a shot.

* Do a shot every time an Oscar goes to The Artist, the film most likely to sweep this year. If The Artist wins cinematography early on, do an extra shot signaling that the sweep has begun. If it loses score, do a shot signaling that may turn out more interestingly.

* Take a drink every time a movie is mentioned that you HAVE seen.

* Take a drink every time a nominee is announced that you've never heard of.

* If Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki wins cinematography for The Tree of Life, stand up, yell "CHIVO!!!!" and do a tequilla shot. Lubezki is maybe the most admired cinematographer in the business and has never won, and his The Tree of Life nom represents one of the Academy's only picks this year outside of the mainstream.

* Take a drink every time Billy Crystal makes a joke about Harvey Weinstein, mentions Brad or Angelina, or points out Jack Nicholson sitting in the front row. Standard stuff.

* Actually, take a drink every time the camera cuts to Jack Nicholson, ‘cause he's awesome.

* Take a drink every time the camera cuts to Gary Oldman, Tina Fey, Ryan Gosling, Tilda Swinton, Martin Scorsese or Michelle Williams, cause these people are awesome. [Oldman and Gosling are also hot. — AS]

* Think about the fact that Academy voters are 94 percent white, 77 percent male and have a median age of 62 with only 14 percent of voters under 50, and then do a shot. [Which is why Melissa McCarthy is a shoo-in. Not only does the Academy totally have a black friend (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) they want to prove they have an “unconventional” lady friend, too. — AS]

* Pick who you think looks the hottest, then take a drink every time you see them.

* Take a drink if The Hunger Games is mentioned.

* Take a drink if Brett Ratner is mentioned. [I already do. — AS]

* Take a drink if The Bodyguard mentioned.

* Do a shot if "Man or Muppet" deservedly wins Best Original Song, a category so irrelevant that it now has only two nominees. If "Real in Rio" from Rio wins, just start drinking a lot. [I just assumed they alternated between Fed-Exing the award to Elton John or Randy Newman every year. — AS]

* Take a drink every time you see an actress give a bitchy look. Keep your eyes on Rooney Mara and Madonna for possibles here.

* Take a drink if Chico & Rita or A Cat in Paris upsets in Best Animated Feature. Take an extra drink if Puss in Boots does.

* Take a drink if Hugo star Sacha Baron Cohen is spotted in costume as The Dictator, a rumor that caused the Academy to threaten banning him from the ceremony. [Also hot. — AS ]

* Shotgun a beer every time an African American wins an Oscar, ‘cause they almost never do and tonight it will happen twice.

* If anything other than The Artist wins Best Picture, drink as follows:
- The Descendants or Hugo: one shot
- Midnight in Paris: two shots
- Moneyball, War Horse, or The Help: three shots
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: four shots
- The Tree of Life: open a bottle of champagne for the biggest upset possible

* If The Artist wins, drink a glass of water.

Thanks, Sam! And how about you, fair reader, what are you Oscar predictions? Have you seen any of the nominated films? Are you in an office betting pool? Did you know that Billy Crystal used to be really cute in like 1975? Why don’t we talk about Soap more often?

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