Note: The purpose of this series of posts — “Critiquing Movieguide” — is to point out times that Movieguide makes me facepalm. As a follower of Jesus and a lover of movies, Movieguide should be speakin’ my language. But they don’t. Often. Horribly.
My thoughts on a post published recently on Movieguide: “Movieguide Awards Showcase Both Ethnic And Cultural Diversity” (you can read the whole article by clicking here):
For us it’s all about how spiritually inspiring the actor or actress’s performance is and how spiritually inspiring the movie is.
This sounds pretty vague. How do you determine how “spiritually inspiring” an actor or actress’s performance, or movie, is? The reason I ask is because performances and movies I myself have found “spiritually inspiring” I know Movieguide wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. For example: Watchmen (2009) and Evil Dead (2013) are two of the most spiritually inspiring movies I’ve ever seen. Both remind me why I believe in God: The world is a fallen place and God, the source of love, is, ultimately, our only hope.
…most of our nominees are mainstream movies that the average moviegoer has not only heard about but loves.
Why does this matter? Just because audiences know about something and love it doesn’t make it good. For example: Deadpool (2016). Audiences love that movie, and it has made nearly $300 million so far. By all accounts, Deadpool is a movie that “…the average moviegoer has not only heard about but loves.” (I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t judge it for myself yet.) And yet Movieguide panned it. I know Deadpool is the exception and not the rule — that there are plenty of movies that are popular that are also more morally sound than Deadpool — but I still stand by what I think: “Popular” does not equal “Good,” and thus “…most of our nominees are mainstream movies that the average moviegoer has not only heard about but loves,” is nothing to gloat about. Goodness can come from anywhere — even from a movie few people have heard about. For example: Whisper of the Heart (1995). That’s a movie that few people in America know about, and yet it is the best movie that I have ever seen.