Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld
is the author of eight books on education, including: "Is Public Education Necessary?"
"NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education," "The Whole Language/OBE Fraud" and
"Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children." His books are available on Amazon.com. Back issues of his incisive newsletter, The Blumenfeld Education Letter, are available online. More ↓Less ↑
The recent Oscar bonanza seen by millions of people around the world was little more than a self-congratulatory binge on the part of Hollywood’s elite. This year, there was a marked increase in foreign films, directors and actors nominated for the ultimate prize in filmdom, indicating the global reach of the movie industry and its role in shaping our global culture. The annual show itself is a spectacular display of American wealth, technological genius, artistic performance, cultural power and left-wing fixations.
Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” won an Oscar for making the world aware of global warming, which the inhabitants of Colorado and much of the Midwest, buried in endless tons of snow, must have wondered about. Yet, we were urged to do something about it. Shovel snow? Since fewer cars and planes travel when it snows, that must certainly cut down on fuel emissions.
The best film of the year award was given to “The Departed,” a cops and robbers story set in Boston starring Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon. Best actress was Helen Mirren, who played Queen Elizabeth with amazing authenticity in “The Queen.” Best actor was Forest Whitaker for his role as the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland.” Whitaker is a genius of an actor and easily deserved the golden statuette.
While all of the winners thanked their families for their warm support, only two thanked God, Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson, who won best supporting actress for “Dreamgirls.” Both individuals are black Americans.
The Oscar for best foreign film of the year went to “The Lives of Others,” a German film about the Stasi, the Secret Police, in East Germany during Communist rule. It is one of the best anti-Communist films ever made. But leftists might not find it as much anti-Communist as anti-government corruption and anti-government snooping.
A musical interlude was provided by the cast of “Dreamgirls,” whose vocal techniques are based on Gospel yelling and screaming, making it difficult to understand the lyrics. And, of course, all the women were dressed in exquisite gowns. And they all had flat stomachs.
As for the losers, aged Peter O’Toole and Meryl Streep took it all in stride, applauding for the winners.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 20, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, in Beverly Hills, the Christian Film & Television Commission, headed by the intrepid Ted Baehr, held its 15th Annual Movieguide Faith and Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry.
Movieguide is a monthly guide to movies and entertainment in which films are reviewed from a Christian point of view so parents can know whether or not these films are appropriate for their children. The January issue features “Amazing Grace,” the story of William Wilberforce’s fight to end slavery in 18th century England. Hopefully, it will win next year’s Oscar for best film of the year.
The January issue of Movieguide gives four stars to “Miss Potter,” a wonderful portrait of the life and work of the creator of “Peter Rabbit,” Beatrix Potter. It awarded four stars to “We Are Marshall,” the heartbreaking story of the accidental death of the entire Marshall University football team and the courage of the school to go on. The magazine gave Clint Eastwood’s “Letters from Iwo Jima” four stars but had reservations about the moral and spiritual aspects of the film.
Ted Baehr has also produced a book that every Christian homeschooler should read: “So You Want to Be in Pictures.” “The book shows you how to use your faith and values to change the mass media. … It shows you how to develop your screenwriting, acting, directing, producing and media-wisdom skills to change the entertainment industry.”
One of Baehr’s aims is to convince moviemakers that “movies with family-friendly, morally uplifting, redemptive and pro-Christian content make the most money.” That’s why he makes sure that Hollywood moguls, directors and producers read his Annual Report to Hollywood. Who knows? Maybe some day the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will award Ted Baehr a special Oscar for redeeming an industry that finally decided to honor God, country and family.