In 1962 Gregory Peck won the Best Actor Award for “To Kill a Mockingbird” for his portrayal of Atticus Finch. Peck, in that role, embodied for many all that is noble and great in the American man. The roles celebrated by the Academy nowadays seem to be a little different.
1990 – Jeremy Irons – Claus Von Bulow who murdered his wife
1991 – Anthony Hopkins – Cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter
1993 – Tom Hanks – Gay lawyer with AIDS
1994 – Tom Hanks – Mentally challenged optimist Forrest Gump
1995 – Nicolas Cage – Drinks himself to death with hooker
1997 – Jack Nicholson – OCD racist
1999 – Kevin Spacey – Unemployed pedophile wanna-be
2001 – Denzel Washington – Crooked murderous cop
2005 – Philip Seymour Hoffman – Played Truman Capote.
2006 – Forest Whitaker – Murderous tyrant Idi Amin.
2007 – Daniel Day-Lewis – Murderous Amoral Capitalist
2008 – Sean Penn – Gay Activist Harvey Milk
I think this list says a lot more about how Hollywood sees America than it does America as a whole.
Everyone remembers the scene, when Scout, Atticus Finch’s daughter, was goaded by an African-American in the balcony to stand up in respect because her father was passing.
Out of those recent Oscar winning roles, which would make you stand up?