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Academy Award Nominees

A Rated R Affair – The Academy Awards Announce Their Nominees

On Tuesday January 25, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominees for the 2010 Oscars®. The nominees for Best Picture are again expanded to ten, which makes room for audience favorites like the top moneymaking film of the year, the delightful TOY STORY 3, so that more people might watch the Oscars. Also in the list is the surprise hit of 2010, TRUE GRIT, with

strong Christian content.

But, true to form, six of the ten nominees are R-rated. Only one, TOY STORY 3, rose above an extreme caution (-2) from Movieguide®. Furthermore, two top vote getters, THE BLACK SWAN and THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, were rated abhorrent (-4) by Movieguide®. On the other hand, eight of them had redemptive and moral content, with five having clear Christian content.

Of the ten Best Picture nominees, the biggest moneymakers so far are all the ones not rated R. The Best Picture nominees (in order of box office) are:

TOY STORY 3 G **** +3 (Disney/Pixar) $414,984,497
INCEPTION PG-13 *** -2 (Warner Bros.) $292,568,851
TRUE GRIT PG-13 **** -2 (Paramount) $137,963,519
THE SOCIAL NETWORK PG-13 **** -2 (Columbia/Sony) $95,408,473
BLACK SWAN R *** -4 (Fox Searchlight) $83,250,375
THE FIGHTER R *** -2 (Paramount) $72,680,740
THE KING’S SPEECH R **** -2 (Weinstein) $57,313,881
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT R ** -4 (Focus/Universal) $20,811,365
127 HOURS R **** -2 (Fox Searchlight) $11,296,805
WINTER’S BONE R **** -2 (Roadside Attractions) $6,271,086

The nominees for Best Actor are all from movies requiring extreme caution or worse. Three of the five are from R-rated movies. Even so, two have clear Christian content, and four have strong moral content. They are (in order of box office):

Jeff Bridges TRUE GRIT PG-13 **** -2 (Paramount) $137,963,519
Jesse Eisenberg THE SOCIAL NETWORK PG-13 **** -2 (Columbia/Sony) $95,408,473
Colin Firth THE KING’S SPEECH R **** -2 (Weinstein) $57,313,881
James Franco 127 HOURS R **** -2 (Fox Searchlight) $11,296,805
Javier Bardem BIUTIFUL R ** -3 (Roadside Attractions) no recorded income

The nominees for Best Actress are even worse. Four of the five movies are R-rated, three are abhorrent (-4), one excessive (-3) and the other extreme caution (-2). There’ll be no BLIND SIDE best actress this year, but WINTER’S BONE is an excellent movie for mature audiences with Christian content and a redemptive theme, so Jennifer Lawrence is Movieguide®’s favorite out of a sorry lot (why Hailee Steinfeld wan’t nominated for TRUE GRIT is beyond us). In order of box office, the Best Actress nominees are:

Natalie Portman BLACK SWAN R *** -4 (Fox Searchlight) $83,250,375
Annette Benning THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT R ** -4 (Focus/Universal) $20,811,365
Jennifer Lawrence WINTER’S BONE R **** -2 (Lionsgate) $6,271,086
Michelle Williams BLUE VALENTINE R ** -4 (Weinstein) $4,460,022
Nicole Kidman RABBIT HOLE PG-13 *** -2 (Roadside Attractions) $1,268,041

The preponderance of movies with vile content reflects poorly on the values of the voting members of the Academy. So many of their nominees are so far from the tastes of the average American that it is easy to see why some filmmakers and distributors continue to pour out R-rated movies that tank at the box office. They like them even if the general public doesn’t.

Is it any wonder that fewer movie tickets were sold in 2010 than in any year since 1996? The clear box office winners of the year were primarily animated family films.

Once upon a time, the Academy voted THE SOUND OF MUSIC to be Best Picture. The Academy Awards have changed, but not for the better.