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.
Then, our illustrious decade: With great films scarce and politically mainstream Academy voters even scarcer, 2000 featured the victory of repulsive anti-suburbia and pro-homosexuality hit piece "American Beauty." Of course, it beat out a film lionizing an abortionist ("The Cider House Rules") and another attacking the tobacco industry ("The Insider"). Most disturbingly, the Academy handed Hilary Swank a Best Actress Oscar for playing a transgendered biological girl murdered by a bunch of hicks. And 2002 was the year of the African-American honorary Oscars, when Denzel Washington took home Best Actor for his decent if overrated performance in "Training Day" and Halle Berry took home Best Actress for her highly touted simulated orgasms in "Monster's Ball." In 2003, homosexual agenda films like "The Hours," "Frida" and "Far From Heaven" grabbed the largest share of nominations. In 2004, Hollywood couldn't hold off "Lord of the Rings" any longer, but Charlize Theron, playing an ugly lesbian serial killer in "Monster," won Best Actress. And last year, the Best Picture was forgettable pro-euthanasia film "Million Dollar Baby."
And then there's this year. "Brokeback Mountain," the stomach-churning story of two 1963 cowboys who get cozy while bunking down in Wyoming and then carry on their affair over the course of decades, is likely to grab Best Picture honors. The critics love it, mostly because critics love anything that pushes homosexuality as normal behavior. The New York Times raves about it, mostly because the Times has always wanted to carry a ridiculous story proclaiming that "there has always lurked a suspicion that the fastidious Eastern dude of Owen Wister's 'The Virginian' harbored stronger than proper feelings for his rough Western compadres, and that the Red River crowd may have gotten up to more than yarning by the campfire whenever Joanne Dru was not around." Maybe that's what Pinch Sulzberger thinks about when he watches John Wayne on screen, but the Times should be more careful when speaking for the rest of us. By the way, don't believe the "hit movie" hype -- this supposed blockbuster has netted a grand total of $8 million. "Hostel," last week's No. 1 movie, a cheap horror film, has already netted almost $15 million.
Best Actor honors are likely to go to Philip Seymour Hoffman for his performance in "Capote" -- this would mark the first time that an actor in a gay role has actually deserved his Oscar. Best Actress will probably fall to Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the Line," but supporters of Felicity Huffman's transgendered father/mother in "TransAmerica" could push her over the top.
Aside from pimping for GLAAD, the Oscars will provide a platform for other leftist talking points. "Good Night, and Good Luck," George Clooney's blatant attempt to bash the Bush administration through the mouth of Edward R. Murrow, and "Munich," Steven Spielberg's attempt to equate Arab terrorism with Israeli self-defense, will likely garner nominations. And to top it off, Comedy Central partisan hack Jon Stewart (who is less and less funny each day) hosts this self-congratulatory leftist feting.
I won't be watching. Neither will most Americans.