The Tomato

This year’s ceremony will have a lot to live up to following Leo’s miraculous Oscar win in 2016. Illustration: Anastasiia Cherygova.
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Academy pressured to select rich, good looking actor everyone can rally behind

Now that the 2017 Oscars festivities are only days away, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is hoping to provide an uplifting, underdog narrative that can unite the world in perfect harmony.

“It’s going to be tough to top Leo’s big moment from last year,” said Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, recalling how actor and sentient man bun Leonardo DiCaprio finally snagged a Best Actor award back in early 2016.

“It’s not everyday that a rich, handsome actor with millions of worldwide fans gets the recognition he deserves.”

The Academy’s decision to award DiCaprio with an Oscar for his beardy performance in The Revenant was met with widespread praise and celebration across the globe, from the sweltering streets of New Delhi to the basement of the Laurier Avenue Royal Oak.

And with today’s political climate being more divisive than ever, Isaacs said repeating this unifying event is not just a welcome distraction—it’s a necessity.

“When people are in need of spiritual fulfillment and guidance, they always turn to Hollywood for help,” she said. “The acting community has already solved big problems like global warming, so this year we’re hoping that whoever wins brings everyone together on contentious issues—like whether or not we should put pineapple on our pizza.”

While the Academy usually picks its nominees for major acting categories by drawing names out of a hat, Isaacs reveals that this year’s lineup was selected with a specific “underdog” quality in mind.

“In show business terms, a lot of these guys are kind of slumming it,” she said, noting that none of this year’s nominees were able to crack Forbes’ list of the 30 highest paid actors in the world.

“I mean, look at Andrew Garfield. He’s never been the same after he stopped getting those Spider-Man cheques. These days, he’s forced settle for a life of semi-luxury by flying first class instead of taking his own private jet, just like most people.”

But money isn’t the only determining factor in the Academy’s search for a new man or woman “of the people.”

Isaacs said that physical attractiveness is also taken into consideration, which is why she thinks that mostly good looking actor Ryan Gosling could be a dark horse contender for his performance in La La Land.

“Ryan’s got it pretty rough,” she said. “Did you know that he’s never been voted People magazine’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive?’ Plus, some people make fun of him because his eyes are a little too close together. These are classic foibles than almost anyone can relate to.”  

While some film critics and press outlets are reluctant to embrace Hollywood’s new version of the “scrappy average joe,” Isaac said that the Oscars have to evolve with the times in order to remain relevant.

“If the recent U.S. election is anything to go by, people’s idea of what constitutes a true ‘underdog story’ is way different from what it was in 2015.”