2014 Oscars played it safe, but was faith lost in the shuffle?
Jordan Strauss, Associated Press
The Academy Awards are over. Say goodbye to the award season.
All the golden statues have been handed out. A selfie of some of Hollywood’s hottest names broke records on social media. Pizza was passed out as celebrities participated in one of the biggest pizza parties to date.
But what kind of things did we learn from the Oscars? Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote a piece for BBC Culture that examined what the highest movie award show taught us this year. For one, Schwarzbaum said America "rebuked" slavery and racism with the Academy naming “12 Years A Slave” the winner of the Best Picture Award.
And Hollywood rejected the party lifestyle, as seen with “American Hustle” — leaving the award show without any statue to speak of. “Perhaps American hustling and scenes of rampant, cocaine-fueled greed don’t fit Hollywood’s desired self-image this year,” wrote Schwarzbaum.
The award show also took a turn back to the lighter side of comedy with Ellen DeGeneres as host, Schwarzbaum wrote.
“Following the proudly crude, stupidly sexist antics of last year’s host, Seth MacFarlane, the return of DeGeneres brought relaxed professionalism back to the lucrative, four-hour televised show,” she wrote.
But was faith downplayed at the award show? Some active Twitter users seemed to think so, according to online news website Twitchy. After Matthew McConaughey won the Best Actor award, he thanked God and didn’t receive any sort of reply.
"First off, I want to thank God because that's who I look up to. He's graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand," the 44-year-old Texas native said, according to FOX News. "He has shown me that it's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late (British actor) Charlie Laughton, who said, 'When you got God, you got a friend and that friend is you.’ ”
Crickets chirped in the silence. This upset some critics and online viewers, who said McConaughey’s words were an act of bravery in today’s Hollywood society, FOX News reported. Twitter users went back-and-forth about whether McConaughey’s decision to include God was the right thing to do.
“It is also sad that speaking of your faith must now be an act of bravery,” wrote the Twitchy staff.
Maybe the Oscars isn’t just an award show to promote Hollywood, Schwarzbaum argues. It might be something that hits close to home — something everyone can relate to.
“Perhaps the secret of the Academy Awards’ enduring popularity as a spectator sport is this: a sane fan knows that big gestures, foolish missteps, grandiose intentions, and small triumphs are also hallmarks of the human condition, both on screen and in real life,” she wrote. “And so we watch this ritualised, conservative, glittery, silly, self-congratulatory, entertaining extravaganza with tenderness. And we cheer.”
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