Oscar Thoughts

There are some years when I hear the list of Best Picture nominees and have never heard of . This is not one of those years.  I haven’t seen any of them, but I’ve heard of them and I want to see a lot of them.

Of course we don’t get out to movies very often, but I’m thinking that when the kids go to Alissa’s parents’ for spring break, we can get caught up on some of the more mature movies that we don’t get to watch with the kids.

On my list:

  • Selma
  • The Imitation Game
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Birdman
  • Interstellar
  • Grand Budapest Hotel

I loved the performance of  Glory and Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music tribute.

But you know what I like best?

If you said something to the effect of “the political messages in the acceptance speeches”, well, you know me well.

I remember watching in 2003 when Michael Moore gave his anti-war speech.  I’d link to it, but it’s not available.  The academy won’t let anyone use it because he broke the rule against political messages.

When you think about it, it’s ironic that an organization devoted to creative expression would block such expression just because it was unpopular, even if it was accurate.

I suppose it was a function of the times.

Of course, times change.  People are being killed in Europe for simply expressing a view that someone doesn’t like.  So you know that there is no way the academy is going to censor political content in speeches, and that’s a good thing.

And so, we got to hear a call for equal status for American women.

We heard encouragement to kids who feel ostracized and hopeless because they are gay or lesbian or just don’t fit in with the crowd.

We heard a call for immigration justice and for reforms in Mexico.

And we heard that even as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Selma, the very law that the march was promoting is being dismantled.

Some people get upset when they tune into entertainment and get politics.  But that’s life.  Art is not to simply entertain.  It’s to reflect ourselves back on us.  It’s to send us messages that our purveyors of “facts” and “news” will not because they are uncomfortable or controversial or a threat to their bottom line.

Does that mean we should never see greater messages in our entertainment media?  Do we have to take everything so seriously?  No, of course not.  But we should never be afraid to have art challenge and provoke us.

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About Andrew

I'm a Christian, American, liberal, geeky, thoughtful, Northwest-transplanted Angeleno husband, father, and pundit who writes about anything he can think of.
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