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1. Make a movie about an important historic figure.
2. Have either Meryl Streep or Daniel Day Lewis play that important historic figure.
3. Extra points if the important historic figure is British (and the actor is not).
4. If you’re an actor, play a character who is struggling with a severe disability or mental illness.
5. Or someone who is persecuted by the evils of corporate America.
6. But make sure your character isn’t just freaking weird (See: Foster, Jodie; Nell, 1995).
7. If you’re a director, make a movie that tackles a fashionable political cause.
8. And by “fashionable,” we mean “liberal.”
9. For Best Supporting Actor, make sure you haven’t been relevant for 20 years, then suddenly re-appear in a quirky, uplifting indie film.
10. Don’t star in a movie like Norbit just before you’re up for an award.
11. And don’t make an ass of yourself when you don’t win.
12. Make a documentary about a political cause. Make sure the cause is fashionable.
13. If you are a movie score composer, be John Williams.
14. And if you are Martin Scorsese, you should have won about 10 of these things by now.