If you know me, you know I have an Oscar party every year. Last year was cancelled due to Covid and again this year too. However, I did watch with a friend and what a night it was. The image above is the cast of CODA, which truly deserved the Best Picture award. (they won every award they were nominated for.) I watched most of the nominated movies and am happy to share my thoughts on some of them in this week’s blog.

Before I share how amazing CODA is, I must briefly comment on the big elephant in the Oscar room – Will Smith and Chris Rock. I am not one to stir controversy in my blog so all I will say is the whole thing was a train-wreck. Both sides were wrong. Who was wronger? Not going there. The evening is about rewarding hard work, excellence in your craft, and fashion. Of course, the gossip, jokes at other’s expense, star gazing happens every year. This year, got out of control. Enough said.

If you haven’t seen CODA(Child of Deaf Adults), get Apple TV streaming and watch it. It so deserved Best Picture, Best Adaptive Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor. Power of the Dog was nominated for 12 awards (it only won Best Director). It was the “favorite.” I watched Power of the Dog and I don’t recommend it to anyone. It was good acting but disturbing to watch and pretty pointless, in my opinion. So when CODA picked up steam prior to the awards ceremony, I was hopeful. If you don’t know the story, it’s a family who is deaf except their daughter. She desires to pursue music. I will warn you there is language and choices against my belief system. Yet, my whole family watched it and loved it. Also, CODA actor Troy Katsur is the first deaf man to win an Oscar. Marlee Matlin (his costar) was the first deaf woman to win an Oscar years ago for Children of a Lesser God.

Several other movies nominated are worth the watch. The Eyes of Tammy Faye moved me to tears multiple times in the show. Jessica Chastain deserved the Oscar for Best Actress last night. If you remember the story of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker’s rise and fall, this movie captures it all. It’s the untold story of this woman who truly loved God and wanted to share His love to everyone. She was unique in her approaches and made mistakes. Yet, her heart for God shined in this movie. I can’t say enough good things about this one.

While movies these days continue to push the envelope on topics that make us uncomfortable and show images that none of us should see, there are quite a few quality movies out there. The lessons I learn and the way I am challenged in the art of film inspire me. I may not like every movie I watch but if I am changed for the better, it’s worth it. One example is Belfast. It was an OK movie. However, I knew nothing of that period in history and did a deeper dive after the movie. Great – I learned and grew from it.

I encourage you to always be wise in what you allow into your mind, eyes, ears, and heart. Watch movies with God’s eyes to see the brokenness of characters and how they overcome or fail. Turn a movie experience into a prayer time with God. Talk to Him about what you learned, saw, and discovered. Seek wisdom from all you input into your life. We shouldn’t live so sheltered that we aren’t aware of the “real” world.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. ~ Philippians 4:8-9 MSG

Go watch a good movie!

Dream Big! Pray Big!

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