Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Academy Awards

This Sunday, the film industry will hand out its famous Oscars to movies and artists it deems worthy. Many years, I'm excited by the ceremony. I love movies, and often I have one or two favorites heading into the evening. This year...not so much. The Oscars are so inundated this year with politics that it bores me. Many folks are saying how "brave" many of these films are...the anti-big oil Syriana, the thinly veiled anti-Bush tirade Good Night and Good Luck, the transsexual comedy Transamerica, the sexual harrassment drama North Country, and especially the homosexual cowboy love story Brokeback Mountain, which will likely walk away with the Best Picture Award.

Now, don't get me wrong: politics can make for some great movies. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, All the President's Men, The Hunt for Red October...just a few of the wonderful films centered on politics. But this year, it's all about left wing politics. Very little for the "common man".

More than that, making a movie about a controversial subject isn't necessarily brave. Michael Moore's 2004 anti-Bush propaganda piece a few years ago was pretty gutless and exploitative. Making a left wing movie in an anti-Bush, left wing environment isn't very brave. Far braver was Mel Gibson's 2004 masterwork The Passion of the Christ, for which some in Hollywood threatened to destroy Gibson's career. Bravery, it seems, is a relative virtue. Being anti-war in Hollywood, for instance, isn't even a little brave; being anti-war inside the Bush White House...that's brave.

The films nominated this year might be fine films, but I just can't get past the political hypocrisy. That's too bad, because I love a good movie, and have enjoyed the Oscars in years past.

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