"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 19 March 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Filler: 03.19.97



"Who cares?" you're thinking. After all, the Academy Awards symbolize everything that's depressing in our society. If you're like us, you've got this little equation floating around in your head:

The Academy = The Man

After all, both institutions:

  • Perpetuate the status quo
  • Encourage mediocrity
  • Censor originality
  • Keep the little man down
  • Keep the little woman at the cosmetic surgery boutique

But this year is different. Most of the films nominated for Best Picture are actually good, save that "sweeping epic drama" that features an expressionless burn victim waxing philosophic for two hours about his gutless, empty affair with a two-timing hussy. So booze up and tune in! And don't forget the betting pool - just remember, despite our chariots of ire, sweeping epic dramas always win.




Use this simple tool to find out whether or not your favorite film is sweeping or epic or sweeping-epic enough to win an Oscar.


1. The story is set

a) in a distant land
b) in a war-torn distant land
c) in a war-torn distant land more than 10 years ago
d) in a nondescript suburban area in the Midwest


2. The characters include

a) a thoughtful, quiet man forced into a difficult situation which he handles heroically (preferably a prominent historical figure)

b) a mysterious, yet down-to-earth woman with very high cheekbones

c) a callous, unattractive man with no respect for human life

d) a slightly overweight gay man in his early 50s


3. As we reach the climax of the story, the main character is forced to

a) look inside for the strength to overcome
b) use his bare hands to beat the shit out of someone
c) make a choice between the woman he loves and some other very important thing
d) make a choice between baked potato and fries with his steak


4. In the denouement or final scene of the story, the main character says something poetic that basically means

a) Love is worth waiting/going insane/fighting/dying for.
b) The human spirit will prevail.
c) Women with high cheekbones will cure all ills.
d) Melted cheese congeals if you let it sit for too long.

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