Talking points for your Brooklyn Oscar Party this weekend

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Consider this your academy for the academies. Davidlohr Bueso / Flickr.

The Academy Awards are just a few days away, and that means going over to a coworker or friend’s house, wearing a tie and getting drunk on a Sunday. But let’s be real: You probably didn’t see any of the movies besides Mad Max. Look, we get it: Star Wars was this year, plus Avengers 2, Jurassic World, Furious 7, and Minions. MINIONS. With all that culture, who has time for three hours of Matt Damon in space?

Not to worry. Brokelyn’s crack team of film buffs has you covered. We’ve got talking points to help you pretend that you saw all eight (yeah, they can nominate eight now) Best Picture nominees while boosting your Brooklyn street cred along the way. Did you know that one of the films shares a connection to a bar on Atlantic Avenue? Did you catch Leo in Williamsburg doing beard research for The Revenant? No big deal, because we did! And we’re passing all our savvy to you.

Memorize as many of these phrases and directives as you can. If you start floundering, just riff on how white the Oscars are this year: everyone will have to listen to you or else they’ll look like the racist.

Mad Max: Fury Road
Six-word summary: Post-apocalyptic hair metal Fast and Furious.
Likelihood that the person you’re talking to actually saw it: 5/5

– “Tom Hardy is terrifying and beautiful.”
– “Charlize Theron is terrifying and beautiful.”
– Sway the conversation over to George Miller’s other directorial masterpiece, Babe: Pig in the City.
– “Mel Gibson: too old for this shit, or rampant anti-Semite cast out of Hollywood pictures? Discuss.”
– “It’s about time the Academy recognize car-based cinema.”
– Remind your fellow partygoers of the lesser-known Brooklyn serial killer, Mad Maks.
– “Man, global warming, am I right?”


Six-word summary: Breakable Kimmy Schmidt, still in captivity.
Likelihood that the person you’re talking to actually saw it: 2/5

– So many noms: Best Actress, Director and Screenplay.
– “I preferred Brie Larson as Jonah Hill’s love interest in 21 Jump Street.
– “I cried literally the whole time. I’m still crying.” (Bring tissues to support this.)
– Deflect specifics by quoting The Room until the person you’re talking to walks away.
– “You’re tearing me apart, [insert]!” It shouldn’t take long.
– “One time I was stuck on the F train for like 20 minutes so, I get it.”
– Gather a group for the Escape the Room Groupon.
– “Man, child abuse, am I right?”


Six-word summary: Catholic priests bad, Boston accents good.
Likelihood that the person you’re talking to actually saw it: 3/5

– “One day we’ll all look back on the year Batman, Sabretooth, Howard Stark and the Hulk battled institutional pedophilia.”
– “Are we sure this is Boston? I didn’t see Damon or Affleck anywhere.”
– “Superheroes get all the good jobs in journalism.”
–  “If this church were in Brooklyn, it would just be a movie about a bunch of hip priests blessing dogs.”
– Supporting roles by Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams so, if desperate, discuss anything they’ve ever made.
– “Man, the Catholic church, am I right?”


Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 11.42.08 AM

Six-word summary: 1950s Brooklyn dating was way worse.
Likelihood that the person you’re talking to actually saw it: 1/5

– “I can’t believe how well they covered up the Mexico on Saoirse Ronan’s face.”
– “Where’s BROOKLYN at?!” Yell this as many times as necessary to drown out awkward silences in conversation.
– Refer to historical notes from the Coney Island exhibit at Brooklyn Museum.
– Discuss the merits of 1950s beachwear (hint: pastels).
– They filmed most of this in Montreal. Talk about Montreal.
– “I can’t believe Noah Baumbach just stood by while this got made.”
– “Man, the struggle, am I right?”


Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 11.45.27 AM

Bridge of Spies
Six-word summary: Cold War Hanks, attorney at law.
Likelihood that the person you’re talking to actually saw it: 0/5

– Prompt a discussion of depictions of the borough between this and Brooklyn. Reference other movies set in BK.
– “I wonder if the KGB had to deal with shitty landlords, too.”
James B. Donovan.
– Mention your favorite bar is the Hollow Nickel in Boerum Hill (so-named for this incident depicted in the film.)
– Discuss Saving Private Ryan.
– “I’m disappointed Bridge of Spies isn’t a movie about Michael Caine, Judy Dench and Colin Firth playing cards.”
– Ask other people for their best guess at what a movie called Bridge of Spies would be.
– “Man, Tom Hanks, am I right?”


The Big Short
Six-word summary: The reverse Wolf of Wall Street.
Likelihood that the person you’re talking to actually saw it: 4/5

– Brag about the time you almost went to an Occupy protest (don’t mention that you got brunch instead).
– “I guess Steve Carell is a real actor now?”
– Rehash favorite episodes of The Office until everyone forgets whatever they were talking about.
– “I’m so glad that Brad Pitt and his millionaire friends finally took on the one percent.”
– Complain about your rent.
– Start to conceptualize a film that tells the same story, but from banks’ point of view. Call it The Chode.
– Discuss Bernie Sanders.
– “Man, Wall Street, am I right?”



The Martian
Six-word summary: Matt Damon’s in space. Everybody forgets.
Likelihood that the person you’re talking to actually saw it: 3/5

– “Wait, but really?”
– It won best comedy at The Golden Globes. Be outraged.
– Vaguely recall having read The Martian when it was a Staff Pick at the Strand. (Segue: complain about Manhattan.)
– “There’s water on Mars, so this movie is basically a vacation brochure.”
– Claim that you have special intel Damon’s space suit was made in Brooklyn.
– “I still can’t believe David Bowie is really gone.”
– Play “Who would survive in space longer: Matt Damon vs. Sandra Bullock?”
– Reflect on the cruelty of the human condition.
– “Man, New Earth 2020, am I right?”


The Revenant
Six-word summary: Grizzly Man 2: Leo Vs. Bear.
Likelihood that the person you’re talking to actually saw it: 4/5

– “Tom Hardy is terrifying and beautiful.”
– This will probably win. Tell everyone you think that this will probably win.
– “I’m still on Xanax from that trailer.”
– “Was that a real bear or just Andy Serkis? I’m not sure which is more terrifying.”
– Casually mention that you saw Leo in Williamsburg doing beard research.
– Discuss the moral migraines you suffered after watching Grizzly Man. 
– “Man, bears, am I right?”

So there you go, 17 and a half hours of your life saved. You’re welcome. Got any talking points of your own to help your fellow partygoers? Let us know in the comments section!

Follow Sam on Twitter at @SamHWeiss

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  1. If Dicaprio wins an Oscar for The Revenant then they definitely should give a statue to Hardy; he was the best actor in this flick!!

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