There used to be a lemon-flavored candy sold in movie theaters called Lemon Heads.
It is one of the movies’ all-time greatest sour treats.
That honor may now be bestowed on first-time documentary director Dinesh D’Souza.
D’Souza, who is known more for his conservative commentary than his movie making skills, sent this newspaper a press earlier in the week saying how happy he was that his film about President Barack Obama was not included for an Academy Award.
“I want to thank the Academy for not nominating our film,” D’Souza said. “By ignoring 2016: Obama’s America, the top performing box office hit of 2012 and pretending that films like Searching For Sugar Man and This Is Not A Film are more deserving of an Oscar, our friends in Hollywood have removed any doubt average Americans may have had that liberal political ideology, not excellence, is the true standard of what receives awards.”
The press release goes on to quote the documentary’s producer Gerald Molen.
“Dinesh warned me this might happen,” said Molen who won an Oscar for his work on Schindlers List. “The action confirms my opinion that the bias against anything from a conservative point of view is dead on arrival in Hollywood circles. The film’s outstanding success means that America went to see the documentary in spite of how Hollywood feels about it.”
The film did make a lot of money — $33.5 million at the box office —to be exact. It was second only to Michael Moore’s top grossing documentary Fahrenheit 911.
But it takes more than box office receipts to garner one of the 15 nominations in the category of best documentary feature — or at least it should.
D’Souza movie pulled in a lot of people, but reality shows like “Honey Boo Boo” do too. Popularity rarely equals excellence.
Critics for the most part have savaged the documentary. An Associated Press fact-checker called the film, “almost entirely subjective and a logical stretch at best.”
D’Souza has tried to wave away such reviews as being from left-leaning critics and media outlets.
But our criticism of the film is that it did not really take the president to task for any of his real missteps over the last four years. Instead the documentary portrayed Obama as the “Great Pretender”who is suspiciously foreign and a Harvard elitist. The filmmaker tries to show how those early anti-American influences on Obama are shaping his decisions as president.
Considering that D’Souza is himself an Indian-born, Dartmouth graduate, that argument is laughable.
An Academy Award for an 87-minute campaign ad? We don’t think so.
But pretending that it is an honor not to be nominated? That really deserves an Oscar.