OSCARS: 'Excessive,' 'overdose of snarky humor'

by Phil Boatwright, posted Monday, February 27, 2017 (one year ago)

BP file photo.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP) -- Despite the $200,000 gift bags each major Oscar contestant would receive and the gastronomic delight that would later be served up by Wolfgang Puck, there were some awfully grim faces on the Dolby Theater stage throughout last night's Oscar telecast.

In addition to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announcing the wrong film as Best Picture, dark clouds seemed to form each time President Trump's agendas were mentioned. And they came up a lot.

I'm always nervous when only one side is given a voice. And while I wouldn't necessarily want this piece to be a defense of Donald Trump, the president was definitely the underdog at this event. According to the Oscar crowd last night, Mr. Trump is the dispatcher of Armageddon, and possibly the killer of Bambi's mom.

The 89th Oscar ceremony was star-studded and glimmering, but also too long and over-produced. And yes, excessive. What's more, it had a not-so subtle political dominance that seemed a new form of McCarthyism. I halfway expected host Jimmy Kimmel to ask audience members, "Are you now, or have you ever been a conservative?"

Along with an overdose of snarky humor by host Jimmy Kimmel, last night's speeches were peppered with self-congratulatory comments so pompous that they bordered on the satirical. One winner proclaimed her pride in being a member of the entertainment profession by saying "We are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life." I sat there thinking, that must be a shock to doctors, ministers, firemen and perhaps a hundred other professions who also deal with the importance of life.

Many acceptance speeches consisted of moments of ridicule of conservative values. As if guilty over their good fortune (looks, riches, fame, talent, position), Hollywood's bubble-protected elite appear to seek a more profound element to add to their resume -- social activist. And with the glaring lack of praise for the Creator last night, one can only assume that there are people in the land of make-believe who have replaced God with a golden calf -- the love of politics.

On the surface, dissenters are activated by the oppression of their fellow man. But is that really what we saw on the faces of the politically inclined last night? Are they really concerned about the disenfranchised?

Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say, yes, they truly care about their fellow man, fellow woman and those yet undecided. They care and they want justice for all. Certainly, these would-be activists serve an important purpose: with their platform, they can demand accountability from our leaders. Very important. But here's the flaw in their objective. Many search for change and justice from a secularist prospective -- one that ignores biblical directives.

Can we really heal all of society's ills without regard for God's Commandments or without seeking His will? Wouldn't that be like building a house on sand?

We know that Satan is the great deceiver, but seldom do we realize that the main weapon he uses to separate us from God's will is truth. Well, a percentage of truth.

There are many good, well-meaning, even religious people in the film industry. However, if you've studied the industry clear back to its inception, it's easy to see that with each decade newcomers to the movie medium have pushed the envelope when it comes to redefining moral standards. With lots and lots of baby steps, they've furthered the culture from class and social decorum. And very often, these unwitting folks have been used by Satan to further his "almost" truths.

On a lighter note, it was a festive evening, full of razzle-dazzle and moving tributes. Everybody looked great -- except for all those dark clouds.

Some of the winners:

Best Picture

"Moonlight"

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, "Manchester by the Sea"

Best Actress

Emma Stone, "La La Land"

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, "Moonlight"

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, "Fences"

Best Director

Damien Chazelle, "La La Land"

Best Original Screenplay

Kenneth Longergan, "Manchester by the Sea"

Best Adapted Screenplay

Barry Jenkins, "Moonlight"

Phil Boatwright, in addition to writing for Baptist Press, is a regular contributor to "The World and Everything In It," a weekly radio program from WORLD News Group.
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