The (Un)importance of Being Oscar


I skipped the Oscar broadcast Sunday. I’m not alone. So did millions of other Americans. From what I hear, the ratings were off 10% from last year, which were down significantly from the year before. In fact, Uncle Oscar’s been slipping quite a bit in recent years. For the life of them, Hollywood can’t seem to figure out why.

I think I know.

I’m a red-stater. Proud of it. I’m one of the ones with which George Clooney admits to being “out-of-touch.” At one time, Hollywood proudly made movies that I was interested in seeing. Star Wars (the first one…you know…episode IV), Patton, Young Frankenstein. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Big budget – small budget – I didn’t care. As long as it was entertaining, I didn’t care if it was a war picture, a western, a comedy, even a love story. Along the way, though, Hollywood forgot about entertaining me, and decided their mission was to indoctrinate me into their cause célèbres.

Today we’re told that gay relationships are “beautiful love stories” (Brokeback Moutain), prostitution is just peachy (Hustle and Flow), and those that have their genitals mutilated to feel better about themselves (oops. Sorry – “gender reassignment surgery”) should be honored, understood, and welcomed into the community (Transamerica).

Virtually every movie that was nominated for a major award had two things in common: A) it had an overt, liberal, secular-humanist agenda, and B) it didn’t make a whole lot of money.

Now let’s look at the top five pictures for 2005 (and were largely bypassed by the Academy for major nominations):

  • Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith – $380.3 million

    (sixth and last of the space cowboy franchise)

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – $288.2 million

    (fourth in the series of seven planned pictures)

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – $287.5 million

    (first of seven possible pictures of the C.S. Lewis classic series)

  • War of the Worlds – $234.3 million

    (Tom Cruise avoids death by aliens, but succeeds in killing his career anyway)

  • King Kong – $217 million

    (a.k.a.: “Too Long” love letter to Fay Wray)

Now I’m not suggesting that all of the afore-mentioned pictures were “Oscar-worthy,” although I thought The Chronicles of Narnia was a beautiful film, worthy of a lot more than just “Best Makeup.” Here’s how the Best Picture nominees fared at the box office:

  • Brokeback Mountain – $73 million
    (gay cowboys in love)
  • Crash – $53.4 million
    (race relations in LA would be better if everybody loved everybody else)
  • Munich – $46.7 million
    (terrorists need love, too)
  • Good Night, and Good Luck – $31.2 million
    (liberals love to lionize Edward R. Murrow)
  • Capote – $25.5 million
    (gay writer loves his career more than ethics)

Yes, this year, Oscar was all about “love.” Now, lest you think that making more than a million at the box office should disqualify you from being Oscar-worthy, here’s a list of the last 10 years of winners:

2005 Crash $53,404,817
2004 Million Dollar Baby $100,492,203
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King $377,027,325
2002 Chicago $170,687,518
2001 A Beautiful Mind $170,742,341
2000 Gladiator $187,705,427
1999 American Beauty $130,096,601
1998 Shakespeare in Love $100,317,794
1997 Titanic $600,788,188
1996 The English Patient $78,676,425

As you can see, only two of the pictures made less than a million – the English Patient and Crash. And as LOTR proved in 2003, you can have a sequel that wins. So, why were top-grossing pictures overlooked at nomination time? Simple. The core group people that do the nominating are very left-wing, secular humanists. No surprise, then, that they would nominate pictures that reinforce their own world view, at the expense of other films. Think back to last year. The Passion of the Christ was a beautiful, well-made, ground-breaking film that wasn’t about to win the Oscar. If Mel Gibson had instead presented a view that “it was all America’s fault” or if he’d tried to make the crucifixition some kind of allegory for perscution of gays or something, they would have showered it with awards.

Why doesn’t Hollywood “get it”? Because “Hollywood” is not one corporation, one company, or one individual. It’s a mob, run by people that look at their peers for an indication of which way the wind blows before they make a decision. Like a bunch of primatives that have never seen a light bulb, when the bulb lights up, they look at each other for clues as to how it works. That’s why when The Passion of the Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia were hits, Hollywood’s answer was a show like The Book of Daniel. They don’t get it. It’s outside their world view, and they can only ape things they don’t understand.

The bottom line here, is that Hollywood has become an insular, isolated place, where some very talented, narrow-minded, childish people make films to entertain themselves. Unfortunately for them – and us – the films they make don’t play well in Peoria, or the rest of the red states. Unfortunate for us, because we are deprived of entertainment. Unfortunate for them, because there’s not enough of them to fund their little experiments in social engineering for much longer. Then they’ll have learn how to make films that appeal to the red states, or go get REAL jobs.

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