Monday, February 28, 2005

And the Oscar goes to...

Well, yet again, the Academy displayed their annual mutual admiration society awards for all to see. And, once again, they didn't disappoint in revealing their mastery of cluelessness, self-absorption, arrogance, and vacuousness.

Let me be upfront here. I've studied film & theater in both the undergraduate and graduate level. I've studied acting at a small, regional but well-respected theater group, and I attended a few screenwriting workshops at an Ivy League institution. I did screenwriting for several years, and I was involved in the music industry for over a decade. I'm someone who was (and in someways, still is) immersed in the arts, and who for awhile dreamed of winning one or more of the "Big 4" awards.

I document this not to toot my own horn, nor as a precursor of picked sour grapes. Instead, I disclose this to show that I have I lot of knowledge, love and respect for the arts. But, I am also able to distance myself (and it gets easier with age) from the hype and hoopla that comes with the territory.

Separate for a moment the arguments on whether one film or acting role is "better" or "more deserving" than another. That's beside the point. Rather, take a look at the types of role and the types of film that get honored (in both the nomination and the winning phases).

I've stated in previous posts that, by far, the best film for 2004 was "The Passion of the Christ." It was bold, it was controversial, it was cinematically breathtaking, it was emotionally wringing, it was truthful, it was successful (despite all that was against it), and it stepped beyond the bounds of typical movie magic and became for most viewers an unforgettable and moving experience.

But, while "The Passion" was practically ignored in the nomination process (only having been nominated in Cinematography, Makeup, and Original Score), and was shut out for even those well-deserved awards, what were the films and roles that "The Academy" chose to honor and admire?

Vera Drake - which glorifies abortion

Million Dollar Baby - which justifies euthanasia

Closer - which takes sexual perversion to an even lower level

Kinsey - which honors a demented pervert

Sideways - (a film that, for the most part, I enjoyed) to a certain extent mocks the institution of marriage

Maria Full Of Grace - which turns the holy and prayerful phrase "Hail Mary Full of Grace" into a film title about a drug "mule"

are the types of films and roles that Hollywood holds up for honor and adulation??? They seem to go out of their way to praise films and roles that either tear apart or mock the family, the faithful, the middle class, the military, the American ideal, the honorable, the virtuous, the religious, the good.

It's a damning testimony, and it's nothing new (American Beauty was "best" picture for 1999???... oh, please).

And they still just don't get it.

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