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Marcella Hains writes:
"As an American citizen, I am embarrased that something as as inane as Gump
has made Hollywood history as best picture of 1994.  Fortunately nothing
is static in this world, and as an optimist I'll resign myself to looking
for a change in the output from Hollywood for the future.
Perhaps we will look back at this time, with Newt and Contract with America
plus attacks on freedom of expression on the Net, and think, Yes, Gump
and only Gump could have been named best picture as a symbol of the mid-
ninties conservative swing."
Before we get too incensed at the Oscars, let's remember that rewards for
*real* quality tend to be the exception, rather than the rule.  Just go
back and look at the films that were and were not nominated in 1968 alone--
2001 ROSEMARY'S BABY were excluded in favor of big-star big-theme historical
films (THE LION IN WINTER) and Musicals (OLIVER--the winner!).  I think
that the two latter films are perfectly nice, but hardly in the same
company as at the least the two that were excluded.
And the pattern repeats itself, year by year.  The Oscars are, after all,
Hollywood's collective pat on its own back for A Job Well Done and its
Social Concern (when a routine but brassy biopic like GHANDI wins).
The Oscars, like Hollywood in general, are concerned with "Art" only when
it's culturally acceptable or when it meets Hollywood's own standards.
--Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN