What Beltway Republicans Need To Do
The premier source for
California political news
your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
tOR Talk Radio
Carol Platt Liebau - Columnist
Platt Liebau is editorial director and a senior member of tOR and CRO editorial
boards. She is an attorney, political analyst and commentator
based in San Marino, CA, and has appeared on the Fox News
Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Orange County News Channel, Cox Cable
and a variety of radio programs throughout the United States.
A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School,
Carol Platt Liebau also served as the first female managing
editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her web log can be found
[go to Liebau index]
Dragging “Oscar” Down
Where Have the Uplifting Movies Gone?...
Platt Liebau] 2/28/05
it’s fun to watch the Oscars. There’s
always the enticing possibility that some performers will be
congratulated (or congratulate others) for their “courage.” It’s
a priceless moment – particularly now, as soldiers die
abroad to keep Americans safe – offering an unparalleled
opportunity to witness the limitless self-absorption of Hollywood.
of the time, the Oscars are fun. But this time, it’s
a bit different. As USA Today noted, “Drug addiction,
mercy killing, mental illness, genocide, abortion, ill young
mothers and borderline alcoholism – these are a few of
Oscar’s favorite things this year.” Not surprisingly,
all of the movies have fallen well short of the magic $100 million
in box office receipts – perhaps because Americans aren’t
rushing to view Million Dollar Baby’s glorification of
mercy killing or to admire Best Actress nominee Imelda Staunton’s
performance as an abortionist in Vera Drake. Billy Crystal is
lucky he’s not hosting; it would be pretty difficult for
him to come up with his trademark clever ditty about this crop
Oscar voters may pride themselves on supporting “important” movies – but
increasingly, they seem to equate “importance” with “gloom.” They’re
wrong. They’d do themselves – and American filmgoers – a
lot of good by checking out a 1941 film, Sullivan’s
Directed by Preston Sturges, and starring Joel
about a creator of fluff movies determined to make a serious
film – an “important” movie – about the
dark side of life. A child of privilege, he decides to become
a hobo in order to gain personal experience about his film’s
subject. But through an odd confluence of events, he finds himself
unjustly thrown in prison, working on a chain gang. And one night,
as the convicts are treated to a movie, the protagonist finally
realizes how valuable, how truly “important,” the
gift of a good, joyous film can be.
Certainly, there is a place for serious film.
Not all the stories can be happy ones – nor should they be. But when Hollywood
becomes ensnared in a shroud of gloom, it’s natural for
moviegoers to look elsewhere to satisfy their very natural, normal
desire for some escapist, lighthearted entertainment.
“Important” films can end on a note of hope – think
of Gone With the Wind, or, more recently, 1981 Best Picture Chariots
of Fire, or even more recently, Forrest Gump. It is, perhaps,
more of a challenge for the filmmaker to avoid sentimentality
in combining inspiration with heft, but it can be done.
In Hollywood’s current climate, odd and aberrant themes
don’t breed ostracism – they beget celebrity. And
so, when the Hollywood elite gather to praise each other for
their “courage,” it’s worth realizing that
there’s no bravery in dragging Americans down the dark
and twisted paths of psyches tortured by drug use, mental illness,
lovesickness or crippling misfortune.
Sad to say, if any “courage” is required
today in the film world, it must be summoned by those who would
make uplifting films that simultaneously entertain and glorify
the human spirit. We are all the poorer for it. tOR
Carol Platt Liebau is a political analyst, commentator and
theOneRepublic / CaliforniaRepublic.org editorial
director based in San Marino, CA. Ms. Liebau also served
as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Her web log can be found at CarolLiebau.blogspot.com