It's surely happened to you before. You're chatting with a group of friends over drinks, talking animatedly about something or other. It's not important. But suddenly, the conversation turns to some movie.
"You've seen it, right?" your friend asks you ever-so-innocently, with trusting doe eyes.
"Yes," you quickly lie through gritted teeth. Like a liar. "AND I LOVED IT."
We've all lied about seeing a movie or reading a book at one point or another, even though there's literally no point in doing that because no one is actually going to care if you've never even laid eyes on one of the "Fast and Furious" movies.
It's like we can't handle being left out of a conversation, no matter how stupid? And with the Oscars coming up, people are talking about movies now more than ever. And judging by the box offices of these films, a lot of them are probably movies you haven't seen.
With that in mind, here's a guide to successfully lying about seeing all the 2017 Oscar nominees for Best Picture:
Plot: Aliens come to earth in giant eggs, which should be proof they won't be intimidating. They don't really do anything except talk to Amy Adams, a beautiful-but-sad linguist who has to crack the code to their language before the world tears each other apart because, you know, aliens.
What to say: "Amy Adams was robbed! She barely said a word, but she made me feel so much." "Do you think Amy Adams really knows Mandarin? Yeah, probably not." "The whole deal with her daughter? So sad, yes, very sad. But beautiful." "So visually appealing!" "Yeah, I had no idea what the fuck I was watching."
How to pretend you know about politics at the same time: "With all the talk about working with other countries and reaching out to those different from us, it really made me think about the political climate right now!"
Plot: Denzel Washington is just a huge dick to his wife and son for 2 hours and 19 minutes.
What to say: "Denzel's a real dick in this movie, huh?" "Viola Davis is a goddess, and she can do no wrong." "They both won Tonys for these roles when they did it on Broadway! Did you know it was a play first? Yeah, it totally was. You can tell." "The son is hot. I liked him."
How to pretend you know about politics at the same time: "With all the scenes highlighting economic despair and racism, it really made me think about the political climate right now!"
Plot: Mel Gibson obsesses over religion for the millionth fucking time. This time, he has Andrew Garfield play Desmond Doss, a World War II soldier who refused to pick up a gun because of his religious beliefs, which sounds like a horrible idea and weirdly is not.
What to say: "Andrew Garfield made even that stupid accent sound hot." "I knew he was going to do something heroic, but I didn't think it'd be that heroic!" "The battle scenes were totally intense! I gasped!" "Mel Gibson sure is obsessed with religion, huh?"
How to pretend you know about politics at the same time: "With all the emphasis on religion and war, it really reminded me of the political climate right now!"
"Hell Or High Water"
Plot: Two dudes rob banks because they're poor but good with guns, and a sheriff hunts them down.
What to say: "I just thought it was so beautiful, all of the scenes of the west!" "I totally get the brotherly bond. I would do anything for my brother, too, so I was into that." "Chris Pine should always have a beard." "It reminded me of 'Robin Hood,' except with humans."
How to pretend you know about politics at the same time: "With the focus on impoverished rural white men, it really reminded me of the political climate right now!"
Plot: Three badass black women overcome sexism and racism to help NASA with the first moon landing. It's all very fun and jaunty, though.
What to say: "PUT. JANELLE. MONAE. IN. EVERYTHING." "The scene with the supervisor smashing the segregated bathroom sign was so beautiful, I teared up." "I have never heard of these women before, so it was so cool to learn their stories!" "Those dresses from the '60s were on point." "Man, why don't we go to space anymore?!"
How to pretend you know about politics at the same time: "With the focus on systematic racism, it really made me think of the political climate right now!"
"La La Land"
Plot: Emma Stone is a struggling actress who's struggling for a reason, while Ryan Gosling is a struggling jazz guy who literally only cares about jazz. They fall very charmingly in love while singing and dancing all over LA.
What to say: "I haven't gotten 'City of Stars' out of my head yet!" "They're not great singers, but it really enhanced the charm!" "I want everything Emma Stone wore in this movie." "The best part was that ending montage. It made me cry over how bittersweet it was, but it was totally appropriate." "Dude, John Legend!"
How to pretend you know about politics at the same time: "With the... oh wow, yeah. This movie literally has nothing to say about the fact that the world is falling apart right now."
Plot: A little boy gets lost in India, and is then adopted by a wealthy Australian family. He grows up to be the smokin' hot Dev Patel, and searches for his family using Google Earth, in the world's best Google Ad.
What to say: "I couldn't stop sobbing watching that adorable little boy when he was lost!" "Nicole Kidman's haircut was impossible to look away from." "Did you know it's supposedly based on a true story?" "It made the world feel so small, you know? We're all so connected!" "Seriously, when the fuck did Dev Patel get so goddamn beautiful?"
How to pretend you know about politics at the same time: "With the emphasis on unity and multiculturalism, it really made me think of the current political climate."
"Manchester By The Sea"
Plot: Casey Affleck is a sad, sad, sad man. He is so sad, he just stares off into space all the time and picks fights with strangers when they interrupt his space-staring. He has to go back home and take care of his very sexually-advanced nephew after his brother dies, so he can go inflict his misery there, too.
What to say: "I knew something terrible happened to Casey Affleck's character, but I didn't realize it would be so awful. I couldn't believe they had them die in a fire like that." "They made Massachusetts look somehow beautiful in the winter, which is borderline impossible." "Michelle Williams deserves all the Oscars for that scene where she sobs while talking to him!" "Is it OK to reward Casey Affleck, who allegedly sexually harassed women, with an Oscar? Yeah, I didn't think so, either."
How to pretend you know about politics at the same time: "Since it stars a guy who's rumored to have sexually harassed women, the film REALLY reminded me of the current political climate!"
Plot: It follows a gay black man through different stages of his life, as he falls in love and deals with a drug-addicted mother. It will make you cry.
What to say: "This was one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen." "I'm not sure I liked how they divided up the movie into thirds. The final act felt unearned with that time jump, since we couldn't see what led to the character changes." "It really made me think, and it made me feel, so I'm happy I watched it." "All of the acting was so good, and if Mahershala Ali doesn't win, the Oscars are a sham!"
There you go, friends. You're now ready to go deceive everyone you know into believing you're a far more cultured person than you truly are.