Political statements were more numerous than good jokes on the stage of the 2015 Academy Awards. Equal pay for women, protection of voting rights, encouragement for young gay people, acceptance of new immigrants and even a better government in Mexico all got shout outs from Oscar winners, but the movie that has made the biggest political stir got only an award for sound editing.
FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2015
That movie, "American Sniper," was the people's choice for Best Picture, according to a fan poll noted by ABC, and Clint Eastwood's Iraq War film took in more money at the box office than all the other top nominees combined. When it came to gold on Oscar night, though, "Birdman" beat it out for Best Picture and "Sniper" star Bradley Cooper had to stay put in his front row seat when the Best Actor envelope was opened and his name was not called.
Conservative pundits are sure to take this as further proof that Hollywood is out of step with real America. Eastwood, the special guest star of the 2012 Republican, was slighted. Meanwhile, that Castro-loving leftie, Sean Pean, got to stand in the spotlight and hand the Best Picture prize to Alejandro Inarritu, a gosh-darned Mexican! Good grief! John Wayne must be rolling in his grave.
This will spark the latest round in a debate about "American Sniper" that has been going on since the movie opened in December. Is the film a skillful and subtle examination of the shattering costs of war, as seen through the eyes of Navy Seal Chris Kyle? Or is it a glorification of George W. Bush's trumped up war? A lot of hot air has been expended on talk radio and cable TV news shows arguing all aspects of those questions.
So, "American Sniper" may have been ignored by Oscar, but not by me. I'm giving it a special cartoon award for all it has contributed to the American punditry business.
To see all the other extra Oscars I've awarded, go here.