“Passion” beats out “Fahrenheit” in Oscar noms…kinda

The Academy Award nominations were announced today, and (as predicted) The Passion of the Christ did not get nominated in any of the major categories. It did receive three nominations, in “safe” categories:

So, the message is that it’s okay to compliment the artistic merit of a movie about Jesus, but it’s crossing the line to recognize the movie itself or its director or actors, no matter how good it might have been. It’s not really surprising that the Hollywood elites would be afraid to lift this movie up (as if they actually believed what it said), but it would have been really interesting if the movie or Mel had been given proper respect.

What was surprising to me is that Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 did not get a single nomination. Not one! Does this mean that Moore’s honeymoon with Hollywood is coming to a close? Even more interesting: would the nominations have come out differently if Kerry had just been inaugurated instead of Bush?

I’ll be watching the Academy Awards on February 27th…I always do. Generally, I don’t really put too much stock in what these people think or how they vote. So why do I care? Hard to say…I guess I just see the Oscars as a barometer for American culture and conventional wisdom, and I like to keep up with the message that’s being sent out there. On some basic level, though, I’m just fascinated with these people who live in such a different world from the rest of us; I can’t resist watching them in this competitive environment to see how they react. Something unpredictable always happens.

So, what was nominated that you really liked? I see that The Incredibles got several nods…that is a great movie. Most of the others I haven’t even seen.


  1. Pip said,

    January 25, 2005 @ 4:11 pm

    Well, the Academy’s artistic integrity is a lot like the mainstream media’s journalistic integrity: It’s going the way of the dodo and is about as revelant as one.

    At any rate, I agree that it’s odd F9/11 didn’t get in; could it be Hollywood’s meager attempt at saving some face? By slighting it, the slight of The Passion may have more legitimacy in their minds, perhaps? I dunno– hard to know the mind of these elites sometimes. As for H-wood being a barometer of sorts, maybe. It may also be like relying on Dan Rather to know the esprit de corps of America: You get a good idea of what a small cadre THINK should be conventional wisdom, but reality is quite different. Then again, I would hate to see the subscriber levels of People magazine…

    Make you a deal: You skip the AA show, I’ll skip the “Super”Bowl. We’ll both be healthier for it.

  2. J East said,

    January 25, 2005 @ 4:39 pm

    Well, F9/11’s absence from the nominations could be more due to the fact that it falls in between categories. As a “documentary” and I use that term loosely, it cannot qualify for any of the actor categories. Also, there is no story so it cannot be up for any screenplay categories. Also, it is filmed in a fairly simple style, so it would have been highly unlikely to get nominated in the technical categories.

    The only two categories it could have been nominated for were Best Picture and Best Documentary. I think even the most adamant supporters of the film would say that it was no where near the quality of a “Best Picture”. And compared to the recent spate of excellent documentaries (Fog of War and Spellbound are two) it is seriously lacking.

    Even the most liberal critics that I read, while they liked the “spirit” of the movie, knew that it was not a great movie.

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