Recognizing the power that films have to influence and reflect the human condition, on the eve of the Academy Awards we present our own
2005 CINEMA IN FOCUS 4-STAR AWARDS:
Best Picture: “MILLIONS”
If you suddenly had a large amount of money fall into your lap, what would you do with it? Would you consider it a gift from God to be used for His purposes, or would you consider it a private windfall to be spent on your desires? Would you give it to the poor or use it for conveniences and toys? This question is explored in Danny Boyle’s comedy “Millions.”
Best Picture Depicting Spiritual Values: “THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH and THE WARDROBE”
C.S. Lewis once noted that if you cannot explain a theological concept in simple terms, then you don’t fully understand it. Putting this belief into practice, Lewis created a fictional world of Narnia in which he taught the principles of Christian faith to children. However, not only children have fallen in love with his moving tales that speak of God’s sacrificial love and trustworthy care, adults and scholars have been inspired by his insights as well.
Best Picture Depicting Community Values: “COACH CARTER”
“Coach Carter” tells the true story of one man’s commitment to bring a group of Richmond, California, high school basketball players into adulthood with a sense of achievement. In 1999, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) reluctantly takes on a job as the high school basketball coach of his hometown school and finds himself face-to-face with boys who only dream of celebrity sports. For these young men, there is only a fantasy of the life of a sports star, not the reality of personal achievement.
Best Picture Depicting Personal Growth: “THE GOSPEL”
The tension of being a child in a pastor’s family is legendary. From the early experiences with God that imprint one’s soul to the pressure of living in a glass house surrounded by the watching congregation, the pastor’s child struggles with both the authenticity and the hypocrisy they find. When this unique family life is compounded by a father who is absent doing “God’s work” and a mother who is taken from him at a crucial age by death, the child can easily lose their way.
Best Actor In An Inspirational Role: CHARLIZE THERON in “NORTH COUNTRY”
There are so many freedoms we enjoy each day, and in so doing we are oblivious to the price that was paid to achieve them. Sometimes those freedoms have been won in our lifetime, but the change has been so profound that we can easily forget how different the world used to be. “North Country” is a fictionalized account of the landmark 1984 sexual harassment case at the Eveleth Mines in Minnesota.