The Oscars are a showcase for Hollywood — Hollywood’s time to show the rest of America their best. In its early days, Hollywood decided to show Americans its glitz and glamour, its beauty and popularity; these were the days when movies like The Great Ziegfield and Gone With The Wind won Academy Awards. In its middle age, Hollywood decided to show Americans its power — its ability to tap into deep emotions while still providing spectacle; these were the years of Ben Hur and Lawrence of Arabia.
Now Hollywood is in its dotage. And it has decided to showcase its ability to spit in Americans’ eye — to remind Americans that those in Tinseltown occupy a lofty seat among the moral icons of our time. They’re no longer there to celebrate our commonality as Americans, or even remind us of that commonality. They’re interested in reminding us of the vast gap between our values and theirs. That’s why the only three films of the past ten years that earned $100 million at the box office and won Best Picture were Argo, a movie glorifying America as opposed to the evil of the mullahs’ Iran; The King’s Speech, a movie glorifying British resilience in the face of the Nazi threat; and Slumdog Millionaire — not coincidentally, a film not about depredations of Americans, but about overcoming evil and difficulty in India. Not one Best Picture since 2004 has been in the box office top 10.
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