I certainly agree with my fellow Idol Chatterer Paul’s observation that we haven’t exactly seen a post-“Passion” wave of successful, thought-provoking, overtly religious films coming out of Hollywood, much less being nominated for this year’s Academy Awards. But before those in the religious community pass judgment too quickly, there is one important point to consider. In the dialogue about spirituality, movies, and little gold statues, the issue of apathy and neglect is a two-way street.
While spiritually thought-provoking movies such as Junebug and inspirational movies such as “Mad Hot Ballroom” were, to my disappointment, more or less snubbed by Oscar, they were also snubbed, or just plain ignored, by a large segment of the church-going community–a community that claims to be clamoring for more religious-themed entertainment. Yes, Oscar was apathetic about that lion who roared his way into becoming a blockbuster hit, but how many in the church community overlooked the opportunity to watch and discuss one of the most provocative and important films of the year, “Crash,” a movie that reflects the spiritual hunger and poverty of our culture?
There’s also something else that those of you patiently waiting for a movie worthy of winning a “Mel”–as Paul dubbed the fictional awards for movies with strong and explicit appeal to conservative Christians–must keep in mind: It takes at least two to three years for a movie to be produced in Hollywood. So all of those post-“Passion” movies that are spiritually significant and religious relevant may still be making their way to a theater near you. Or maybe they were already there, and you just didn’t go to see them. Either way, we can’t blame everything on good ol’ Oscar.