SAN DIEGO, February 24, 2015 — There was a powerful message subliminally communicated throughout the recent Academy Awards show.
Amid the recent Oscar buzz, excitement, Sunday night awards and celebrations that followed, it is undeniable that six out of the eight Best Picture awards nominations were based in full or in part on true stories.
Those nominations included:
-“American Sniper”: Based on the true story of Navy Seal and American hero Chris Kyle.
-“Boyhood”: Based on 12 years from the real life of childhood actor Ellar Coltrane.
-“The Imitation Game”: Portraying the amazing story of legendary genius and cryptanalyst Alan Turing and his contributions to the success of World War II.
-“Selma”: Based on the inspirational true story and life of Martin Luther King.
-“The Theory of Everything”: Based on the amazing life of modern physicist and genius, Stephen Hawking.
-“Whiplash”: Based loosely on the real-life experience of the movie’s writer and director, Damien Chazelle, who played in Princeton’s high school jazz orchestra as a young man.
Even though “Birdman” won the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday night, the message is clear that real life stories and portrayals resonate within the human heart.
There is an ever-increasing and often unexpressed desire for the presence of authenticity in everyday life.
According to Rebecca J. Erickson, in her book “Symbolic Interaction,” “The transition from industrial to post-industrial society and from modern to post-modern culture has led to increased interest in authenticity.”
With art imitating life, it is not surprising that real stories about real people are revered and growing in popularity.
Merriam-Webster defines authenticity as real or genuine, not copied or false.
The word “authentic” implies that something is exactly as it appears to be–and that it is unquestionably worthy of belief.
Whether it is an object, a piece of written material or the spoken word, anything that appears honest and true is perceived as having integrity.
As a movie is viewed and experienced by any moviegoer, it stirs the emotions, encourages thought and heightens consciousness.
It is an experience that captivates the senses.
Whether considered a positive or negative movie-going experience, its impact lingers as an indelible memory.
Throughout 2014, moviegoers experienced exceptional, real-life people whose footprint will last a lifetime.
Their contributions to the world were portrayed as:
-How one man’s genius helped to save the Allies during World War II and led to the development of the modern computer.
-How an American hero and patriot sacrificed his life for his country.
-How the pain and suffering of early childhood experiences became an invaluable life lesson.
-How the genius of a modern-day physicist overcame the impossible odds created by disability and offered the world great insights and discoveries.
-How one courageous man became a social soldier, contributing his life to break down barriers and create a better world for future generations.
In an interview with director Ava DuVernay by ABC News, DuVernay said that “Hollywood loves its biopics….It’s easier to sell a biopic….It’s automatically rooted.”
All over the world there is growing discontent, mistrust and fear of leaders of all kinds and of world affairs.
Many known and trusted people and institutions have been a grave source of disappointment and betrayal.
In a world of increasing dependence and social engagement through technology and animation, portrayals of what is real are badly needed now more than ever.
Movies that represent real superheroes provide inspiration and hope. They remind us that their obstacles and challenges may have been different from those faced today, but of equal significance.
From their example, we are reminded that today’s challenges are the pressing issues of our own time.
Which raises the question: Do people today have the courage, commitment, intelligence, ingenuity and perseverance to resolve today’s dilemmas and create a better world for future generations?
Maybe the answer will be discovered by viewing a spectacular movie, based on real life, 20 years from now.
Who knows? It just might end up being on the list of nominations for the Academy Awards Best Picture of the year in 2035!
Hopefully, we will see each other at the Oscars.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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