Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vatican Newspaper Rips Hollywood's "Hopeless" Vision

Rome, Feb. 26, 2008 (CWNews.com) - An essay in the official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano argues that this year's Oscar awards went to films that portray America as a society "without hope."

The signed column by Gaetano Vallini was critical of Oscar-winning films such as No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. These movies and others nominated for Academy Awards are "sinister, filled with violence, and above all, without hope," the writer said.

Vallini found fault especially with No Country for Old Men, saying that the film by Joel and Ethan Coen-- which garner 4 Oscars including the coveted "Best Picture" award-- was marred by "absurd and mindless acts of violence." While praising the craftsmanship of the Coen brothers, he said that their picture showed a "lack of moral conscience." The message of the movie, he said, seemed to "obliterate the American dream."

Worse, the L'Osservatore Romano critic continued, "this clearly pessimistic view that the United States offers of itself through movies" was confirmed by the Oscar awards, in which the film industry honored the pictures that offered this grim vision.

Vallini pointed that the independent filmmakers, working outside the orbit of Hollywood, chose to honor movies with a more positive message, such as Juno, the story of a young woman coping with an unexpected pregnancy. He also praised The Diving Bell and the Butterfly as a film that, "going against the prevailing trend, portrays the beauty of life."

1 comment:

  1. Yes, There Will be Blood offered a hopeless picture of humanity, as did No County for Old Men. It must be said that the book for No Country does a better job at lamenting the fact that humanity has sunk to such depths of evil. This message comes off in the movie, though, in more of a matter of fact sort of manner. The sheriff from the neighboring county in the movie who makes such observations about humanity is portrayed as sort of an old fashioned buffoon. In the movie when Tom Bell makes similar observations, he comes across as numbed by the state of affairs. In the book, however, the observations about how evil people can be is made with a more down to earth and keener perspective than in the movie.


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