Emma Thompson in "Saving Mr. Banks"
Emma Thompson in "Saving Mr. Banks"

Oprah steps up to the Best Actress category
Knott: Now we’re getting somewhere. But since you’ve ruled out my Best Picture win for “The Butler”, I’m going to have to get rowdy elsewhere. Oprah’s role in that film (I promise I’m not their publicist!) is easily substantial enough to run as lead, and she’d be the oldest black actress ever nominated in that category. The oldest currently is Viola Davis, aged 46, which highlights the shocking lack of leading roles for African American women in their fifties and beyond. And who better to make the point than Oprah? As it stands, all these white former winners are congregating nicely, polishing their Oscars and making room on the mantelpiece for another, and I just feel Winfrey needs to knock on the door and be like "Hey bitches, it's Oprah. Remember that time I wore an afro wig and flirted with Terrence Howard and took the piss out of Jackie Kennedy? Yeah, well now I want an Oscar." And Streep and Dench and Blanchett are like "Get back down to Supporting, it’s where we all started." But Oprah’s like “That Supporting trophy is going to Lupita." So Emma Thompson heroically volunteers to come back next year and try her luck in the screenwriting categories with the "Annie" remake.

Only Jay-Z and Beyonce are nominated in the best original song category
Knegt: That would be such an Emma Thompson thing to do.  But speaking of musicals and of Jay-Z (who is producing that "Annie" remake), how about we shake up the best original song category too. Sure, it was sorta fun last year to have Adele win for a song we'd actually heard of. But this year it seems almost certain to go to that song from "Frozen" that you'll probably only hear one time in your life (when it's sung at the ceremony). So let's just stop even taking this category seriously and use it to give Oscar night some much needed drama between real-life lovers. Remember how fun it was when ex-spouses Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron were competing against each other for best director? Well, let's up that ante and have two people that are still married compete for the prize. Jay-Z and his beloved Beyonce both have eligible original songs this year (his from "The Great Gatsby," hers from that animated movie about weird leaf people). So let's see how crazy in love they really are when one beats the other.

The best supporting actress category gets a reboot
Knott: I’d watch. And since that guarantees an African-American winner, I don’t feel so bad about dismantling the Best Supporting Actress race, which is currently looking at three black nominees for the first time in history with Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong’o and Octavia Spencer in contention alongside fellow frontrunners Margo Martindale and June Squibb. As seen above, I’ve promoted Oprah, which makes Lupita the guaranteed winner. But if the others are going to be also-rans, they may as well be interesting ones. Squibb needs to forget about winning anything for that dreadful Alexander Payne film and settle for an Emmy next year for whatever Lena Dunham has cooked up for her in Season 3 of "Girls." Let's keep Octavia Emmy-fresh for "Murder She Wrote" while we're at it. And sorry Margo, but we need to halt the terrifying trend of rewarding turgid stage adaptations in any form. Who to replace them? Obviously Scarlett Johansson’s voice work in "Her," for novelty factor alone. Then we need someone who's committing outrageous category fraud for the sake of a nomination, for which I suggest Paulina Garcia and her appearance in every single scene of "Gloria." Next, someone phenomenally random and undeserving, in keeping with tradition - I’m prepared to campaign for Quvenzhané Wallis in "12 Years a Slave," because I genuinely didn’t notice her appearance in that film. And finally, someone who's only there so we can see what she wears on the red carpet - with the only obvious choice being "Enough Said"'s Tavi Gevinson.

Is this our best supporting actor winner?
Is this our best supporting actor winner?

Best supporting actor goes to the monkey in "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Knegt: I'll take your reboot and raise it, Matt.  Let's not stop at a voice or a cameo.  Let's shake up the other supporting acting race and just give it to that monkey from "The Wolf of Wall Street." I haven't seen the film and given its running time probably never will, but that monkey looks hilarious in the trailer. Granted, I also don't even know if that monkey is male or female. Though even better if she's female.  Gender bending roles are so hot right now. Ask Jared Leto. All he had to do was walk in heels and put on some makeup and he's getting an Oscar nomination.

Ellen opens with hilarious musical number "We saw your Cocks"
Knott: Speaking of hilarious, here’s a foolproof plan for Ellen. I’m not advocating an eye-for-an-eye approach to feminism. I want Ellen’s phallocentric retort to be a furious satire on Seth MacFarlane’s song from last year, which topped its own general inappropriateness by making light of nudity in scenes of rape and assault among others. Consequently, I invite Ellen to compile every instance where male full frontals have been necessary features of say, a scene of torture or brutality, and jauntily remind us of each one while the A-list audience squirm in their seats. For example, I distinctly recall catching a glimpse of Michael Fassbender's testicles as he is dragged screaming through the prison in "Hunger," and I'm fondly chuckling to myself as I do. Go for it, Ellen! And if you don’t have the balls, Kate McKinnon can do it as an Ellen impression on SNL, and we won’t need to watch the Oscars at all.

Peter Knegt is Indiewire's Senior Writer and awards columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

Matthew Hammett Knott is a London-based filmmaker and writer who writes Indiewire's bi-weekly Heroines of Cinema column. Follow him on Twitter.

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