Oscars overlooks ‘The Passion’ for best picture

.- The worldwide 2004 box-office hit “The Passion of the Christ” was shut out in the nominations for best picture category of the Oscars.

Mel Gibson’s film on the last hours of Christ’s life was also out of all of the other major award categories. It did, however, land three minor nominations for makeup, cinematography and score. It won a People's Choice Award for best drama film earlier this month.

Liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore was also shut out of the best picture category for his anti-Bush flick "Fahrenheit 9/11."

He had withdrawn his film from the documentary category, which he won two years ago for "Bowling for Columbine," in order to take his chances on the best picture prize. No documentary has ever won best picture in Oscar history.

Despite Gibson’s Passion of the Christ being overlooked, Catholic League President William Donahue questioned, “so how do we explain the three nominations, even if they are second-tier categories? Chalk it up to Hollywood guilt. Having been criticized for months for not giving Mel a fair shake, it looks like the Hollywood elite got the message. In any event, it seems plain that Catholic guilt has been successfully exported to Hollywood. And by any standard, this is truly a miracle for the ages.”

Donahue cited numerous Hollywood observers including an article in Newsweek, which claimed, “A lot of older Academy voters, who are largely Jewish, refuse to even see this movie.”

The article further noted that, “Hollywood, with its Jewish roots, did not experience ‘The Passion’ as a transcendent religious and emotional event, as many other viewers did.”