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  • 2/2/2005

The Passion of the Christ' earns 3 Oscar nominations

Mel Gibson's visceral re-enactment of the Crucifixion, "The Passion of the Christ," earned just three nominations in minor categories, including best cinematography. The independently released feature had stunned the film world with its breakout worldwide box office success.
Although Mr. Gibson's equally contentious "The Passion of the Christ" failed to secure nominations in major categories, it made the finals for best makeup and original score, in addition to cinematography. In contrast to Mr. Moore, Mr. Gibson declined to make a major lobbying effort for Oscar recognition.

"Hollywood has had three months to weigh its role in the election," reflected Andrew Breitbart, a frequent contributor of movie commentary to the Drudge Report. "They went out on a limb for the Democrats and became more partisan than ever before. Arguably,Moore lost the election for them. They don't want to see it sawed off again. They would gain nothing by reaffirming him. This is a billion-dollar industry dominated by liberals who would now prefer to play it conservative and forget about the messy politics of 2004. By ignoring both Michael Moore and Mel Gibson, they can neutralize controversy and get away from the red state/blue state memories."
When finalists in the major categories were announced by Mr. Pierson and actor Adrien Brody, some radio and TV commentators were quick to jump to the conclusion that "The Passion of the Christ" had been snubbed. A prodigious international success, "The Passion" was financed and made entirely outside the Hollywood orbit. Both the content and the marketing of the film defied conventional approval within the film industry.
These maverick features about the film prompted Barbara Nicolosi, executive director of the Act One training program for writers and executives in Hollywood, to say that Mr. Gibson was locked out of the major categories such as best film and best director for religious reasons.

The film's composer, John Debney, says he's still "very happy for Mel," noting that -- unlike other filmmakers -- Gibson didn't take out ads soliciting Oscar recognition.

Debney says, "The fact that it's gotten three nominations bodes very well for the academy and being able to sort of look at the work as professional work."

Award winners will be revealed at the 77th annual Oscar ceremony on Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theater inHollywood, Calif. ABC will telecast the event, starting at 8 p.m.

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