Once again, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has ignored the most popular movies of the year in favor of R-rated box office wimps as their nominees for Best Picture.

Only “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button” slipped in under the bar with a PG-13 rating. Accordingly, it’s made more money than all the others combined, even though it was only released on Christmas Day.

“Milk,” about the first openly gay elected official, and “Frost/Nixon” are obligatory R-rated panderings to the radical left. “The Reader” is a pornographic tale about an escaped, female Nazi war criminal seducing a 15-year-old boy! “Slumdog Millionaire,” while rated R, is tame by comparison.

This is the third year in a row that four of the five Best Picture nominees have been rated R.

At the close of business in 2008, the Best Picture nominees ranked as follows:

“The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button” (38th)
“Slumdog Millionaire” (103rd)
“Milk” (128th)
“Frost/Nixon” (179th)
“The Reader” (205th)

Hollywood used to be called “the entertainment capital of the world.” Judging by these awful picks, the Academy is trying to transform Hollywood into “the cultural pigsty of the world”!

Does the Academy really want a big audience for its TV show on Feb. 22, or not? Perhaps not.

By making such atrocious, unpopular Oscar picks, the Academy seems to be thumbing its collective nose at the vast number of frequent moviegoers who clearly prefer more entertaining movies, like “The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man,” “Wall-E,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Indiana Jones 4” and James Bond (“Quantum Of Solace”).

Certainly, these movies are just as well made, if not better made, than “The Reader,” “Frost/Nixon” or the gay propaganda film “Milk.”

Apparently, the elite snobs at the Academy not only are rejecting the one thing that made Hollywood great – entertainment; they also don’t like anything that extols great virtues and institutions like heroism, purity, sacrifice, the military, the traditional family, honesty, liberty above lawlessness and licentiousness, anti-Communism and Christianity.

While the Academy Awards have abandoned enthusiasm for great movies popular with the public, this is not true of Movieguide®’s 17th Annual Awards Gala, coming up Feb. 11 in Beverly Hills. Five of the top-10 box office successes of 2008 are among Movieguide®’s Ten Best Movies for Families and Ten Best Movies for Mature Audiences.

The Gala will also hand out the $100,000 Epiphany Prizes for Inspiring Movies & TV, sponsored by the John Templeton Prizes, and the $25,000 Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays, also sponsored by the Foundation.

At the 17th Annual Awards Gala, Movieguide® will honor the good, the true and the beautiful and present a comprehensive analysis of the box office here and overseas, which shows, year in and year out, that the American people want to see good conquer evil, truth triumph over falsehood, justice prevail over injustice, and beauty overcome ugliness.

The American people heartily respond to these eternal values. It’s time to wrest control of Hollywood away from the culture snobs and moral reprobates in society and give it back to the people who actually go to the movies.

Note: David Outten and Tom Snyder of Movieguide® contributed to this column

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