Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oscar Night

I imagine many church folks made it home in time to watch Marty finally get his Best Director Oscar for his bloody Boston movie (which by the way is hardly what Southie is like these days). I was interested in Jennifer Hudson's acceptance speech, given her unabashed profession of faith. I have to admit it made me cringe a bit. Not because I don't appreciate whenever public figures are genuine believers (which I understand Miss Hudson to be); it's just that the Hollywood setting for any profession of faith is just so, well, ironic. Given the material and self-serving values of show business, not to mention the showiness, I don't know, I'd just prefer to leave Jesus out of it. Granted, the movies are a powerful medium. And I like when faith is portrayed on screen in un-caricatured fashion, as with the current film Amazing Grace (though we are talking 18th-early 19th century in his case). Still, Narnia and The Passion included (especially once you throw in Mel Gibson's after-antics), movies are still for the most part entertainment more than anything. And I can't help but struggle with making an honest connection between faith and entertainment, given that faith will most times get the short end of the stick. Except in the rarest instances (namely, when the need to make a profit is not at stake), making Holywood out of Hollywood is a long, long reach.