To Be Fair, the Academy Did Overlook Cruising* Back in 1980…
The Christian youth group Generation Life is calling upon wicked Hollywood to stop the GLAADness and, as rumored dirty-song-subject and Full House alum Dave Coulier might put it, cut it out already with the Oscar-backed promotion of "the culture of death":
The movies which you have consistently chosen to highlight for us as "the best of the best" do not represent our generation's conscience. In 1999, the Academy chose to give the Oscar to the best supporting portrayal of an abortionist in the film The Cider House Rules. Last year, the Academy glorified the horror of euthanasia by proclaiming Million Dollar Baby as deserving of Best Picture. This year, the Academy is celebrating homosexuality and the pain that comes with embracing this lifestyle by giving the film Brokeback Mountain the most nominations. These nominations should not come as a surprise as the Academy has a record of celebrating movies and the portrayal of those struggling with same sex attraction in films like Philadelphia (1993) and As Good as it Gets (1997).
We, the youth of America say enough is enough!
Whenever I hear the phrase we, the youth of America I reach for my Ritalin. More here.
Let's leave aside for the moment the rather unexamined equation of abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality (what exactly do any two of these have in common?). And let's leave aside the fact that this year's Best Picture nominees are more filled with cultural spinach than a typical Popeye cartoon (they're all so good for us, we can feel ourselves getting morally superior even before the first bathroom break). And let's leave aside the dubious assertion that movies automatically "glorify" and "celebrate" their subject matter (did the Academy glorify retardation by giving Cliff Robertson an Oscar for Charly? I–and millions of schoolkids–think not). And hell, let's even leave aside the debatable point that The Chronicles of Narnia may have deserved more than one nomination (CS Lewis, one assumes, is getting his reward in whatever heaven for junior-varsity Catholics to which Anglicans go).
Leaving all that (and more) aside, let's stress that Hollywood has always leaned toward moral disintegration as a theme for best-pic nominees. What was the saying during the Clinton years? There's nothing new here…
Thanks to the wonderful Academy database, you can search decades worth of Oscar nominees in every category here. When it comes to immoral best picture noms, this year's crew has nothing on 1934, which gave nods to flicks such as the pro-skank epic Cleopatra, the titillatingly titled Flirtation Walk, the immorally suggestive The Gay Divorcee, the undoubtedly boring One Night of Love, the proto-Village People vehicle Here Comes the Navy, the pro-bandit epic Viva Villa!, and the love-that-dare-not-speak-its-name snoozer The Barretts of Wimpole Street. The year's winner? The scandalous It Happened One Night which, among other vices, glorified hitchiking and the non-wearing of T-shirts.
Full list of best pic noms here.
*The fag-bashing, pro-police-entrapment brief Cruising, certainly not the worst in Al Pacino's stinker-filled filmography, did snag several anti-Oscars. Details here. But why no Oscar nom for best soundtrack?
And speaking of "the best of the best," where was Eric Roberts' Oscar for The Pope of Greenwich Village or Star 80?