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1. Make a movie about an important historical figure.
2. Have either Meryl Streep or Daniel Day-Lewis portray that important historical figure.
3. Extra points if the important historical figure is British (and the actor is not).
4. If you’re not playing an important figure, 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 at least 20 years, then suddenly re-appear in a quirky, uplifting indie film.
10. Try getting nominated for “Best Animated Short” or “Best Short Documentary.” Even if you don’t win, no one will know because those awards aren’t televised.
11. Don’t get your hopes up if Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announce you as a winner.
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.