Win your very own Oscar

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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
Atonement
Munich
Brokeback Mountain
The Aviator
Finding Neverland

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.

(drum roll)
(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.

Your turn.

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.


14 Comments

  1. Nathan Bubna

    The Big Winner – The lives, loves and losses of two young, Arkansas men whose childhood friendship is stretched and shaped over the years as they travel down different paths through life.

  2. Tim Bourne

    Victory’s Song – Orphaned and lost in her war-torn homeland, a young girl looks for the only family she has left. Victory Lamont’s perilous journey will reveal new friendships, the horrors of war and ultimately lead her to the people with the answers she seeks – and the truth she cannot accept.

  3. Nate

    “Death and Danger in the Rabbit Room”

    Sibling rivalries have always been a part of the human experience, but when brothers Andrew and Pete clash over their respective opinions of the last Harry Potter book in the Rabbit Room Forums, things get way out of control. How far will the friction escalate? When will the madness end? How far will these two brothers – once very close – go? And how many innocent Rabbit Room members will they take down with them? This one will haunt you for years…dont see it alone.

  4. Loren Eaton

    The Eleventh Hour – A Parisian man must choose between his mistress and his estranged wife just weeks before the May 10, 1940 invasion of France by German forces. Seduction! Savagery! Pretentious cinematography! In other words, all the things you come to expect from an Academy-adored picture!

  5. Jim A

    Pete, I’m not sure it’s legal in this contest to steal the title off a Randall Goodgame album, but I think “The Legend of Pope Joan” sounds like a great Academy award winner.

    Also, the hit Pixar animation – “A Pig’s Tale” where all is not well in the pig pen. 5 brothers living in cramped conditions constantly squabble until one pig decides to get away from it all and find peace outside the shoe during a routine lawn mowing. Special guest voice over by Andrew Osenga with music by Andy Gullahorn.

  6. Billy Marsh

    Commodus: A Life Without Virtue – “In order for innocence to be lost, it first must be had.” Return to where it all began, and experience the troubled and complex childhood of Commodus, son of Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. A tale of lust for a sister’s love, envy of a brother’s honor, and yearning for a father’s love. Watch as the failures of kingly fatherhood and the flaws of twisted sonship pave the way for an Empire’s perilous journey down a path that could lead to utter ruin. (P.S. The only way for this movie to work, and thus be Oscar worthy, would be for Joaquin Phoenix to reprise his role as Commodus, which by the way was an Oscar worhty performance in Gladiator.)

  7. Keith (I'd like to thank my parents...) Krepcho

    A Tuft Of Trees – The year is 2184, and the only patch of trees that have survived the ravages of global warming are a tuft of trees in the North Pole. This epic would track the attempts of the last five people on earth to protect the trees and keep an adequate production of oxygen in the protective bubble they have built surrounding the trees. It would include musings on religion and God, an evaluation of social structure and civilization as well as a timely message on global warming and the effects of man’s carbon footprint on the world and future! 2001 meets a Merchant Ivory film.

    Flee! Enemies! – A biopic depicting the various risings and graceless falls from fame that have marked the unique journey and life of Hulk Hogan. The last half of the movie would be a fictional depiction of what could happen to him following the inevitable cancellation of “American Gladiators”.

    There Will Be Singing – Reunite Andrew Lloyd Webber and Joel Schumacher; cast Robin Williams as Eli Sunday and Eddie Vedder as Daniel Plainview = OSCAR!

    Still More Blood – Just get Daniel Day Lewis to improvise for another two-and-a-half hours as Daniel Plainview.

    O Transporting And Triumphant Thought! – This is just a bombastic title…

  8. Alex Green

    Bottom of the Glass: A man with a high pressure job and a family that is falling apart moonlights as a bartender to avoid going home to the fighting. He helps the people that come to the bar with their problems as best he can. (Spoiler!) As his life’s pieces start to come back together we find that the entire bar was not real, only the way that the man copes with his own problems and the advice he gave out is the very advice he needs to put his life back together.

  9. tina zorn

    The Plains of Serengeti-
    Missionary kid Habbakuk becomes horribly distraught amongst the stone hearted Whackamoderate tribe surrounding him.After many forsaken tracts he finally finds hope when a pet cheetah mauls a local witch doctor and he prays with miraculous results. PG-13 due to graphic mauling scenes

  10. linda

    I would so watch whispers in the fall , it sounds like the notebook and i really like the idea of bottom of the glass-you should get jim carrey to play a semi serious humorous role…..pixar is awesome -even their shorts are awesome–my dad would like the war epic ala the history channel amnd

    victory’s song should be set in afrrica so some where similar …..

    We need some comedies in this nomainations that or some mysteries

    by the Grace of God
    A comedy that looks into the life of one woman, her family. friends and church and what happens when you work at a day care/ learning center. Will she find true love among the glitter and the paste? She has a crush on the cutek kindergarden teacher in the class next to her , her friends are all getting married off and her church and family are full of excitement and drama as it were …Will she make it? Only by the grace of God!

  11. Mad on a Gray Sea

    PROUD MARY
    The story of Mary Magdalene. Directed by Mel Gibson.
    The film depicts her life in three parts: her childhood…there was always something about young Mary (played by Dakota Fanning), the Jesus years, Charlize Theron plays Christ’s love interest and ultimately wife…very controversial breast -feeding scene with a babe that could be(?) the grandchild of our Lord(!), and finally, her reflections and teachings post-crucifiction….a mature Mary, depicted by Meryl Streep, leads an all-female congregation on a pilgrimage to the Sea of Galilee. They strive to overcome obstacles of their patriarchial society, but are ultimately silenced by The Church….until now!
    Soundtrack provided by Peter Gabriel and Tina Turner.
    Rated R for gratutitous breast-feeding.

  12. Tim Bourne

    Linda…great idea for Victory’s Song to be set in Africa. It’s so awesome to be making a movie.

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