Thursday, January 17, 2013

Oscar buzz: How Hollywood has politics right and Washington has it all wrong


When it comes to politics, Washington can learn a lot from Hollywood.
The 85th Annual Academy Awards announced their nominees for Oscar Gold
recently and it appears that the early winners are people who care
about politics and political issues.

And even though some top political films didn't get nominated such as "The
Bridge to Nowhere" - the true story of where Sarah Palin's career has gone
 since the 2008 Presidential Election...and "999: How Herman Cain's uncanny
ability to remember the number 9 three consecutive times" almost turned an idea
for a pizza promotion into a national movement.

"Lincoln", "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty", did make it to the final round of voting.
All three political films placed the heart of Washington decision making right on
 center stage, while political issue oriented films such as "Django Unchained",
"The Beasts of the Southern Wild", and "Les Miserables", brought to the forefront
the man-made disaster of slavery, the harm that comes when a natural disaster
threatens a local community, and the painful road of prison life and prostitution.

If only Washington knew how to communicate like a 2 hour movie and people turned out as enthusiastically to participate in the Political Process, as they do when they gather around their TVs on "Oscar Night." 
Maybe the Washington power brokers need to learn a few pointers from the  Hollywood elite on how to run a popular election instead of treating them as
if they are a natural rival and in competition for our attention.

It is true that both have famous, wealthy and powerful people. The studios lobby
for their respective nominees to win in the same manner that Exxon Mobile and
 the NRA run campaigns for their potential winners.

The People's Choice Awards, New York Film Critics and the Golden Globes are
 equivalent to the hard fought Primary Season that all politicians must go through.
And both get a huge TV audience on their special night and have fabulous parties
 after  that are covered by the likes of a Ryan Seacrest, Anderson Cooper and
 Joan Rivers.

So, why does one seem to give us disappointment every year...and the other gives
us Hugh Jackman?!

Maybe because Hugh Jackman...looks like Hugh Jackman and our political leaders
 usually look like more like Henry Kissinger!

And when we get a good-looking Mitt Romney or a Rick Perry, they act as stiff and
 charismatic as a first time actor on the "Young and the Restless".

But maybe the real divide to overcome between the two coastal heavyweights is that
Washington doesn't know how to tell a good old fashioned story as only Hollywood can!
Washington doesn't understand how important it is for us to become emotionally attached to the lead characters -- we are always confused on who to root for and they always give us a compromise instead of a happy ending.

That could all change this year with the final arc of the Debt Ceiling story potentially
 stealing the spotlight from Hollywood during the exact same week the Academy Awards are airing.
If Hollywood doesn't come to the rescue and turn this into an award winning moment,
then maybe there is a conspiracy (you know how both Hollywood and Washington both
 like conspiracy theories) to keep the best Washington dramas far away from the Oscar
ceremonies...just so Hollywood can remain the Entertainment Capital of the World.

This year, "Lincoln" and Steven Spielberg seem to be the crowd favorite...but please watch with suspicion and skepticism and ask yourself why wasn't the politically charged "Occupy Wall Street" nominated- a financial thriller, whereby Alec Baldwin and Gerard Depardieu become the new "Odd Couple", as both move to Russia after Alec realizes that the interest rate on his Capital One Credit Card exceeded that of the new French income tax rate.

See you at the movies!

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