Skip to comments.The REAL "Best Picture" of 2005
Posted on 03/14/2006 1:20:49 PM PST by joyspring777
In 1981, as a member of a traveling theater ensemble, I won an Oscar-night betting pool by correctly guessing more Academy Award winners than my fellow actors. The secret of my success: I knew that the winners were determined as much by Hollywood politics as on the merits. Back then, of course, "Hollywood politics" meant who was liked or disliked by his peers, who was the "sentimental favorite," who was "due" for an award, etc. Increasingly, however, the "politics" driving the Oscars -- and Hollywood itself -- is politics pure and simple.
I write a few weeks before this year's Oscars, but already they've shaped up as the most politically driven in history. The most nominated film, and the one favored to win most of the top awards -- including Best Picture -- is the "gay Western" Brokeback Mountain. Of the other Best Picture nominees, one -- Good Night and Good Luck -- amounts to stale liberal hagiography of anti-McCarthy newsman Edward R. Murrow; one -- Steven Spielberg's Munich -- posits moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorists and the Israelis who bring them to justice; and one, Capote, features another homosexual protagonist. (Rounding out the "gay" theme of the awards is the Best Actress nomination for the star of Transamerica, about a transsexual.)
Didn't see any of these films? Don't feel left out -- neither did most of the rest of the country, despite relentless hype, especially for Brokeback Mountain. But the real shame of this year's Oscars is not what they honored, but what they didn't. For, despite the impression that Hollywood seems all too ready to give, that they cater to no one but gays and liberal zealots, they actually did make a few good films for the rest of us in 2005 -- including one near-great one.
I've written about one of the "good" ones before: The Island, a very effective sci-fi thriller that is shockingly pro-life -- so much so that one has to wonder if the filmmakers realized its implications. The "near-great" one I have in mind is Ron Howard's Cinderella Man -- which, I submit, stands with the finest films ever made.
Cinderella Man is the real-life story of James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe), a once-promising light heavyweight boxer forced into early retirement after a string of losses and a broken hand. As the nation enters the worst years of the Depression, Braddock struggles to support his wife and children with part-time work on the loading docks. Thanks to a last-minute cancellation, however, he finds himself back in the ring against the second-ranked world contender -- and to everyone's amazement, Braddock wins in the third round. Thus begins one of the most amazing comebacks in sports history, as Braddock wins victory after victory, eventually facing Max Baer, the heavyweight champion of the world, notorious for having killed two men in the ring.
You'd have to go back a long way to find a film that so powerfully affirms the virtues of hard work, self-sacrifice, patriotism, family, faith, and true manhood. In that last regard, the contrast with Brokeback Mountain couldn't be starker. The protagonist of Cinderella Man suffers heroically for his family, even as other men are seen abandoning theirs under pressure of poverty and unemployment; the protagonists of Brokeback Mountain betray their wives and children from no higher motive than to pursue their adulterous and unnatural "love."
As part of our expanded DVD offerings, Cinderella Man is now available from the Club in a Collector's Edition DVD that includes commentary by director Ron Howard and the two co-writers, plus no fewer than five mini-documentaries on various aspects of making the film and the true-life story behind it. If you're a film buff like me, this is a "must-have" title for your permanent collection.
I knocked over a lamp in the living room during the last round.
Cinderella Man was an excellent movie. Saw it on pay for view. Would watch it again.
And I actually liked The Island, but that had more to do with Scarlett Johansen. Have mercy, that's one hot mama.
It was fairly boring.
>>>...Scarlett Johansen. Have mercy, that's one hot mama.
She's inspiring. Impure thoughts...
Oh so true, the Hollywierds do not care what films are revered by the public, but only their politics ie: not a single nomination for the biggest drawing film of all time (Passion) and then a backdoor nomination for Pokeback Mountain? Film making is a lost art, and Hollywierd is too blind to see.
But then again, she likes that Matthew Mcconaughey, so that makes us even.
You are the Wind b'neath my Wings, Joe 6-pack.
Come on, everyone knows that Batman Begins was the best movie of 2005.
I really like this guy for his words to take apart the Hollywood left, as well as his preference for movies that are uplifting, enlightening and true!
Hah! It didn't know you knew that it had a lantern jaw!
That's a pic of NAGANVILLE ain't it?
Regardless of the politics one finds in it, The Island is one of the lamest films I've ever seen. The endless stream of product placements didn't help.
The boxing movie? BOOOOOOORRRRRRRRING.