Was "The Passion of the Christ" snubbed by Oscar? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Was "The Passion of the Christ" snubbed by Oscar?

(Columbia) Feb. 25, 2005 - Even before Columbia theaters began screening "The Passion of the Christ," the movie had people talking. One year later, director Mel Gibson's vision of Jesus' torture and crucifixion has raked in more than $600 million worldwide.

Fans like retired Army chaplain Robert Slimp says the film remains a powerful experience, "Many of us I think wanted to see a fair portrayal of Christ." Heritage Wesleyan Church Pastor Mark Stevenson is enthusiastic about the film, "It was an awesome movie. The portrayal was so graphic and I think that really hit everybody."

The Passion is nowhere to be found in the major categories for the Academy Awards with only three nominations: cinematography, makeup and score. proof,

Slimp says Hollywood continues to deliberately ignore the movie and its director, "I think that the critics of today, Hollywood of today, wants a totally different kind of motion picture that depicts a different kind of violence, immorality, divorce, adultery."

The Christian community is not unanimous on the issue. Kevin Lausch is youth director at Trenholm United Methodist Church in Columbia, "I seriously doubt that there is an anti-Christian bias in Hollywood or that there is an anti-Christian bias against this film particularly."

Lausch says Hollywood does offer stories of faith, "An example would be when they made 'Bruce Almighty.' It's not exactly a poster boy for a fantastic Christian film, but it is decidedly Christian."

USC film expert Dan Streible says The Passion might be well crafted and popular, but does not rank as a great movie, "Certainly I don't see that it could compete with the others in terms of screenplay and writing credits, since it is re-telling a well-known story and doesn't particularly re-tell it in a radically different way. It's always been a kind of political process. Every year you can find a case of something that got you know, snubbed or discounted or just an oversight."

In fact, while The Passion garnered three nominations, many important movies never managed even one. Among them are the Marx Brothers comedies, "Duck Soup" and "A Night at the Opera." Chaplin's "City Lights" and "Modern Times" as well as science fiction classics like "Dracula," "Frankenstein" and "King Kong" never received one. The John Ford western "The Searchers" also was blanked at the Academy Awards.

Slimp says The Passion became the target of a newer, more secular bias, "There was a different mindset and I think a different level of tolerance in Hollywood at that time. I think things have changed."

The Passion is likely to continue stirring passions. The movie, minus roughly six minutes of the most violent scenes, is being re-released to theaters in time for Good Friday.

By Jack Kuenzie
Posted 11:23pm by BrettWitt

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