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« on: March 05, 2006, 07:10:13 PM »

Best Film Oscar Nominees Suggest Radical Hollywood's Political Agenda

by Bill Fancher and Jenni Parker
March 3, 2006

(AgapePress) - - According to a pro-family activist, Hollywood's agenda will be on display like never before at this year's Academy Awards ceremony. Campaign for Working Families director Gary Bauer says this year's Oscar nominees for Best Picture are controversial message movies that reveal the entertainment industry's true objectives.

Among this year's nominees, Bauer observes, are two pro-homosexual movies (Brokeback Mountain and Capote), one that glorifies the watchdog media (Good Night, and Good Luck), another that deals with racism (Crash), and another about religious extremism (Munich). While these films have frequently been touted as "critically acclaimed," he points out that no group of five movies since 1986 has earned less revenue than these.

"I often run into people who say, 'Look Gary, you can't criticize Hollywood; they just go where the money is. They want to make money and they'll put out the pictures that draw the crowds,'" the pro-family advocate remarks. "But that's not true," he insists.

"Many in Hollywood would much rather put out a movie like Brokeback Mountain, which promotes a particular cultural lifestyle that Hollywood is sympathetic to than they would to put out a movie like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," Bauer contends. He notes that when Brokeback Mountain was nominated for Best Picture, its distributors added 435 theaters, but revenues fell 13 percent from the previous week.

Some analysts are saying the movies vying for top honors at the Oscars this year could be the least-viewed movies in Academy history. Bauer agrees; however, he believes money is not what matters most to many Hollywood executives. In fact, he adds, "I think the Academy Award nominations were determined long before some of these movies ever made it to the big screen."

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), is also calling attention to the fact that the movies selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the year's best five were more popular with cinema critics than with cinema crowds. Comparing box office receipts, he notes that recent estimates of U.S. ticket sales put Brokeback Mountain at about $76 million, Crash at $53 million, Munich at $46 million, Good Night and Good Luck at $31 million, and Capote at $23 million.

"All these films stand high in the critics' estimation," Perkins points out. Meanwhile, he notes that The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which has earned some $288 million at the box office so far, received an Oscar nomination only for the less prestigious award for makeup.

"The critics choices combined accounted for little more box office appeal than Narnia alone," the FRC spokesman asserts. "This year's anticipated Oscar-winning movies, reviewed in light of their box office appeal, reveal Hollywood's true motives," he says.

Obviously, Perkins contends, film industry officials are "far less concerned about entertaining people than they are with trying to shape the culture and advance a political agenda."

Baehr: Oscars Snub Pro-Family Productions With Popular Appeal
Christian film reviewer Ted Baehr, publisher of the pro-family resource Movieguide.org, agrees that much of Hollywood's focus has shifted from providing entertainment to pushing ideologies. He recently told Associated Press that the films nominated for this year's Best Picture Oscar have almost turned this Sunday's Academy Awards into "the irrelevant awards."

Baehr says these movies, besides having the lowest combined box office of any set of top film nominees in 20 years, are "a very obscure group" of films that promote extreme or anti-family ideologies. "Most of them are pushing the envelope - they're anti-Israel, anti-Christian, pro-homosexual," he adds.

According to Baehr, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has, with less advertising and less marketing than Brokeback Mountain, "done ten times the box office of Brokeback Mountain." Also, he contends, the Christian-themed and family-friendly Narnia film has drawn ten times the percentage of the population that went to see the much touted pro-homosexual "love story."

Baehr, whose Christian Film & Television Commission hands out its own annual awards for the year's best in faith- and family-affirming film and TV entertainment, says studies have shown that family-friendly films consistently earn more money than the kind of movies that are in contention for the Best Picture Oscar this Sunday.


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