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News, People and Events, including Awards, Festivals and Tributes
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Post by Special_Ed » January 26th, 2005, 10:16 pm

That's how I heard about it. I thought it was common knowledge by now since it's appeared in several places already. I don't know anything about spoiler warnings. I'm just a backward country bumpkin Christian, HUYUCK!
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Post by Special_Ed » January 26th, 2005, 10:24 pm

Oscar bids reflect industry's discomfort with religion
By Michael Medved, USATODAY.com

The Oscar nominations announced Tuesday illustrate Hollywood's profound, almost pathological discomfort with the traditional religiosity embraced by most of its mass audience. At the same time, the odd choices for major awards suggest the enormous distance the entertainment industry has traveled from its own populist past.

By excluding Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ from all high-profile nominations, the Academy Awards voters shut out one of the year's biggest box-office hits that also won its share of enthusiastic critical praise — and even swept to victory as "Favorite Drama" in the public voting for the People's Choice Awards. Industry apologists might explain the failure to acknowledge The Passion in any significant way (it did win well-deserved technical nominations for makeup, cinematography and musical score) as the result of the controversy the film provoked when some Jewish leaders denounced its allegedly anti-Semitic elements.

But far greater religious controversy didn't scare away the Academy 16 years ago, when its members honored Martin Scorsese with a surprise best-director nomination for The Last Temptation of Christ, despite impassioned condemnation of the film by many of the same mainstream Catholic and Protestant groups that enthusiastically supported The Passion. Moreover, The Last Temptation made no impact on the moviegoing public to compel Oscar attention — earning a paltry $8 million domestic gross compared with the staggering $370 million for The Passion.

The popular success of Gibson's movie actually echoed an older tradition of biblical blockbusters: Between 1949 and 1959, six religious-themed pictures (Samson and Delilah, David and Bathsheba, Quo Vadis, The Robe, The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur) each became the nation's top box-office hit in the year of its release, while drawing significant Oscar attention. Ben Hur, in fact, set a record that lasted for nearly 40 years with its 11 Academy Awards.

In other words, Hollywood once chose to praise movies that eloquently affirmed the religious convictions of the mass audience. But in 2005, top nominations went to films that went out of their way to assault or insult the sensibilities of most believers. Both Million Dollar Baby (nominated for seven awards, including best picture, best director, best actor and best actress) and The Sea Inside (nominated for best foreign-language film) portray assisted suicide as an explicitly and unequivocally "heroic" choice. Their success suggests that if Hollywood ever gets around to making "The Jack Kevorkian Story," it, too, would become an automatic candidate for major awards.

Meanwhile, Vera Drake (nominated for best actress, best director and best original screenplay) portrays abortion in a positive, almost sacramental light, while Kinsey (nominated for best supporting actress) ridicules the religious orthodoxy of the main character's father and portrays all conventional inhibitions about sexuality as outmoded, ignorant and destructive.

At the same time, the Spanish-language film The Motorcycle Diaries earned significant recognition for best adapted screenplay with its nostalgic, deeply affectionate portrayal of the idealistic young man who became the Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. For Hollywood, it seems, a murderous, anti-American Marxist guerrilla counts as less controversial than Jesus Christ.

Most of the public debate about this batch of Oscar nominations will naturally center on the complete shutout of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 — with the entertainment elite declining an obvious opportunity to assert their identification with the left side of the political spectrum.

And this reluctance to celebrate the most unapologetically liberal film of the year may help the Academy avoid offending the majority who voted for President Bush, even while other Oscar nominations risk alienating that even larger segment of the public committed to faith-based values that have been needlessly ignored or assaulted by the most praised products of show business.

Film critic and syndicated radio host Michael Medved is author of the newly published book Right Turns. He also is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.
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Post by Josh » January 26th, 2005, 10:34 pm

But think of all the non-Christian, critically-acclaimed films that didn't get nominated. Plus, The Incredibles has been widely acclaimed, even though it has been decribed as a "right-wing" film.

May I pose a question, though? Did those few Christian films that were released last year really deserve to dominate the Oscar nominations? Passion of the Christ was good, but I don't think of it as the definitive movie based on Christ's life. Nonetheless, I do think that Gibson should have been nominated for Best Director, considering that he managed to make what is still a good movie, despite some odds against him. But at least Passion of the Christ received three well-deserved other nominations.

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Post by Special_Ed » January 26th, 2005, 10:42 pm

No, I dn't think it should have dominated but it was clearly snubbed. Also, why does any film that leans completely to the left get the blessing kiss from Hollywood at these things. The bias is so blatant it makes me vomit.
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Post by Josh » January 26th, 2005, 10:49 pm

Passion of the Christ received more nominations than Kill Bill, though, despite the latter film being by far more critically acclaimed.

However, if I had to pick a film that, in my opinion, got "snubbed", it would be Spider-Man 2. I think that film deserved more Oscar consideration than it received.

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Post by Special_Ed » January 26th, 2005, 10:56 pm

I agree but comic book films aren't taken seriously and religious films are shunned.
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Post by Christian » January 27th, 2005, 1:07 am

Also, why does any film that leans completely to the left get the blessing kiss from Hollywood at these things.
Well, Fahrenheit 9/11 didn't get any Oscar nominations.

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Post by Ben » January 27th, 2005, 5:46 am

Even as a non-fan of the movie, I agree that Gibson should have been nominated for Director.

His achievement is just as significant as Peter Jackson's, in that he personally battled the Hollywood system and brought his direct vision of his film to the screen.

That deserves special comandation whatever one thinks of the film itself.


And... Spider-Man 2? Mickey, you never fail to amaze me! Sure, great film, great sequel even, but not Oscar-worthy material any more than its Visual Effects win should prove (even though WETA's work in I, Robot really deserves that one).

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Post by Ben » January 27th, 2005, 6:22 am

Even as a non-fan of the movie, I agree that Gibson should have been nominated for Director.

His achievement is just as significant as Peter Jackson's, in that he personally battled the Hollywood system and brought his direct vision of his film to the screen.

That deserves special comandation whatever one thinks of the film itself.


And... Spider-Man 2? Mickey, you never fail to amaze me! Sure, great film, great sequel even, but not Oscar-worthy material any more than its Visual Effects win should prove (even though WETA's work in I, Robot really deserves that one).

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Post by Josh » January 27th, 2005, 8:41 am

Spider-Man 2 was excellent. I think it may have deserved more consideration for Best Actor (Maguire) and possibly Best Supporting Actress (Harris). Still, it's not a strong feeling I have. I am not angry that they didn't get nominated.

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Post by AniMan » January 27th, 2005, 9:19 am

Well, I'll stand with you Mickey A! I have long felt that Spider-man 2 was the best film I had seen in 2004 and at least deserved a Best Picture nomination. I'm not alone in my assessment; a very prominent film critic I'm sure we all know, none other than Roger Ebert, said as much on his show. He stated that he felt it would be overlooked by the Academy because of the kind of movie it is (superhero) and because it came out in the summer, a lot of people may have forgotten just how much they enjoyed this movie. But, as we know, blockbusters often get passed by.
Not always (see "Forrest Gump", one of my favorites of all time!), but very often.

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Post by Special_Ed » January 27th, 2005, 9:38 am

"Well, Fahrenheit 9/11 didn't get any Oscar nominations."

Because 1.) Moore disqualified it. 2.) It reminds them who lost the election.
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Post by AniMan » January 27th, 2005, 9:48 am

Special_Ed wrote:"Well, Fahrenheit 9/11 didn't get any Oscar nominations."

Because 1.) Moore disqualified it. 2.) It reminds them who lost the election.
Well, number 1 is a fact. Number 2 is only your speculation. It's extremely unlikely that anyone would not nominate a film simply because "it reminds them who lost the election". We're reminded every day who lost (and who won) the election when we turn on the news, so your second reason is moot and unfounded.

But it is ironic that ultimately it is Moore who shot himself in the foot, so to speak, by pushing for best picture.

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Post by Josh » January 27th, 2005, 12:31 pm

Does anyone know what his response to Fahrenheit 9/11's lack of nominations was? I am just curious.

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Post by James » January 27th, 2005, 12:41 pm

The top story on his website right now is "Fahrenheit 9/11 Named Best Picture of the Year by the American People"! He has no shame!

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