Critics retracting their criticisms

Critics retracting their criticisms

Well, well, well, now that The Passion is a bona fide box office smash, we’re starting to hear a different tune from all those critics. Even the bishops’ conference has switched tracks. The USCCB office that reviews films took the unusual step of contradicting the board of biblical “scholars” last year who said the movie was anti-Semitic.

In remarks released Wednesday on Catholic News Service, three staff members of the USCCB’s Office for Film and Broadcasting said the film might be overly violent but not anti-Semitic. “Concerning the issue of anti-Semitism, the Jewish people are at no time blamed collectively for Jesus’ death,” said a review by Gerri Pare, David DiCerto and Anne Navarro. “Rather, Christ freely embraces his destiny.” The reviewers went on to call the movie “an artistic achievement in terms of its textured cinematography, haunting atmospherics, lyrical editing, detailed production and soulful score.”

And because nothing in Hollywood is more important than money, all those studio executives who warned Mel that he was risking his career are now saying that their earlier criticisms were misunderstood.

Mark Joseph, an entertainment executive in Los Angeles and author of the upcoming book “The Passion of Mel Gibson: The Story Behind the Most Controversial Film in Hollywood History,” said the film industry is in shock. “This town is rocking,” he said, “wondering what it all means. This is the film everyone deemed unreleasable.”

What it shows is that Hollywood and the New York entertainment execs are completely out of touch with the vast majority of Americans. Instead, they keep releasing the same bland, pointless movies (e.g. American Wedding?) rather than provide movies that actually appeal to the rest of us. Of course, these people still don’t get it, but we’ll be getting their version of what they think we want in biblical epics, probably some eroticized version of the Samson and Delilah story or a movie that depicts David and Jonathan as homosexuals. Hey, it’s a biblical movie, what’s the problem?, they’ll ask. They’re lost.

And then there’s John Kerry, a day late and a dollar short, saying he’s not sure he’s going to see the movie because it might be anti-Semitic. George W. Bush understands and relates to the majority of Americans. John Kerry doesn’t.