The Military and the Oscars

Through the years, the Military has been portrayed in many ways by Hollywood; sometimes good, sometimes not so good.  From “The Sands of Iwo Jima” to “Top Gun”, “Hot Shots” to “Memphis Belle”, there have been all types of Military movies that have graced the silver screen. We, the hubby and I, happen to be ridiculous suckers for this and own a plethora of military movies and documentaries.  So, any year where a Military related movie is up for an Oscar we try to see it, and we definitely pay special attention to it.



The Invisible War: “The Invisible War” is a documentary that was nominated for Best Full-length Documentary.  It is a film discussing the topic of Military sexual assault.  It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and won several awards at various festivals, both in the United States and internationally.  My husband and I watched this documentary.  Saying that you liked a documentary about such a difficult topic sounds weird when you say it out loud, but I’m not sure how else to express myself.  “The Invisible War” follows the story of a handful of service members that have been the victims of assault within the military and how it has affected their lives.    It is most definitely an eye-opening account of how their specific cases were handled, what they experienced.  Many things have changed, and are continuing to change for victims within the military.   This is an excellent documentary in my opinion, and even though it is very one-sided in the sense that it doesn’t spend too much time exploring any positive things done, or how things were beginning to change, I understand that that was not the focus of this film.  I give it three out of four stars.

Zero Dark Thirty: “Zero Dark Thirty” was nominated for five academy awards – Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing.  I’m not going to lie; I was very shocked that Kathryn Bigelow (along with Ben Affleck) was not nominated for Best Director.  That isn’t something that happens too often.  This film chronicles the hunt for Bin Laden, focusing on the young and brilliant female CIA agent who devoted her career to the hunt.  What I wouldn’t give to meet this woman, who is presently still employed by “The Agency” and I’m sure is a rock star.  We haven’t seen this movie, but I can tell you I am chomping at the bit to see it.  Having seen the National Geographic’s full-length film on this topic I am eager to compare and contrast.  “Zero Dark Thirty” was met with mixed reactions – ranging from “we shouldn’t have made a movie at all,” to scrutinizing the timing of its release, from how the information was obtained to who was President.  The truth of the matter is we will probably never know, and I frankly don’t care who was President.  The fact is, all that takes away from having men and women putting their lives on the line to complete the task at hand and keep us safe.   That’s all I care about, and that’s what I want to honor.

The last two films I wanted to touch on are not military-themed movies per se, but they took place during such a significant time in our history and involved our military to varying degrees, that I feel like we should at least acknowledge them.

Argo: While not a specific military movie the hostage situation in Iran was quite tumultuous. We had military involved, captured at the Embassy, a failed rescue attempt (Operation Eagle Claw) that killed eight members of the Marine Corp and Air Force.  “Argo” was nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Original Score.  It walked away with Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.  This was an excellent movie and other then a little added intensity at the end, it was accurate in keeping with what occurred.  I also appreciated seeing pictures of the real hostages, at the end.  Four out of Four Stars from me on this one.

Lincoln: While this movie focuses on the man, even though we were fighting against each other, our military was definitely involved in the Civil War.  During the Civil war there was a total of 625,000 deaths from combat or related injuries and exposure, with another 280,000 and more wounded.  The movie specifically follows Lincoln during the Civil War, the discussion of his Emancipation Proclamation and the freeing of slaves, through his assassination.  You had African American soldiers fighting in this war because they believed in their country, they believed in their freedom. They fought because they looked up to and honored this man who had worked to set them free.  It was nominated for a hefty number, twelve awards and walked away with two – Best Actor, Daniel Day Lewis (100% agree with that choice) and Best Production Design.  Four out of four stars.


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