Hollywood Uplink – January 2005: Has Hollywood Lost Its ‘Passion?’

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January 2005

        Issue: 14:1

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Has Hollywood Lost Its ‘Passion?’ 
By Dick Rolfe

I have been waiting eagerly for the preliminary nominees to be announced by this year’s awards shows. The People’s Choice Awards, The Golden Globes, the Academy Awards and the Top Ten movies of 2004 by the noted film critics dominate the entertainment news each January. 

I was certain that Hollywood would give proper acknowledgement and honor to the amazing creative excellence and staggering box office success of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” [Click here to read my review.]

The public has spoken, and with some surprisingly varied results.  During the 31st Annual People’s Choice Awards on Sunday, January 9th,  “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “The Passion of the Christ” won the most votes for Best Movie and Best Movie Drama respectively.

The People’s Choice Award is the only one actually voted on by the public. It is given to a wide variety of entertainment categories from best movie to best smile. The nominations were determined by editors at Entertainment Weekly, the People’s Choice production team and a panel of pop culture fans. Winners are determined by Internet voting.  See the “Box Office Surprises…” story below for a complete list of this year’s winners.

The word is also out from Hollywood insiders…and so is Mel Gibson’s “Passion.” This magnificent work and everyone related to it managed to miss the radar screens of virtually everyone in the industry-wide Film Awards community and the major critics.

Whether the MIA status of “The Passion” is a nonverbal snub by Hollywood insiders, or a reflection of their disconnect with the values and tastes of 150 million Americans who responded favorably to the film, is up for speculation. The fact remains that “The Passion of the Christ” is obvious by its absence from the list of nominees for the Golden Globe Awards and the Top Ten lists of most major film critics.

The 2004 Oscar nominations have not been announced yet. But the prognosis is not good when you look at the list of top contenders touted by the pundits.

The attached article by Govindini Murty, Co-Director of the new Liberty Film Festival in Los Angeles casts a revealing perspective on things.

There is one long-term solution to these “creative differences” between Hollywood and the majority of movie-goers. Families must endure and continue “voting” for movies with redemptive themes, and support those films that reflect the values they hold dear. Regardless the outcome of the award shows one thing is clear. Hollywood is taking the family audience seriously. We see that reflected in the increase of G and PG movies populating the movie screens.



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