The Oscars — people love to watch them. Fans love to argue about them. Pundits love to predict them, starting around the time the previous year’s ceremony is rolling its end credits. (11:58pm: X and Y won big at the 2020 Oscars! 11:59pm: Who is poised to win the 2021 Oscars?!?) Come this Sunday night, the annual Hollywood back-pat-athon will inspire a lot of sniping, countless snarky tweets, and more than a few folks to sip and/or tipple their poison of choice during what can sometimes be one Bataan-death-march of a broadcast. For those that indulge in such unsavory vices, the Oscars and drinking go together like most other impossible-to-get-through things and drinking.
We here at Rolling Stone do not condone doing anything in the extreme, much less consuming alcoholic beverages to the point of blacking out and/or thinking that Green Book winning Best Picture was actually a good thing. But as we’ve said many, many times before, some things are potentially too painful to endure sober, and we have a feeling that this year’s Academy Awards may fall into this category. As the Oscars inevitably stretches into its ninth hour, you’re going to need to dull the pain of so much narcissism and clip montages. So we’ve devised an official Oscars 2020 Drinking Game for those who choose to pass the time with a Pilsner, a glass of Pinot Noir or that rare bottle of Pappy’s you’ve been keeping for a special occasion. Please watch the awards ceremony responsibly, America.
Drink THE FIRST TIME:
1. Anyone in the hostless show’s opening sequence mentions that they are not officially the host, and then goes into a monologue or musical number, or performs any duties normally performed by a host. Double-shot if they enlist members of the audience to help out. Triple-shot if said famous audience member happens to be Meryl Streep.
2. The opening number includes awkward Joker-dancing.
3. Anyone says the phrase “the magic of the movies.” (Take a second drink once you hear it said for the 10th time, another for the 20th time, etc., all the way to up 100.)
4. Anyone declares that “apparently Little Women directed itself!” Double-shot if that person is an unsmiling Natalie Portman.
5. Anyone mentions the lack of female filmmakers in the Best Director category. Take a second drink once the injustice of this fact truly sinks in.
6. Anyone wonders why there’s a conspicuous lack of African-American nominees in the acting categories besides Cynthia Erivo. Take another drink if, like us, you’re a fan of the insanely talented Erivo and feel that it’s unfair that she’s been dragged into this argument at all. Take a third drink if, regardless of that, you’d still very much like an answer to that first question.
7. A presenter or winner brings up the notion of diversity. Double-shot if they somehow use it to also promote an upcoming project.
8. Anyone makes a play on Pain and Glory to describe the ceremony.
9. The camera cuts to Jojo Rabbit‘s young star, Roman Griffin Davis, and he makes an adorable face.
10. The camera cuts to Jojo Rabbit‘s director Taika Waititi, and he either raises his eyebrows in mock surprise or pretends to be asleep.
11. Anyone makes a joke that bombs and the camera cuts to Anna Paquin in the audience, silently glaring.
12. Anyone talks about how this was the year that female characters got less screen dialogue then their male counterparts, and then someone asks Margot Robbie what she thinks of this trend but then cuts her off before she can say anything.
13. Anyone says that most Oscar voters choose 1917 as the year’s Best Picture, except for Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), who broke with party lines and voted for Ford v Ferrari instead.
14. Anyone makes a joke about the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Throw a drink at your TV screen, however, if anyone brings up the La La Land/Moonlight flub again.
15. Someone says #OscarsSo[Fill in the Blank]. Double the shot if they actually say the word “hashtag” when they mentioning it. Triple the shot if that person is someone extremely British or Meryl Streep.
16. Someone talks about how great Charlize Theron’s makeup is in Bombshell, then says she actually got makeup artist Kazu Hiro to do her makeup tonight as well, and the camera cuts to Quentin Tarantino.
Drink EVERY TIME:
17. A speech turns political. Stop when said number hits 50, the ceremony ends, or life on Earth ends, whichever comes first.
18. A winner tells the audience to visit a URL to get more information about his/her pet political cause.
19. A winner refers to his/her project as “a labor of love.”
20. The words “powerful,” “important” and/or “brave” are used. Double the shot if the phrase “now more than ever” is also used.
21. Anyone includes both the word “impeachment” and Call Me By Your Name in the same sentence.
22. Someone name-checks their fellow nominees in their acceptance speech.
23. Someone tells their kids watching at home that it’s time to go to bed now.
24. 1917 wins a technical award for which it’s nominated.
25. Parasite does not win an award for which it’s nominated. (Careful with this one drinks-wise.)
26. Someone mentions how “funny” Marriage Story is. Bonus shot if they somehow work in a Trump/Melania reference as well.
27. Someone butchers the name of the cast, the crew, or anyone associated with Parasite. Triple the shot if a presenter somehow manages to mispronounce the word “parasite” in the same sentence.
28. Brad Pitt makes reference to any of the following things in his Best Supporting Actor acceptance speech: his former love of pot-smoking, his past relationships and marriages, Quentin Tarantino being a genius, his costars’ feet getting so much screen time they’re now collectively eligible for SAG membership, Leo, his father, how it’s really all about the work, how his fellow actors inspire him, how you personally inspire him. (Double the shot if he still comes off as charming and cool, because let’s be honest here, he’s Brad Fucking Pitt.)
29. Joaquin Phoenix says anything in a speech. Trust us, it will either be something so awesome or so awkward you will need a drink.
30. A person (or several people) who has hosted awards shows presents an award and absolutely kills it, reminding you why most awards shows have hosts in the first place.
31. Two presenters who you might not expect to pair well with each other absolutely nail it, thus precipitating everyone on social media wondering why the Oscars don’t just get those two famous people to host next year?
32. An esteemed British acting nominee fails to show up.
33. The In Memoriam montage lets through just enough live sound to give you a sense of who people are really clapping for.
34. Someone on Twitter complains about someone being left out of the memoriam segment and, like, WTF, Academy?!? (Careful with this one drinks-wise, too.)
35. You end crying at the In Memoriam montage regardless.
BONUS ROUND DRINK IF:
36. Renée Zellweger wins Best Actress for Judy and she gives a speech that seriously makes you wonder if she’s still in character.
37. Adam Driver runs out of the theater when they play his clip from Marriage Story.
38. Someone makes a joke about Jojo Rabbit’s new imaginary friend being Donald Trump. Double-shot if someone makes a joke about Trump being Jojo, and his imaginary friend Hitler is the one that’s been coaching him on foreign and domestic policies.
39. Someone makes a reference to Jennifer Lopez somehow not being nominated for Hustlers. Double the shot if said person then does an acrobatic pole dance set to “Waiting for Tonight.”
40. The whole ceremony is just one continuous shot, until 1917 is announced as Best Picture and then the screen just cuts to darkness and silence.