One of the main purposes of movies existing is their power to "escape"
Entertainment may not seem like as important as providing for your family or serving in your community but it is important in that it gives people the ability to smile and bond with others. People of different backgrounds and opinion can unite on how much they enjoy a movie.
History shows how much the movie business has helped others through trying times. During the Great Depression, people went to see movies from the likes of the Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin to take a break and laugh before going back to the struggles of a bleak economy. There are some films that try to make us learn, challenge our thoughts and opinions on certain things and people through a different perspective, and tell us a story no one thought could be told. Overall though, the most financially successful box-office movies have been more lighthearted and formulaic-based entertainment. And there is nothing wrong with that because sometimes the masses need a movie that's not as realistic but has the good guys winning in the end.
Nowadays, in an age of social media and audiences being more aware of the men and women behind the curtain, along with the giant cloud hanging over us in the shape of a distorted old face and a cheap blond wig. A character molded out of mustache-twirling villains of old Hollywood so one dimensional that even silent film audiences would have their intelligence insulted with his one-dimensional persona.
The Hollywood illusion is shattering day-by-day, and that is not entirely bad because it's exposing the horror and filth the entertainment business has been covering up for decades. It's giving women and minorities more opportunities to display their talent in a business dominated by white men.
Can you even give me the name of a women director?
Kathryn Bigelow, director of "Point Break", "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty", and.....*crickets.*
What About Men? | Portlandia | IFC youtu.be
Men's Film Festival | Portlandia | IFC youtu.be
While it's great to see the old conventions of the movie business break, the agenda to break it in the business and society has completely shattered movies greatest power over the years: to escape.
This movement of change in Hollywood has especially deconstructed all of their major award shows, and it will once again with the upcoming 2019.
You see the Oscars, especially the past two shows, have become ALL ABOUT POLITICS.
Think about the last two Academy Award ceremonies and the cringe-worthy jokes Jimmy Kimmel made about the President.
In nearly every Oscar speech, it's the same buzzwords: "Love wins", "We must stand together" and "Now more than ever". No to say that those words aren't true, but now EVERYONE feels obliged to say things like that in their speech to the point that it's not as genuinely inspiring.
What's also annoying about every single person in Hollywood becoming an activist is that history shows how hypocritical the movie industry has been towards women and minorities, highlighted by the exposure of big names like Harvey Weinstein which inspired the #MeToo movement and the #OscarsSoWhite controversy where no minority actor/actress received a single nomination in back-to-back years.
This doesn't mean that anyone who's genuinely concerned about current affairs and their award-winning movie was inspired by social issues shouldn't be silenced. If someone wins an Oscar and were genuinely inspired by a current issue in making their movie then they should feel obliged to raise awareness for it in their speech.
The measure of extreme political correctness Hollywood has gone to has reached a point of hilarity because this year there will be NO OSCAR HOST. The original confirmed host was Kevin Hart, but of course, due to some of his old tweets that made reference to homophobia, Hart was out, and no one has put their name in the hat. Therefore, NO OSCAR HOST.
The extremes Hollywood has gone towards to make everyone happy has taken these movements with great intentions into farces. During the awards show, expect celebrities making self-aware jokes about being unable to get an Oscar host due to the obsessive relentlessness to achieve perfect political correctness. Most the awards will go to worthy winners (though half of them will also be the academy trying to be politically correct) and expect long-think pieces on the internet about how this one movie or actor got robbed because of politics. Expect more politically motivated acceptance speeches that devalue the speeches that are genuinely touching and inspiring.
And expect think-pieces about how the Academy of old white guys voted "Green Book" to be Best Picture to make them feel good about themselves in identifying with the white protagonist who protects and defends a black performer as his bodyguard. (I haven't seen the movie yet so maybe it deserves it anyway.)
What the Academy Awards need to do this year and in the future is to moderate a balance in politics and escapist entertainment. Honestly, there's only been a few movies I've seen over the past couple of years that have made forget what's going on in the world for a fleeting period of time. What we need is an entertainment industry we've always relied on to fall under the spell of movie magic where we can simply escape and breathe easy again.
Even though I've been complaining about how much the Oscars and movie business hasn't been that fun anymore, I would totally be doing backflips and popping champagne if "Black Panther" won Best Picture.