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Hoping For Grace At The Academy Awards

Among the many reasons I have refused to follow the Academy Awards in recent years is that the whole process has become a self aggrandizing bully pulpit for post modern liberal elites that share very little in common with those that pay millions to watch them. But I'm going to pay attention this year because there are three movies (The Hurt Locker, Blind Side, and Avatar) that I actually watched in a theatre that are in contention, the last of which was Avatar which I saw today with my seventh grade son.

Avatar was a technically interesting presentation but the premise of the story was an all too familiar mix of conspiratorial corporate greed, anti military angst and Mother Earth worship. It's easy to imagine that this screenplay was written and approved during a same period that conceived and birthed what is now seen now as a clueless progressive legislative and Executive effort that the public finds numbing and confusing. It was, in short, The Day After Tomorrow with even more dazzling special effects.

The Hurt Locker is a gripping and frightening film if the audience suspends disbelief and disabuses themselves of critical plot lines. However, I think a believable plot and adherence to certain details are important elements of films that portray war, which is why The Hurt Locker should be shut out of the Oscars. Notwithstanding the criticism heaped on the producer by current military personnel and EOD specialists (who say they laugh at the film), the producers and directors employ nothing original in their presentation and often revert to tired clichés (mainifested by the reflexive Hollywood Mỹ Lai meme in this movie) such as officers condoning field executions, NCO's conducting unapproved vigilante expeditions and a complete disregard for the very real and onerous rules of engagement that our military operates under in Iraq.

The Blind Side is perhaps the most rewarding and redeeming film of the year because it is a call to action for every American to reach out and touch the lives of someone who is hurting (it's also a true a true story, unlike the abovementioned ). This movie depicts the life of a homeless young man named Michael Oher who is taken in by an upper middle class family in Memphis, Tennessee. There are several themes at work in this film, the most obvious of which is the racial dynamic which juxtaposes the young Oher, steeped in a world of poverty and neglect, with a wealthy white family that literally brought him in from the street.But The Blind Side also presents front and center the difficulties good Samaritans encounter as they choose to offer grace in the face of a country grown accustomed to entitlement. Probably the most extraordinary aspect of The Blind Side is that Michael Lewis wrote the book upon which the movie is based long before the Michael Oher was drafted as first round pick in the NFL, an extraordinary example of prescience that is rarely acknowledged in Hollywood.

So there you have it. Two liberal love stories (complete with anti capitalist and anti millitary angst) and one act of grace at the Academy Awards. It's a good thing that Michael Lewis is an accomplished author because he doesn't stand a chance against the liberal zeitgeist that will drive the Academy's decision process.


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Comments (22)

I'll skip it, just like I s... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'll skip it, just like I skipped the movies.

The Academy Awards long ago... (Below threshold)
davidt:

The Academy Awards long ago became a reward system for promoting the progressive narrative and agenda. You can always predict the winners based upon this simple premise.

Don't write about movies. S... (Below threshold)
rightsaidfred:

Don't write about movies. Stick to politics. Seriously, this is the worst analysis of good films I've read in a long time.

I'm not suprised your review left out films like precious or gems like an eduation either. Instead you plug by far the most cliched mediocre film of the lot.

Yes, Hugh.God forb... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

Yes, Hugh.

God forbid we offer our opinions on something other than political drama.

Lighten up there, freddy.

Sheesh.

I'm going to pay a... (Below threshold)
klrtz1:
I'm going to pay attention this year because there are three movies (The Hurt Locker, Blind Side, and Avatar) that I actually watched in a theatre

Tip of the day: Read the post, freddie.

Sorry Hugh, like GarandFan I didn't go to the movies last year. I think maybe I do want to go see Clash of the Titans in 3D when it comes out. Maybe you could take your 7th grader and then review that one.

"It's easy to imag... (Below threshold)
jim m:
"It's easy to imagine that this screenplay was written and approved during a same period that conceived and birthed what is now seen now as a clueless progressive legislative and Executive effort that the public finds numbing and confusing."

What period was that? I'm guessing the one between Sophomore English and PE.

The harshest criticism of t... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

The harshest criticism of the Hollywood movie industry and the Oscars I can muster is total apathy.

I haven't been to a theater in years and can't remember the last time I tuned into the self-aggrandizing Oscars. I just don't care about either one.

I'd like to thank my mother, my producer, my business manager, my publicist, my dog Sluggo, the Academy, my Pilates instructor, Mother Gaia and This Endless War (tm) for this unexpected honor.

Why in the world would anyo... (Below threshold)
superdestroyer:

Why in the world would anyone support a move based upon the irrational jock sniffing that goes on in the deep south. If the Southern states put as much effort into having great universities as they do into having great football teams, America would be better off.

Maybe we should lighten up ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Maybe we should lighten up on those "creative" Hollywood folks. After all, they're about to remake "Police Academy". We're talking 'cutting edge' here.

Last movie I went to see in a theater was "Red October". However, I am looking forward to seeing "Pacific" on HBO, March 15th.

superI'm in Richmond... (Below threshold)
Greg:

super
I'm in Richmond and there are plenty of "OK" universities in Virginia. Richmond? Have you ever heard of William and Mary? University of Virginia? Randolph Macon? Hampton Sydney? Tons of yankees come south for an education. I think the northeast and the west have an awful lot of football teams! Just look at what the country is getting from Harvard!

superHave you hear... (Below threshold)
Greg:

super

Have you heard of:

Christopher Newport University
College of William and Mary
Eastern Virginia Medical School
George Mason University
James Madison University
Longwood University
Marine Corps University
Norfolk State University
Old Dominion University
Radford University
University of Mary Washington
University of Virginia
University of Virginia's College at Wise
Virginia Community College System
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia State University
Appalachian College of Pharmacy
Appalachian School of Law
Averett University
Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
Bluefield College
Bridgewater College
Christendom College
Cordoba University
Eastern Mennonite University
Emory and Henry College
Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Ferrum College
Founders College
George Washington University Virginia Campus
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampton University
Hollins University
Jefferson College of Health Sciences
John Leland Center for Theological Studies
Institute of Textile Technology
Liberty University
Lynchburg College
Mary Baldwin College
Marymount University
Patrick Henry College
Randolph-Macon College
Randolph College
Regent University
Roanoke College
Saint Paul's College
Shenandoah University
Southern Virginia University
Stratford University
Sweet Briar College
University of Northern Virginia
University of Richmond
Virginia Intermont College
Virginia International University
Virginia Theological Seminary
Virginia Union University
Virginia Wesleyan College
Washington and Lee University
Washington Bible College and Capital Bible Seminary (Springfield Extension)
Westwood College Of Technology

I admit one of my wife's degrees is from Michigan, but that's not a football school is it?

She made up for that by going to Tennessee which hasn't had a football team since Johnny Majors.

You should watch Avatar aga... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

You should watch Avatar again and look at it from a different perspective now that you've seen it with the superficial view. You did not mention that the film is very uplifting and celebrates the "oneness" of the Universe and the diversity of "spirit".

Avatar is the best movie I have watched in a very long time, but I took away a completely different message than Hugh from the movie.

The lead character is sent to perform a task with a pure heart and is accepted by the locals in a foreign place. He is a soldier who was injured and lost the use of his legs on a previous mission. The "Avatar" program allows him to use his legs again....thus a "new life", which he embraces. The planet's natives have a "we are all one" religion, don't let your mind close around the fact they are not Christian.

If you really are objective, go watch the movie again. I'm sure you'll see a different show this time.

The special effects are fantastic. That said, I can't wait to see the iMax 3D Mount Everest movie.

I thought Hurt Locker was s... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

I thought Hurt Locker was stupid. I then asked a good friend who's been there several times. He said he wont bother to see it and his buds are the same way. I have never been in the military or even in the middle east and think the movie is crap.

re: Gregheh... (Below threshold)
epador:

re: Greg

heh

From my son's experience at Michigan, I would say that undergraduate-wise, the degree is about as impressive as their football.

Sorry for the rant.I... (Below threshold)
Greg:

Sorry for the rant.
I'm sensitive since VCU, my college, is only known for beating Duke in the NCAAs a couple of years ago. Medical College of Virginia is part of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Epador, my wife sings the Michigan fight song right after she sings Rocky Top. Go figure.

Speaking of Avatar,<p... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Speaking of Avatar,

Entertainment Weekly asked James Cameron to respond to some of the criticisms aimed at "Avatar." Check out how he responded to this one:

EW: "Avatar" is the perfect eco-terrorism recruiting tool."

JC: Good, good. I like that one. I consider that a positive review. I believe in ecoterrorism."

-- James Cameron

I'm with Cameron. I terrori... (Below threshold)

I'm with Cameron. I terrorize the ecosystem every chance I get.

The last thing I want to wa... (Below threshold)
914:

The last thing I want to watch is a bunch of Sean Penn type libs giving out awards for accomplishing nothing. Reminds Me of algore getting the Nobel..

Probably some awards will g... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Probably some awards will go the way of THE HURT LOCKER and INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, giving the winners an opportunity to praise veterans. However, I still expect AVATAR to be the biggest winner tonight.

"I have refused to follow t... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

"I have refused to follow the Academy Awards in recent years is that the whole process has become a self aggrandizing bully pulpit for post modern liberal elites"

Nothing's changed.

I actually agree with BD, they are a waste of time IMHO, YMMV.

I do not recall the last ti... (Below threshold)
MichaelC:

I do not recall the last time that I watched the Academy awards, but we are talking decades. I hear from others some of what goes on and am all the more comfortable in ignoring a part of the "American experience" which has less to do with technical proficiency and story telling than it does with politically correct posturing.

That being said, I liked what Imhotep said about "Avatar". I was taken to see it by my son and his wife and went with the attitude of remaining uncritical based on what I had heard and just enjoy it. It was not hard to do.

Irregardless of what Cameron and others may feel about the movie, I saw it as a fairly common goodguy/badguy flick. Cowboys and Indians where the drifter who has found common cause with a tribe and stands up with them against treaty breakers who desecrate their land the instant gold is found there.

There are plenty of metaphors for seeing "Avatar" and I hope there are plenty of others who can view the movie in this way, as it is well worth seeing. I have now viewed it four times and will again, that's how much I wound up liking "Dances With BlueFolk".

Just have to add that this VietNam vet hates "Hurt Locker" with a passion. Despise it really. Pathetic portrayal of American soldiers who, not possessing anything like honor and love of country and being reprobate drunks to boot, only participate in war because it's the only place where their senses are alive and they feel a "high" because of it. Bigelow's vision is poison and I literally Pray that this movie fails big for her.

I did go see Alice in Wonde... (Below threshold)
epador:

I did go see Alice in Wonderland in 3D and even managed to get my daughter flunking algebra to take a new interest in math (by, of all things, linking her to a opinion piece in the NYT about the movie). The cinematography was beautifully used even for the credits at the end. If I cared about any awards, there's a movie that might deserve a few next year.

Greg: MSU creamed MI in BBall today as well. I only had 2 years in TN, but I tried to absorb as much acoustic music as I could before leaving for Las Vegas. The Carter Family Fold definitely beats the Chenille Sisters every day.




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