The combination of declining product quality and rising Hollywood disdain for mainstream America has opened the door to the agenda-film crowd. It began with the 1994 Oscars. "Schindler's List," "The Fugitive" and "In the Name of the Father" all received Best Picture nominations; other excellent films of 1993 included "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "Shadowlands," "Fearless" and "In the Line of Fire."
Still, Hollywood had to take a shot at mainstream America, and they found their vehicle in "Philadelphia," throwing their honorary liberal activism award to Tom Hanks for his weak performance as a dying AIDS-stricken gay lawyer in "Philadelphia." Unbelievably, Hanks' cheesy hospital-bed routine beat out Liam Neeson in "Schindler's List" and Daniel Day Lewis in "In the Name of the Father." "Philadelphia" is, clinically speaking, a maudlin, ham-handed attempt at social commentary.
The remaining 1990s were filled with weak movies and weak performances. On average, high-school audio-visual clubs make better movies than Hollywood put together in the late 1990s.
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