Me: Gigli explores the nature of human sexuality as no American movie has before. It moves the boundary posts. It will leave you astonished at what movies are capable of.
TV Host: Critics are saying it stinks.
Me: Have you ever been in a room full of critics? Do you think critics have experienced the full range of human sexuality? Do you trust critics to report accurately on the fleshy intimacies of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck?
TV Host: So, you're saying they're wrong about Gigli?
Me: I'm saying that truth is subjective and conditional. Gigli should not be seen alone, but with someone to whom you may cling. Then you must explore your mutual feelings, perhaps at Applebee's over juicy steak tips or luscious frozen margaritas in exciting new fruit flavors. [NB: I can do product placement tailored to your movie's demographic.]
Now think about awards time, and here I do have an inside track.
Me: That Natalie Portman has a potent sexuality, doesn't she? And she can act, too, boy.
A.O. Scott: Do you think so? I thought her Queen Amidala was embarrassingly wooden.
Me: See, that was the teasing ambiguity of the performance. By concealing her passion under a Kabuki-esque veneer of formality, she gave one of the most complex depictions of the struggle between the private and the public persona that I've ever seen.
A.O. Scott: Gee, I hadn't thought of it that way. Yes, I do believe you're right. I think I'll give her a rave review in the New York Times.
Act now and I'll append an award reference to every television appearance:
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.