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Location: La Mirada, California, United States

All original content on RickSpeak is the intellectual property of Rickspeak.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

They Just Don't Get It

The nominees for the Academy Awards were announced yesterday and Hollywood is unabashedly and enthusiastically coming out of a closet that the rest of the country had already surmised: "We are a counter-culture residing far left outside of mainstream America. Our nominations reveal how far we have progressed and lets us show the rest of America how uncouth you really are."

The nominees for Best Picture are: "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote," "Crash," "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "Munich."

Let's see, two of the nominated movies are centered around homosexual characters, one is a rant against the so-called "McCarthyism" myth (See: http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/anncoulter/2003/06/26/160804.html), one is an apologist for Islamic terrorism, and another depicts, to the nth degree, race-baiting politicking.

While these are movies that tell their stories very well using characters that possess depth and real emotions (with the notable exception of "Crash"), are they really the best five movies made in 2005?

"Hollywood [has returned] to its role of cultural arbiter," said Vance Van Petten, executive director of the Producers Guild of America. "For every person in Missouri or Georgia who sees 'Brokeback' or 'Crash,' eyes will be opened." There you have it, Hollywood's purpose in film making is to be the cultural arbiter of America. If one wants to make a film to entertain audiences, that's fine, according to the cultural arbiters, just don't expect to be recognized by the Academy.

To make sure their assault on mainstream America was heard, Hollywood nominated "Crash", a convoluted, poorly acted (Everyone is so angry!), manipulative race baiting, overwrought movie. This nomination was a message to President Bush and the Red State electorate sent by Hollywood to put the redneck hicks in their place. A chance for the left-wing elitists to pointedly pronounce themselves as having the moral high ground.

Writer Jeffrey Caine sees the nominated films more as mirrors. "It reflects what has happened in the world since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, the uneasiness America feels about its place in the world," said Caine, nominated for best-adapted screenplay for "The Constant Gardener," another highly political film. "People are drawn to movies that say something.” Yet, the five nominated movies had the lowest collective box office since the best picture nominees of 1986 at $186 million. (Los Angeles Times)

Thus, with that philosophy as their platform, Hollywood shunned more popular fare that reinforced mainstream American values such as "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" or "Cinderella Man," well-made movies that clearly pit good versus evil and ethics over corruption. Simple, virtuous themes that resonated with movie audiences. I would not have a problem with four of the five movies (Crash being the notable exception under any circumstance) that were nominated for Best Picture if I felt the Academy itself thought they were the best movies made in 2005. Alas, I fear they were nominated more for the statements they were making rather than the artistic merit of the films. Of the five, only Brokeback Mountain is a genuine artistic achievement, thus worthy of its nomination.

So I say: Great! Fantastic! And good for you, Hollywood! Yes, the self-indulgent nominated movies you have made may be good, thought provoking cinema and all are certainly high on the liberal elite checklist, but I, and many other potential mainstream American viewers, will most likely not tune into your little gala affair called The Oscars this year. However, I'm also quite sure you won't mind either, after all, it is about you - the Hollywood Liberal Elite - and you will all be patting each other on the back for jobs well done in elevating the awareness of your sophisticated values, oblivious to the crumbling walls of Elitism falling all around you.

"Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room, the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo."

(from the The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot)

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