Sunday, February 28, 2016

88th Academy Awards (2016) - Review: An Awards Night to Remember

IMDb listing
Previous/Other years

Well the 88th Academy Awards will certainly not be forgotten for a while:

As was the case last year, from the moment that this year's nominees were an-nounced they were de-nounced for being #OscarsSoWhite : not a single African American was nominated for any award.  Fortunately, the host of the show, Chris Rock, who already had been hired for the gig long before then is African American and many of the presenters of the Awards were African American as well. 

But if one focused ONLY on this controversy, one would miss THE OTHER memorable statement made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which was that it picked Spotlight [2015] as the Best Picture of the year.

I have to admit that I found that somewhat surprising, not because it wasn't a good or important film.  Indeed, until the nominations lists started coming out and the other awards started to be handed out, I was certain that the film had the scale and importance deserving of the Best Picture Award.  But then while the film received many nominations from various other industry groups, it _did not seem_ to win a lot of awards (except for Best Screenplay and/or Best Ensemble Cast).  HOWEVER, it seemed to consistently WIN Best Film awards with Film Critics Associations.  So the film's victory should not come as that big of a surprise.

And as I wrote in my own review of the film, if this has a deterrent effect -- NO ONE (quite literally) wants to be "In the Spotlight" (like this) -- then that would be good.

But I would like to ask the industry then:

Would you WANT the Church to focus now EVEN MORE ON ITSELF even more than it already has in these last 10-15 years to root-out even the "last bit of sin" within its ranks?  OR WOULD YOU PREFER that WE PLACE OURSELVES between the National Guard, or whoever is going to be called out to rip-out our Hispanic MOSTLY CATHOLIC brothers and sisters (kids, parents, grandparents...) out of their homes to send them back to Mexico (KNOWING FULL WELL HERE THAT A FAIR PART OF AMERICA'S WHITE CATHOLICS WOULD WANT our police / national guard TO START DOING EXACTLY THAT -- ripping our Hispanic brothers and sisters out of our pews to send them back over the border)? 

Yes, child molestation (whether performed by a priest, stranger or family member is life destroying).  So is ripping someone's abuelita WHO HASN'T HURT ANYBODY out of her / her family's home and interning her in some football stadium prior to throwing her over the border.   (In my day job, I'm mostly responsible for serving the Spanish speaking community of my parish ... There are A LOT of people scared about where our country is heading in this regard...).

Or should someone like Fr. Plegher here in Chicago (on whom the John Cusack character in Spike Lee's, not nominated for anything, Chi-Raq [2015] was based) spend his time rooting out left-over child molesters within the Archdiocese of Chicago rather than consistently holding the city to account for the violence / lack of protection that's taking place in the poorer sections of our city.  Do #BlackLivesMatter or more generally #PoorPeopleMatter ?

I write this full well that we (The Catholic Church) deserved this film.  We failed.  But it should be clear that our Church does more than just sin.

And honestly if it won't be US ... the Catholics LED BY THE CLERGY to stand-up for our Hispanic brothers and sisters OR POOR PEOPLE IN GENERAL, WHO WILL?

Again, THIS WAS A VERY GOOD / THOUGHT PROVOKING and hopefully ACTION PRODUCING Awards Season this year.  And hopefully, it won't be forgotten soon.

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