It’s the end of February and you’re sitting quietly in Carmichael, scrolling through Facebook and looking back on the month you’ve wasted reading “Beyoncé think pieces” and regretting Winter Ball. Suddenly, a gif of Jennifer Lawrence shows up on your timeline and it hits you: the Oscars are next week, and you haven’t seen any of the movies! How will you be able to stay #relevant and enjoy your friends’ nonsense live-tweeting? How will you understand any of Chris Rock’s hilarious jokes about Leo’s lack of trophies or the Academy’s lack of diversity? Fret not, because there are plenty of ways you can prepare yourself for the show without risking your tenuous relationship with Tufts wi-fi through illegal movie downloads.
10. To celebrate the spirit of “Anomalisa” (2015), put on a Guy Fawkes mask and start talking about your feelings in a really roundabout way, freaking out your friends.
If this feels alienating, you’re doing it right! Charlie Kaufman’s latest stop-motion hit really calls for going all-out weird with a dash of loneliness. Don’t ask questions.
9. Huff some silver spray paint and steal a go-kart to initiate a wild chase with law enforcement that will rival the big-rig action scenes of “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015).
Now’s your chance to stick it to The Man and honor this year’s greatest feminist action flick at the same time. The gates of Valhalla await you.
8. Make an asinine joke about bridges and spies to prepare for “Bridge of Spies” (2015).
Listen, no one saw “Bridge of Spies.” You really don’t have to worry about this one.
7. Stare longingly out a window like Saoirse Ronan in “Brooklyn” (2015), reflecting on the journey that has brought you to this moment and wondering if you belong anywhere at all.
Has your young life been full of hardships, tests of courage, whirlwind romances and pretty dresses? If not, your experience might be a little different than that of the film’s Irish heroine, but a little emo moment accompanied by swelling music pumping from your iPhone will do the trick. Bonus points if you have an immigrant grandmother to call and ask about the good old days.
6. Think back to basically any movie Matt Damon has already been in to get a mental grasp on “The Martian” (2015).
“Saving Private Ryan”(1998)? Check. “Interstellar” (2014)? Check. “Elysium” (2013)? Gross, but check. You’re all set!
5. Put on a pair of wire-rimmed glasses and a black turtleneck like Michael Fassbender and tell everyone you’re the lead character in “Steve Jobs” (2015).
What a fun, cool prank that will be! Everyone will laugh because you probably look nothing like Steve Jobs. You could start shouting tech-babble with the speed and intensity of any character on “The West Wing”(1999-2006) for added effect.
4. To understand Joy’s pain and desperation in “Room” (2015), lock yourself in a Tisch study room for so long that you forget there exists a world outside its cold, lonely walls.
Okay, you will never understand Joy’s pain in “Room.” Never. But Brie Larson, the nominated actress who plays Joy, is an angel who walks among us. This is the least you could do in her honor.
3. Take out a mortgage on a new house with a bank loan you can’t afford and then watch your life slowly crumble over a period of many years in honor of “The Big Short” (2015).
Talk about life imitating art. This might sound like a lot of work, but it’s still a lot easier than spending two hours watching your celebrity valentine Ryan Gosling profit off the financial crisis. Ryan, how could you?
2. To get a sense of the investigation in “Spotlight” (2015), you could… um…
Nope. Not touching that one.
1. Get a first-hand take on Leonardo DiCaprio’s journey in “The Revenant” (2015) by heading into the cold Medford wilderness with nothing but the Canada Goose on your back and a deep lust for revenge.
What exactly are you revenging? I don’t know, maybe somewhere in the woods is the man who killed your son or the person who stole your first coat at ATO. Whatever the case may be, surviving the Boston suburbs off melted snow and squirrel meat will surely be enough to finally earn you that Oscar. Right? Right?!