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EDITORIAL: Oscars Give Short Shrift to Fantasy

Posted By Britany on April 8, 2003

Here's an excerpt of an Editorial by Christopher Knight, entitled "Oscars Give Short Shrift to Fantasy":

When fantasy meets film, Oscars a grouch.

We've had some good-natured jibing at each other during this past year, but admit it: any Star Wars fan worth his spice rooted for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to win Best Picture at the 75th Academy Awards a few weeks ago. I mean, it's not like there was a groundswell of support from most of us for Chicago to triumph, right?

Well, on that night at least, Star Wars fans wanted the One Ring to rule them all, as it should have happened last year. And once again, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences let us down.

This year's Oscars jaded me on how Hollywood views itself... and its viewers. It wasn't just about The Two Towers getting denied top honors, but what movies weren't nominated to begin with. The two biggest examples that came to my mind were Signs and Barbershop: one was about both losing and finding your faith through the most incredible of circumstances; the other was a story that honored a hard work ethic and sense of real community. The Two Towers was the only uplifting film that made it to the top rung of nominees and it lost to Chicago: a musical about sex and murder. Another competitor, The Hours, was a movie that features a suicide, depression, an attempted suicide, another suicide... and that's just in the opening credits.

Some are saying that the entire Lord of the Rings series won't be taken seriously until next year, after Return Of The King is released. I'll wager good money now that it still won't happen, for the simple fact that enough people are entrenched in Hollywood and away from reality that they've lost touch with what the average person really appreciates and experiences: after all, this is the same institution that thought American Beauty was typical of daily life in these United States circa 1999. If tripe like that can get an Oscar for Best Picture, I ain't holding my breath for the Academy to come to its senses. Bottom line: most fantasy-based films strive to raise the bar, while the "elites" running Hollywood more often than not aim for the gutter.

You can read the rest of the Editorial by clicking here.






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