It is award season! And after the “Year of the Bible” two Christian movies have been nominated! You might ask “What movies? What awards? An Oscar? Academy Award? Critic’s Choice?” No, none of those. I hope one day, but that day is not today. The Award that has seen the nomination of two Christian films is… The Razzies, or The Golden Raspberry Award. What is this award? Well, the categories are things such as “Worst movie of the year””worst actor” “worst actress” you get the picture.
How does that make you, as the reader, feel? I am going to make a case for why that is a good thing and it has nothing to do with “any publicity is good publicity.” Let me start by sharing the nominees.
And The Nominees for the 35th Golden Raspberry Award for worst picture of the year are….
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Legend of Hercules
Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
Before I share why this is a good thing let me share something I take issue with. You see, I completely understand Left Behind, but Saving Christmas? Let me make one thing clear, I did not see Saving Christmas, so I am not saying that it was or wasn’t bad. The reason this one surprises me is because it was a much smaller release that would have been more in line with former Christian movies. Not to mention that I feel that fifth spot could have easily been filled by The Amazing Spider-man 2 or Transcendence, both of which were highly anticipated and disappointed across the board. Spider-man was so disappointing that it has caused the entire franchise to be called into question.
The temptation for Christians might be to look at this and accuse “Hollywood” of choosing these because of their Christian slant. I considered this for a moment but there are two major reasons why I feel this has nothing to do with their Christian message. The first reason is that if it was because of the Christian message, God’s Not Dead is low hanging fruit. It’s message was bolder and still very low in quality. So if the point was to make fun of Christians God’s Not Dead would be the way to go… The Rolling Stone Magazine included it in their 10 worst films of 2014. The second reason I don’t think this decision is religiously motivated is because the Razzies have been around for 35 years. I could not find a single other Christian film that was nominated in the past 35 years and I promise you that there are plenty that could have been.
So why is this a good thing? Well, because, for the past 35 years Christian movies have been left alone by the Razzies. Why had the Razzies gone this long before they nominated a Christian film? Because they were not taken seriously before! The same reason that they nominated these movies this year, is the same reason I began this blog! The film industry knows that there is money in Faith based movies! Now that it is known that faith based movies make money it should be easier to find investors but with that, quality should begin to rise. Why is it good that Left Behind was nominated for a Razzie? Because with the Left Behind budget and content it should have been a better movie and the Industry knows it. They are treating the Left Behind movie like any other film in the industry. They are calling them out and saying “If you want to run with the big dogs you got to run harder!” I see these nominations as a message from Hollywood saying “Come on! We know you can do better than this!” In this light, suddenly it does not seem like the movies are being included to make fun of them on the grounds of religion, but rather they are finally getting the respect of being acknowledged! They aren’t being ignored anymore! This is fantastic news! This is a great time in Christian film making! It is now very important that we respond by respecting our own work. Lets produce work worthy of respect. Let’s demand a product from our Christian movies that is worth of respect.
I am so very happy that two Christian movies were nominated for awards and I can promise you I will be rooting for Left Behind to win Worst Picture of 2014…. Because it deserves to win! Even the Dove Awards decided to ignore it!