Priest: “Do you believe in God?”
Me: “The question is, does God believe in me? I do believe that at their best movies allow for a kind of God discussion — a profound communion with all dreams and faiths and spiritual longings. And that the winning of an Oscar amounts to a kind of sanctifying of the dreams and longings that a given movie contains.”
Priest: “What is it you wish to confess? You said you’ve sinned.”
Me: “I’ve been guilty of the sin of pride, Father. I’m proud of some of the stuff that I’ve written; movies that I’ve helped push into the Oscar realm to some degree, movies or actors I’ve helped to demean or degrade to some extent.”
Priest: “But God teaches us to show only love and tender mercies, my son.”
Me: “Well, I couldn’t do that when they nominated Eddie Muphy for Dreamgirls.”
In all modesty, that “kind of sanctifying” paragraph many be the cleanest and most concise explanation of the meaning of Oscar awards that I’ve ever written.
I stole the “does God believe in me?” line, of course, from Stanley Kubrick‘s Lolita (it’s spoken by James Mason‘s Humbert Humbert) , or perhaps from the original Vladimir Nabokov novel. I wouldn’t know, never having read it.