The biggest non-reported story this past Oscar season was Mel Gibson's obvious artistic collapse following the best picture success of his previous film Braveheart. How else to explain the failure of The Passion of The Christ to garner nominations in any category above cinematography (if nothing else the film should have been recognized for best screenplay based upon an existing work.) Unexplainable, unless you consider Michael Medved's assertion that most Academy members didn't bother watching the film due to simple lack of interest in what was obviously a pro-Christian film. Searing expositions of the price of sin have never proved compelling to those earnestly avoiding a bill.
With this new softer cut of The Passion Mel looks poised to make another 100 million or so, God bless him. Those bewailing the fact that even the presence of a possibly obscene urban anti-host couldn't keep the viewer numbers falling from last year might imagine what the figures might have looked like if a brave and wildly popular independent art film such as The Passion had been given some appropriate due. On the other hand, why should Mel's work serve to increase the amount of ad revenue a major network can ask next year for a 30 second BMW commercial?
Perhaps most telling is that Icon Movies didn't need Oscar any more than 911 remembrances require the speaking services of Ward Churchill, or the government of Iraq desires the emotional support of Sean Penn, or The Left Behind series needs the endorsement of Andy Rooney, or John Kerry benefited from the vote-or-die threats of Puff Daddy, or...you get the picture.