The Academy sent out invitations today to 120 sundry folk who must now decide whether to join its noble ranks and pay dues to vote Oscars to the best of the best, year after year -- and thereby endure the ire of foul-crying movielovers for generations.
Selected by the committees of each membership branch (acting, directing, cinematography, casting, etc.), the lucky ones weren't invited for their proven track records or the intensity of their talent. From the disparity of this list, it seems they were selected simply because the Academy likes them. Right now, the Academy likes them!
I have obtained the personalized messages from the Academy's governors that were scribbled below each official invitation:
+ David Strathairn. "Dear Dave: You've acted in over 70 movies, so we figured it was high time to get you into the club."
+ Tony Kushner. "Dear Tony: You've written one movie, so we figured it was high time to get you into the club."
+ Hayley Mills. "Hayley -- 45 years later, we're still reeling from your double-duty genius in The Parent Trap. It made us think: Let's get together, yeah yeah yeah! Congratulations, and welcome."
+ Jon Polito. "Um, the Coens said they'd put the hurt on us if we kept ignoring your solicitations."
+ Jake Gyllenhaal. "Don't tell Maggie!"
+ Rachel Weisz. "Don't tell Darren!"
+ Dakota Fanning. "Hi Dakota! Enclosed, you will find a lolly. Enjoy! To balance out the bevy of Academy members with false teeth, we decided to round up some who still had their baby teeth. Just kidding! We love your filmography and, since you are the youngest human to ever grace the A List besides Shirls, you are a natural choice for membership -- nevermind that you're still five years away from being legally allowed to view R-rated movies! Welcome!"
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