The Academy Awards nominations were announced earlier this week. Ten years ago I’d have been giddy with excitement, in fact, I actually attended Oscar parties with my film club in college (the Film Guild we called it—and we were serious). Some people wore tuxes–that’s right, wore tuxes–to the bar at the Holiday Inn in East Hartford, CT to watch the awards show on the big screen TV in the corner by the Ms. Pacman machine. It was a real classy outfit. I was the president. You’ll notice I’m not making any films lately.
So these days I have to say I don’t really care too much. I take a passing interest in what gets nominated but I don’t bother watching the show anymore. Heck, I can’t rent a tux in my small town anyway. The thing I notice though, is that the films that make the Best Picture list usually sound like they were made to be there. Just look at this list of contenders and tell me they don’t all sound like their nominations were foregone conclusions the moment the screenplay rolled off the copier:
There Will Be Blood
No Country for Old Men
You get the idea. I’m leaving out the oddballs like Michael Clayton, Juno, Million Dollar Baby, Crash, etc. for the sake of fun but you have to admit that some titles just have ‘nominate me’ written all over them before you even know whether the movie is worth watching.
So here’s the deal. I want to know what’s going to win Best Picture next year. Whoever makes up the most convincing title with that Best Picture ring to it gets a free book from the Rabbit Room store. We’ll close submissions a week from the date of this post and open the envelope and cheer (snicker) at the winner. Bonus points for coming up with a compelling synopsis to go along with your title, and bonus points if it makes me laugh and spit tea out my nose. Feel free to submit as many as you like.
I’ll get the ball rolling.
(cue the guy with the movie trailer voice)
Armenius – Rome’s greatest general retires to his homeland of Gaul after a lifetime of service. But when his oldest friend becomes the new Roman Emperor and leads the legions north to expand the Empire, Armenius unites the barbarian tribes of his homeland and defends Gaul against not only the man he once loved as a brother, but against the greatest army the world has ever known.
(That’s pretty well a true story by the way.)
Whispers in August – As a man grieves the passing of his wife of 30 years, he uncovers a treasure of unsent letters that will shatter his perception of their relationship. He may lose the rest of his family and even his own soul unless his broken heart can piece together the truth.
Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.