First, I apologize for calling you "Brangelina." But it's your own fault! Your twin stardom, the stardom of your twins, your nuzzlefests at big movie events, Brad's photos of Angelina's milky breasts, and our lust to believe lurid things about Jennifer Aniston's human fumarole of a burned heart have made you a mythical beast larger than the sum of your parts. A hybrid, a liminal being made up of two natures. Mick Jagger used to call the Beatles "the four-headed monster" -- you've become a two-headed monster, like the Siskbert in Willow, only prettier.
Besides, Brangelina is more exciting offscreen than any of the Oscar movies are onscreen. I mean, Hollywood execs are crazier than Detroit's and Wall Street's put together. Right after scoring the lowest ratings in history for last year's Oscar broadcast -- worse even than the 2003 Oscars, which coincided with the Iraq War -- they greenlit the most downbeat, highbrow, crowd-dispersing Oscar movie slate since ... well, since last year. Some great movies, and yours are interesting, but if wicked undercover operatives had snuck into Hollywood to subvert it from within and drive audiences away from theaters and TV screens forever, they couldn't have done better.
You're our only hope! You've got to go to the Oscars and singlehandedly save it! (Or quadruple-handedly.) Who else is going to do it? Song and dance man Hugh Jackman, the Sexiest Man Alive (sexiest man, my blue baboon butt), choreographed by his not-lately-hitmaking pal Baz Luhrmann? Please! No, all eyes will be on you Feb. 22, because it's up to you two to pull it all out of the fire. If you don't entertain us, Oscar night may die forever.
But it's bite the bullet time. You've got to face it: Brangelina is going to lose. OK, Benjamin Button leads the nominations, so you can only lose so badly. Yet that bad boy Defamer has a very clever analysis of why Benjamin will be zero for 13 on Oscar night. Nobody thinks he's right, but Variety's Anne Thompson (who may be the best Oscar guesser ever) guesses Brad will lose Best Actor to Sean Penn for Milk -- which finally goes wide this week, like a horse paid by the mob to hang back from the pack and crash through to the finish line at the last minute.
As for Angelina, even you know not to bother to rehearse a thank-you speech. Like you're going to beat 15-time nominee Meryl Streep, let alone 2008 It Girl Kate Winslet! Oooh, did you look frosted when you lost to Kate at the Golden Globes! Why did you even do those Euro-nobodies the considerable favor of showing up, you probably wondered. Every time she said "Gather," you looked in a bigger lather. You even lost to her in Entertainment Weekly's Best Dressed competition. You looked elegant as ever, and Kate's got the most voluminous derriere in movies this side of Queen Latifah, yet her blinding cobalt blue spray-on Narciso Rodriguez gown won Best Dressed, and your dun-colored number won Worst Dressed: "Could this be an elaborate prank by one of the world's most beautiful women to see just how dully she can dress and get away with it?" You should've worn the daring back-baring blue dress you wore (backwards, no less!) to the Screen Actors Guild awards -- much more stylish than Kate's Golden Globes duds.
But you chose to go the classy route instead, and that's Brangelina's whole problem this year. The original class act Clint Eastwood must've sounded like a slam-dunk idea for a director. How were you to know 2009 was "Let's All Turn On Clint Like He Was Piggy in Lord of the Flies" year? Brad, you were classy to hire Chuck Close to photograph you for the cover of W Magazine, and he was classy to do it. And Benjamin Button is way too classy for its own good: a loooong adaptation of an F. Scott Fitzgerald throwaway short story, glossy and melancholy and as full of pasts recaptured as Atonement, with less sex appeal than Dennis Kucinich.
In a just world, Brad, you would've been nominated for that hilarious, vivid dumb-guy criminal role in Burn After Reading (and so would Richard Jenkins). It's even better than your definitive dumb-guy pothead who stole True Romance in a few brief scenes, or your definitive dumb-guy pugilist in Fight Club. You're one of the great comic actors of our time. But Oscar doesn't like comedy, because Oscar is a criminally dumb guy, and vain. He likes self-importance, which should be good news for Benjamin Button. But even better, he likes old-time feel-good hits that make him feel liberal and worldly, like Slumdog Millionaire, a Gandhi you can dance to.
Brad, you did everything right. You pick movies intelligently, play them beautifully, promote them dutifully. Anne Thompson writes that she'll never forget the sight of you "wearing a snug vested tweed suit, standing patiently on Kathy Kennedy and Frank Marshall's chilly patio in the moonlight, listening to a Russian blonde list the things she didn't like about Benjamin Button. He wanted his Button nom, and he did the things you do to get it." You should get it.
But get this: it doesn't matter. Brangelina will be the star of Oscar night no matter how many or few awards you win. Brad, you said when Angelina saw you on the set of Burn After Reading, in your gym gear and bad hair, she quipped, "This is the first time I can honestly say I'm not sexually attracted to you in any way whatsoever." She was arguably alone in this emotion. And when the two of you are together, the nation finds its G spot.
So you should seize the day, not go gentle into that gold night. It's the Kodak Theater, make it a Kodak moment. Screw class, go trash! If Jen makes some sort of scene, flashing a John Mayer diamond as big as the Ritz (perhaps the ring F. Scott Fitzgerald gave Zelda, as an in-jibe at Benjamin Button), go with that moment. Angelina, take her down! Get those colored lights of the paparazzi flashing! Turn that red carpet redder yet by raking her naked back with silk-wrapped nails! Brad, don't try to pull them apart and negotiate a truce, like tabloid types claim you did after Jen called Angelina an "uncool" Venus mantrap in Vogue. Let them go at it, draw on your Fight Club training, and pound the shutterbugs until a substance resembling guacamole pours out their ears. The first rule of Brangelina Club is, everybody talks about Brangelina Club.
If you do lose 13 times as the Defamer predicts, Brad, and you lose to Kate Winslet's let's-feel-sorry-for-the-bookish-boy-bonking-cougar-Nazi movie, Angelina, don't get all stuffy and distant and frozen-smiley like you looked at the Golden Globes. Just choose to be amused and put on the show of your life. Act out! The broadcast is desperate: they've hired new producers, directors, set designers, music directors. They've stoppered the comics' loud mouths with cork and hired Jackman's razzle-dazzle instead. Maybe even you can't save Oscar, but if it's to be the last broadcast, at least give it the decent flaming Viking funeral of a lifetime. You're the only two-headed monster for the job. And however the shiny bald dolls fall, you'll be remembered as the true winners of the last great Oscar show. How could you lose? You're Brangelina.