Forrest and Laura Watch All 9 Best Picture Nominees in 24 Hours

All about the Academy Awards.
Feb. 24 2013 10:15 AM

Nine Movies. 24 Hours. 11,000 Calories of Popcorn.

Can two Slate writers survive AMC’s Best Picture megamarathon?

(L-R, Start on top) Lincoln, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, Amour, Beasts of a Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables.
(Left to right, from top left) Lincoln, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables.

Friday, 2 p.m.

Forrest Wickman: Laura, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, we will spend 24 hours trapped in a small Times Square theater with ferocious Aurochs, a tiger named Richard Parker, and Anne Hathaway. Remind me again, reassure me: Why are we doing this? And will you be bringing crabby snacks and homemades?

L.V. Anderson: I will not be bringing crabby snacks and homemades—they don’t travel well, and taste best hot—but we should talk about which snacks to bring to the AMC Best Picture Showcase. By my calculation, the time that will elapse between the beginning of Amour on Saturday morning and the end of Beasts of the Southern Wild on Sunday morning is 23 ½ hours. What's the best way to keep our energy up over that period of time? I'm thinking nuts and maybe some dried fruit (if only so I can dust off my “Mango Unchained” pun).

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Wickman: Having seen that first film—who at AMC made that programming decision? I can only assume it was the sadistic Michael Haneke—I can tell you that the answer is booze, of the strongest proof available.

Laura, if my intel is up-to-date, you’ve only seen one of this year’s nominees, Silver Linings Playbook. Are you actually excited to see these movies?

Anderson: That's a complicated question. This year, like every other year, I vowed to see all the Best Picture Oscar nominees so I could better partake in the cultural conversation surrounding them. I also failed, like every other year. I’m not sure what it is about Oscar nominees that makes me so ambivalent about actually watching them—probably the fact that they tend to be self-serious, whereas I prefer my cinematic entertainment to take the form of lighthearted comedies. So when I found out about the existence of the AMC Best Picture Showcase, it seemed like it was tailor-made for me—get all that pesky movie-watching out of the way at once, as efficiently as possible! So in that sense, yes, I am excited about seeing these movies. However, I recognize that movies are not designed to be viewed in this fashion. I anticipate some kind of emotional overload—at some point, maybe six to eight hours in, you can expect to find me bawling hysterically. Or maybe laughing hysterically! Who knows?

Wickman: Considering I have already seen all this year's nominees, I should explain myself. As far as I can tell, I had two reasons for signing up for this, neither of which is stopping me from regretting it:

The first is fairly obvious: I really like most of these movies and am excited to spend more time with them.

The second is perhaps only slightly less obvious: I want to journey deep into the Oscar heart of darkness, to stare directly into the sun around which all this razzmatazz orbits, and have it stare back into me. I want Stockholm syndrome to make me like Argo again. And then I want Abraham Lincoln, or Ben Affleck—whatever—to set me free.

Anderson: I feel like we’d be remiss in our live-blogging duties if we failed to mention the reigning masterpiece of the genre: Xan Brooks’ chronicle of the 11-hour Isner-Mahut Wimbledon match for the Guardian in 2010. Of course, what made that live-blog and its talk of “Everlasting Zombie Tennis Players” so thrilling was that it was unexpected. Our live-blog, on the other hand, will be entirely predictable: We will resemble zombies by the end, no question about it.

By the way, here is our morning, afternoon, night, and morning's schedule, for those following along at home:

10:00 a.m. Saturday: Amour
12:20 p.m.: Lincoln
3:20 p.m.: Argo
5:35 p.m.: Django Unchained
9:30 p.m.: Les Miserables
12:30 a.m. Sunday: Zero Dark Thirty (Nice one, AMC!)
3:20 a.m.: Life of Pi
5:40 a.m.: Silver Linings Playbook
7:55 a.m.: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Saturday, 9:30 a.m.

Wickman: Laura, it's 22 hours to the Bathtub, I've got a liter full of coffee, half a bag of popcorn, it's dark (or fairly dim), and we're wearing sunglasses.

OK, that last part might not be true, but I at least remembered to bring a towelie for my eyeglasses. I'm suddenly feeling very prepared. Are you feeling very prepared?

Anderson: Forrest, I've never been so prepared in my life. I brought kale chips, cashews, dried mango, cookies, a pillow, and a chenille blanket. And yes, I brought a towelie for my glasses, too. Forgetting that would be an amateur mistake. The excitement here is palpable! I'd say we're looking at 70 percent capacity in the largest auditorium in this megaplex. And we've got some lovely emcees who just announced Amour will start in three minutes.

Wickman: But you missed the big opening presentation from Joe! This is his seat.

I am shocked—shocked!—by how many people are here. Amour should at least serve to thin out the weak. By the way, Laura, do you like pigeons? No reason.

Saturday, 10:35 a.m.

Anderson: Surprising amount of laughter during Amour so far in response to Trintignant and Riva's cute little pleasantries. Somehow I suspect the laughter might not last?

Saturday, 11:05 a.m.

Wickman: Yeah, I'm learning new things already. The electric wheelchair bit just killed! The crowd is loving Riva. Amour is a screwball comedy! Or at least most of it is a comedy.

Saturday, 12:21 p.m.

Wickman: So the lights just came up at the end of Amour and Joe said, "Everybody happy?" The audience, whose laughter has long since been stifled, responded with mass groans. I even heard one attendee say, "I thought it was supposed to be a nice love story." 

Anderson: I completely understand why they wanted to start with Amour, though! Haneke loves these long, lingering shots, forcing the audience to keep watching way past the point of comfort. It would be difficult to engage with that kind of thing if we had already seen, say, three other movies. (Also, I'm guessing we'll want to rest our eyes later on today—it would be difficult to do that while watching a movie with subtitles.)

Wickman: So by all signs spirits already seem to be sagging here—I think they peaked sometime between the hilarious motor-chair bit and the pigeon—but I'm still feeling good! Though (as those who've seen Amour will understand) your pillow is all the sudden looking a little more sinister.

Anderson: Let's take a look back at what we've seen so far:

Movies watched: one
Total caffeinated beverages consumed: five (one spilled on Forrest's shirt)
On-screen tears shed: two (Great acting, Isabelle Huppert!)
On-screen deaths: one
On-screen musical numbers: three (two piano sonatas, one rendition of "Sur le Pont d'Avignon")

Lincoln's up next. This is my first time seeing it, but I already know we'll see at least one more on-screen death. How many musical numbers, though, I wonder?

Saturday, 1:31 p.m.

Anderson: I wish James Spader were in every movie we're watching today.

Saturday, 3:10 p.m.

Wickman: Free at last! The Abraham Lincoln candle of freedom has made it so. Though I think I could actually have sat on Lincoln's lap and heard his stories—and Thaddeus' Stevens total burns—for three hours more. That's a Best Picture!

Anderson: I found Lincoln much more entertaining than I had anticipated! At the moment, I have no quibbles with Daniel Day-Lewis' front-runner status for Best Actor Oscar—what a transformation. And what a humane depiction of an iconic figure.

I also enjoyed the juxtaposition of Amour's depiction of a happy marriage with Lincoln's unhappy one. But I kind of wished they had saved this one for the middle of the night and/or early morning, perhaps to match the timing (spoiler, but not really) of Lincoln's death. I think we would have enjoyed the heartstring-tugging feel-good nature of Lincoln at a moment of intense exhaustion.

Oh, we should probably mention that Lincoln garnered applause at its end, whereas Amour did not. What do you make of that, Forrest?

Wickman: I'm with the people! I really admired Spielberg's broad direction this time around, which seemed to really land with everyone in the house. It helps balance out Kushner's script, which is even more intimidatingly dense than I appreciated the first time around.

Next up, the movie that has even Jimmy Carter's vote for Best Picture. It's about being held hostage by Ben Affleck, if I recall. Laura, are you excited for this movie? I have a vague memory of a time—before this endless Oscar season—when even I liked Argo.

Anderson:  So, I would be excited to see Argo—I've heard it's one of the funner noms this year—but I'm actually ... abandoning you to go get a massage. I made the appointment a while ago and then forgot about it, and I considered canceling it when I realized it would overlap with the marathon—but then I realized I would probably really be able to use a massage six hours into the marathon. And I was right—I could really use a massage right about now!

(I know this makes me a less-than-hardcore Oscar-watching marathoner. But what can I say? Treat yo' self, as the old maxim goes.)

I do think this will be an interesting experiment—will the massage confer mental health benefits that allow me to power through hour two of (3D) Life of Pi at 4:30 a.m.? Or will Argo be the thematic linchpin of the marathon, allowing you to achieve some deeper understanding of this year's Oscar field that I can only dream of? Time will tell.

Wickman: I have another concern altogether. Have you ever heard of deep-vein thrombosis? You're going to feel awfully guilty about your shiatsu if I'm rendered Emanuelle Riva-like by a cerebral embolism before this is over.

Movies watched: two
Combined caffeinated beverages consumed: seven
On-screen tears shed: six (all solitary)
On-screen deaths: 202 (approximately 200 Confederate and Union soldiers, one U.S. president, one old French lady)
On-screen musical numbers: four (two piano sonatas, one rendition of "Sur le Pont d'Avignon," one opera aria)
Biggest laugh so far: Lincoln's Ethan Allen anecdote (with Emmanuelle Riva's motorized wheelchair scene coming in close second)

Saturday, 4:07 p.m.

Wickman: Argo is about how Hollywood can save us from Iranian hostage-takers, but who can save us from Hollywood?

Saturday, 5:33 p.m.

Wickman: Argo fuck everything. I thought I could like this movie watching it again—I really did. But its bullshit Hollywoodization of the facts, its dehumanizing nigh unto cartoonish depiction of the people of Iran, and Ben Affleck's inert brooding were just too much for me to enjoy this movie again. In fact, the way that they play the "Thank You, Canada" stuff as a joke doesn't just ring hollow when you know the real story, it's despicable.

The emperor has no clothes, just a bushy vintage beard.

Combined caffeinated beverages consumed: eight
On-screen tears shed: seven (all solitary)
On-screen deaths: 203 (approximately 200 Confederate and Union soldiers, one U.S. president, one old French lady, and one anonymous Iranian hung from a crane.)
On-screen musical numbers: five (two piano sonatas, one rendition of "Sur le Pont d'Avignon," one opera aria, and one Ben Affleck strut to Led Zeppelin)
Biggest laugh so far: Lincoln's Ethan Allen anecdote, followed by Emmanuelle Riva's motorized wheelchair hijinx, and Forrest's laugh when the Iranian police car almost ran into the jet turbine
Massages received: one (by the traitor Laura Anderson)
Blood clots currently traveling up Forrest's legs: several suspected
This break was only 15 minutes, so coming on now is Django Unchained, a movie just as historically inaccurate as Argo but that doesn't pretend to be anything else.

Saturday, 5:50 p.m.

Anderson: I'm back, Forrest! Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy seeing Argo again. Not to rub salt in your blood clots, but my massage was great (though it was also weird, the way massages always are). (Allow me to encourage anyone who isn't about to watch Django Unchained to go read John Jeremiah Sullivan's musings on the practice if you haven't already.) If the first 10 minutes of Argo (which I caught before sneaking out to make my appointment) were any indication of its general level of energy of the film, I feel confident saying that my massage was the exact opposite experience of watching Argo.

Though I'm overall way more relaxed than I was before, the massage did not rid me of one particular anxiety: that I am going to hate the next movie. I really dislike gory violence, and I try to be as politically correct as possible, so I have a feeling Tarantino's liberal use of the N-word is going to make me uncomfortable. Still, many people I respect enjoyed this movie, so I'll try to keep an open mind.

I already missed the opening credits of Django Unchained while typing this, and I'm hearing shrieks of pain through the theater door, so I'd better scurry back to my seat before I miss any important plot points. By the way, I grabbed a latte on my way back from my massage, so let's bump that caffeine count up to nine!

Saturday, 9:02 p.m.

Wickman: Am I beginning to notice a theme in this year's nominees? Argo is about freeing captive Iranian hostages, Django and Lincoln are about freeing captive American slaves, and Amour is about freeing a trapped French lady from her paralyzed 85-year-old body. Now, clear this up for me: Does this say more about this year's nominees or about how I'm feeling around 10 ½ hours in?

Also, prior to the movie, you expressed some concern about Django Unchained’s political incorrectness and violent imagery. I trust you found the film perfectly civil.

Anderson: You warned me beforehand that it would be difficult to count the on-screen deaths in Django Unchained. You weren't kidding. I counted 76—but that's a really imprecise count, because it can be hard to tell whether that guy writhing in pain as Django shoots repeatedly at him is a new guy or the same guy Django shot before. I also made a rough estimate of 20 Klansmen killed during the explosion. (I did not count the snowmen, may they rest in peace.)

Some of these deaths were a lot more memorable than others. You may have noticed me squeezing my eyes shut during the Mandingo fight and during the dismemberment-by-German-shepherd scene. I will never, ever, ever understand the appeal of Tarantino's love of overwrought, cartoonish gore. However, I enjoyed some other cartoonish aspects of the production. The Technicolor dream quality of the first half—the bounty-hunting section—was delightful. Also, I think I'm in love with Christoph Waltz. But Django Unchained was so fucking long—and gratuitously violent—that I was praying it would end, oh, half an hour before it actually did.

Wickman: I'm ready to head off to dinner (by the way, whatever happened to lunch?) but before we leave, we should maybe note that it's starting to get rowdy in here. As we were starting to chat, two men had a conversation across the theater about whether they slept together last year during Tree of Life. I have a feeling right about now is when it starts to get weird.

Combined caffeinated beverages consumed: 10
On-screen tears shed: eight
On-screen deaths: 279 (approximately 200 Confederate and Union soldiers, one U.S. president, one old French lady, one anonymous Iranian hung from a crane, 74 evil slaveowners/slave-traders/Klansmen, two Mandingo fighters, one Stephen)
On-screen musical numbers: six (two piano sonatas, one rendition of "Sur le Pont d'Avignon," one opera aria, one Ben Affleck strut to Led Zeppelin, one jovial shanty in the Cleopatra Club about peanut butter)
Biggest laugh so far: the Klansmen's argument about their masks' eyeholes
On-screen hallucinated women: two

Saturday, 9:18 p.m.

Anderson: Joe is now offering the audience an Alfred Hitchcock martini set, containing a shaker and a bottle of olives. To compete, you have to name the year a given film was in the running for an Oscar. If you get a year wrong, you're eliminated. "This is truly a game for Oscar geeks," he says, self-evidently. Nineteen brave souls are competing, but everyone's brain is so addled that most people are out already. Many got It Happened One Night and The Hurt Locker wrong. This is truly a sadistic way of testing people who have been sitting in a dark theater for more than 11 hours.

Saturday, 9:25 p.m.

Anderson: A woman named Katie won on Forrest Gump. Congratulations, Katie, and Godspeed. On that note, I personally hope Les Mis is not as much of a head-scratcher of a critical darling as Forrest Gump was.

Joe is now just throwing out Oscar trivia questions to the audience, since he has so many prizes to give away. Play along at home! What are the two winners with the word "American" in their title? The year of the first Oscar telecast? First movie to win Best Picture? Only silent films to win Best Picture?  How many answers before you'll be satisfied, Joe?

(Among the nonmartini swag being given away are Argo baseball caps.)

Saturday, 11:41 p.m.

Wickman: Hugh Jackman is now literally singing a solo while covered in shit. EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES.

Saturday, 11:44 p.m.

Wickman: Now seems like a good time to officially air my theory that covering yourself in shit = instant Oscars. Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables, swims through a river of shit = Best Actor and Best Picture nominee, 2012. Slumdog Millionaire, the kid jumps into a pool of shit = Best Picture, 2008. Ewan McGregor, Trainspotting, dives into "the filthiest toilet in Scotland" = the indie manages a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, 1996. Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption, crawls through a river of shit to come out clean on the other side = seven nominations including Best Picture, 1994. (It was beaten by this movie.)

Sunday, zero dark thirty

Wickman: Laura, I'm beginning to think this is the cinematic equivalent of the #RihannaPlane. Will this torture be justified if it leads to the death of Osama Bin Laden?

Anderson: So, yeah, Les Mis was pretty painful. I had heard a lot about Tom Hooper's up-close-and-personal approach to bringing this stage classic to the screen, and while the snot shots didn't bother me (the proximity of the camera to the actor made it easier for me to count people's tears for our running tally!), the monotony and repetitiveness of the libretto did. I know Les Mis is beloved by many, but couldn't the exact same story have been condensed into a much snappier movie if the characters didn't insist on making explicit every single fucking feeling they feel?

Sorry about the cursing; this is what happens when I get tired. You and I also had an inappropriate giggling fit when Javert jumped off the bridge. The mental decline has begun.

I would do business with Marius again, though (who was the source of three of those beautiful tears shed). Eddie Redmayne wuz robbed of an Oscar nom! Someone cast James Spader and Eddie Redmayne in a buddy comedy together!

Wickman: Yeah, I should admit that there's some awesome shit in that movie, the dreamboat Eddie Redmayne being the main thing that hasn't been appreciated, and we should also note that Anne Hathaway earned our first mid-movie ovation. Some of it just seems like "Goats Yelling Like Humans," though. (By the way, "Goats Yelling Like Humans" was totally snubbed.)

Combined caffeinated beverages consumed: 10
Alcoholic beverages consumed: one
On-screen tears shed: 17
On-screen deaths: 324 (approximately 200 Confederate and Union soldiers, one U.S. president, one old French lady, one anonymous Iranian hung from a crane, 74 evil slaveowners/slave-traders/Klansmen, two Mandingo fighters, one French prostitute, one French cross-dresser, one adorable French urchin, one French mayor hiding his true identity until the very end, one rules-obsessed French inspector, approximately 20 revolutionaries, approximately 20 French soldiers)
On-screen musical numbers: seven (two piano sonatas, one rendition of "Sur le Pont d'Avignon," one opera aria, one Ben Affleck strut to Led Zeppelin, one jovial chanty about peanut butter in the Cleopatra Club, one 3 ½ hour sung-through musical)
Biggest laugh so far: the Klansmen's argument about their masks' eyeholes
On-screen hallucinated women: four
Oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies consumed: 10, all during the entirety of Les Misérables

Sunday, 1:10 a.m.

Wickman: Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, 9/11 followed by waterboarding and sexual humiliation. Only 8½ more hours to go!

Sunday, 3:10 a.m.

Wickman: “In the end, everybody breaks, bro.” This could more or less be the motto of our last six hours, I think.

Anderson: Indeed. But Zero Dark Thirty wasn't the film that made me break, Forrest! I think I'm hitting my second wind. That was totally engaging—I wasn't bored for a second. And I have to say, after Django Unchained and Les Misérables, the naturalism of the acting and dialogue in this movie was very refreshing.

That said, I know everyone is gaga for Jessica Chastain in this movie, but I thought Jennifer Ehle delivered a superior performance. Maybe I just like my acting to be obvious (or maybe I just can't process subtlety at this point in the marathon), but I related to the way Ehle's character kept her emotions close to the surface. Chastain left me a ittle cold.

Wickman: No way, J.C. for life! I will say that I found some inspiration in Maya. Lotta late nights, staring at screens, never giving up.

Anderson: Everybody breaks, bro.

Combined caffeinated beverages consumed: 13
Alcoholic beverages consumed: one
On-screen tears shed: 21
On-screen deaths: 336 (approximately 200 Confederate and Union soldiers, one U.S. president, one old French lady, one anonymous Iranian hung from a crane, 74 evil slaveowners/slave-traders/Klansmen, two Mandingo fighters, one Stephen, one French prostitute, one French cross-dresser, one adorable French urchin, one French mayor hiding his true identity until the very end, one rules-obsessed French inspector, approximately 20 revolutionaries, approximately 20 French soldiers, seven CIA agents, four terrorists, one terrorists wife)
On-screen musical numbers: seven (two piano sonatas, one rendition of "Sur le Pont d'Avignon," one opera aria, one Ben Affleck strut to Led Zeppelin, one jovial chanty about peanut butter in the Cleopatra Club, one 3 ½ hour sung-through musical)
Biggest laugh so far: the Klansmen's conversation about their masks' eyeholes 
On-screen hallucinated women: four
Oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies consumed: 10, all during the entirety of Les Misérables

Sunday, 5:02 a.m.

We_Are_All_Pi
Still of Forrest Wickman and L.V. Anderson.

Wickman: I am Pi. WE ARE ALL PI.

Sunday, 5:40 a.m.

Wickman: Life of Pi just ended, and the breaks are getting shorter and shorter, so we should keep it simple: Laura, do you now believe in God?

Anderson: Ask me again when we reach the end of this. Life of Pi hit pretty close to home: alone in an enclosed space with someone you didn't know very well, not showering or brushing your teeth for what feels like eons, no contact with the outside world, with only the written word to keep you sane ... ring any bells, Richard, I mean Forrest?

Combined caffeinated beverages consumed: 13
Alcoholic beverages consumed: one
On-screen tears shed: 29
On-screen deaths: 339 (approximately 200 Confederate and Union soldiers, one U.S. president, one old French lady, one anonymous Iranian hung from a crane, 74 evil slaveowners/slave-traders/Klansmen, two Mandingo fighters, one Stephen, one French prostitute, one French cross-dresser, one adorable French urchin, one French mayor hiding his true identity until the very end, one rules-obsessed French inspector, approximately 20 revolutionaries, approximately 20 French soldiers, seven CIA agents, four terrorists, one terrorist's wife, three ship passengers), plus one hyena, one zebra, and one orangutan
On-screen musical numbers: eight (two piano sonatas, one rendition of "Sur le Pont d'Avignon," one opera aria, one Ben Affleck strut to Led Zeppelin, one jovial chanty about peanut butter in the Cleopatra Club, one 3 ½ hour sung-through musical, one Indian dance class)
Biggest laugh so far: the Klansmen's conversation about their masks' eyeholes 
On-screen hallucinated women: four

Sunday, 7:45 a.m.

Wickman: There are people audibly snoring. But if we stay positive, and we work hard, we have a shot at not totally being miserable through Beasts of the Southern Wild. Excelsior!

Laura, does this have a happy ending? Or is this about how, sometimes, life is hard? Also, is it starting to smell in here?

Anderson: Yes, it is kind of starting to smell in here. But we do have a shot at not being miserable through Beasts of the Southern Wild—Joe just announced they're serving us complimentary pastries, coffee, and orange juice in the lobby. Joe, I take back everything I said during trivia hour.

I liked Robert De Niro's performance better upon my second viewing, but it's not because I thought he gave an exceptional performance; it's because I realized the part was practically written for Robert De Niro qua Robert De Niro. I didn't like Silver Linings Playbook much better on the whole, though—I still think it's overrated. Then again, pretty much any film is bound to seem overrated when viewed after being awake for 24 hours.

Combined caffeinated beverages consumed: 13 (soon to be ameliorated)
Alcoholic beverages consumed: one
On-screen tears shed: 33
On-screen deaths: 339 (approximately 200 Confederate and Union soldiers, one U.S. president, one old French lady, one anonymous Iranian hung from a crane, 74 evil slaveowners/slave-traders/Klansmen, two Mandingo fighters, one Stephen, one French prostitute, one French cross-dresser, one adorable French urchin, one French mayor hiding his true identity until the very end, one rules-obsessed French inspector, approximately 20 revolutionaries, approximately 20 French soldiers, seven CIA agents, four terrorists, one terrorist's wife, three ship passengers), plus one hyena, one zebra, and one orangutan
On-screen musical numbers: 11 (two piano sonatas, one rendition of "Sur le Pont d'Avignon," one opera aria, one Ben Affleck strut to Led Zeppelin, one jovial chanty about peanut butter in the Cleopatra Club, one 3 ½ hour sung-through, one Indian dance class, and three pairs dance competition performances)
Biggest laugh so far: Pat and Tiffany's rejoicing at receiving a score of five on their dance 
On-screen hallucinated women: five
Combined minutes spent dozing off: 20

Sunday, 10:15 a.m.

Anderson: We made it! Like Hushpuppy, we are the man. Unlike Hushpuppy, however, I wasn't thrilled by Beasts of the Southern Wild's universe of the Bathtub. Of course, it's impossible to say how much of my dislike was due to the movie and how much to exhaustion. I will cop to liking the last three movies—Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, and Beasts—the least of all the films. My goodwill toward Hollywood had simply expired by 4 a.m., I suppose.

And yet, like everyone else here, I applauded when Beasts ended. How are you feeling, Forrest? Same time, same place next year?

Wickman: I feel like a shipwreck, probably smell like an Aurochs, and I expect I look like Gollum. And I did not applaud when Beasts ended. 

Anderson: I found our count of hallucinated female characters a particularly enlightening metric. (They are: Anne in Amour, Broomhilda in Django Unchained, Fantine and Cosette in Les Misérables, Nikki in Silver Linings Playbook, and Hushpuppy's mom in Beasts of the Southern Wild.) Was this a particularly woman-unfriendly round of Oscar nominees, or is this pretty much par for the course?

Wickman: I found that striking, too. Many wispy Edenic women swishing their hips in our nominees this year. And how many men were hallucinated? I think zero. Right about now, though, I sympathize. If there's a Michael Jordan jersey nailed to a chair somewhere, I hope it greets me with open arms (or smothers me with a pillow). As for you, I imagine you'll hallucinate Eddie Redmayne.

Anderson: There are so many other things we could have counted that we didn't. I'm including both things on-screen (e.g., instances in which men save women by purchasing them, dead fish, prostitutes) and things you and I spilled on the floor. 

Wickman: Two ushers just came in through the door behind the last row, surveyed the scene, and said, "Wow." "Well, they did stay for 24 hours," the other said. #InTheEndEverybodyBreaksBro

Combined caffeinated beverages consumed: 15
Alcoholic beverages consumed: one
On-screen tears shed: 38
On-screen deaths: 340 (one old French lady, approximately 200 Confederate and Union soldiers, one U.S. president, one anonymous Iranian hung from a crane, 74 evil slaveowners/slave-traders/Klansmen, two Mandingo fighters, one Stephen, one French prostitute, one French cross-dresser, one adorable French urchin, one French mayor hiding his true identity until the very end, one rules-obsessed French inspector, approximately 20 French revolutionaries, approximately 20 French soldiers, seven CIA agents, four terrorists, one terrorist's wife, three ship passengers, and one neglectful yet loving father), plus one hyena, one zebra, one orangutan, and several farm animals
On-screen musical numbers: 11 (two piano sonatas, one rendition of "Sur le Pont d'Avignon," one opera aria, one Ben Affleck strut to Led Zeppelin, one jovial chanty about peanut butter in the Cleopatra Club, one 3 ½ hour sung-through musical, one Indian dance class, three pairs dance competition performances, one bluegrass band performance at a parade, and one nightclub singer's crooning)
Biggest laugh: Pat and Tiffany's rejoicing at receiving a score of five on their dance (followed by Lincoln's Ethan Allen anecdote, Emmanuelle Riva's motorized wheelchair hijinx, Forrest's laugh when the Iranian police car almost ran into the jet turbine, Jessica Chastain's "motherfucker," the opening credits of Life of Pi, and Javert leaping to his death)
On-screen hallucinated women: six
Massages received: one (by the traitor Laura Anderson)
Oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies consumed: 10, all during the entirety of Les Misérables
Combined minutes spent dozing off: 20
Blood clots currently lodged deep in Forrest’s circulatory system: dozens

CURRENTLY: SLEEPING

L.V. Anderson is a Slate assistant editor. She edits Slate's food and drink sections and writes Brow Beat's recipe column, You're Doing It Wrong. 

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

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