PopZette

Three Movies Conservatives Should See Before Oscar Night

These right-leaning films have already earned recognition and are worth the time before Sunday

While the majority of films recognized by the Academy Awards each year tend to be obscure flicks with heavy social agendas, this year’s crop of distinguished movies includes a few that right-leaning entertainment lovers may want to catch before Sunday night’s ceremony.

Let’s take a look at three movies that conservative-leaning audiences may find themselves rooting for on Oscar night.

Critics may have given near-universal acclaim to the film, but they likely didn’t realize they were watching a conservative-friendly movie.

“Hell or High Water”
This modern-day Western released in August earned rave reviews and became a sleeper hit at the box office. It’s the story of two brothers (played by Chris Pine and Ben Foster) who are robbing banks to raise enough cash to save their family’s land in Texas. Hot on their trail is a soon-to-be-retired Texas Ranger played by Jeff Bridges.

Critics may have given near-universal acclaim to the film, but they likely didn’t realize they were watching a conservative-friendly movie. On top of holding dear to its heart all the elements that make for a great Western, the script for “High Water” presents characters that all had a bad taste in their mouths for government and the elites who robbed their land of jobs and opportunity.

Bridges explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly last year that the film captured the spirit of the Trump voter without vilifying them: “The story the movie is telling shines a light on why the election went the way that it did, and how seriously disappointed many people have been in the way that the government is running.” The actor also revealed he was “rooting” for Trump as president.

Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan shared similar thoughts when speaking to SFGate in a recent interview. Sheridan said the film represented people from rural America who feel “betrayed” by the current political Establishment: “We can’t assign beliefs to people who don’t have a voice to express them. And we can’t assume what someone thinks. I knew these people, and they weren’t what Bill Maher was saying they were.”

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“Hell or High Water” is up for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Bridges), Best Original Screenplay (Taylor Sheridan), and Best Film Editing (Jake Roberts). It’s likely a film that won’t go home with many golden statues because of its lack of any major leftist agendas, but it’s a fine movie that serves as a breath of fresh air for those tired of Hollywood products that put politics and agendas above story and character.

Related: Why We Still Love Westerns

“Lion”
“Lion” is a simple movie compared to other Academy Award nominees. It’s a film about an adopted man who travels to India in search of his biological parents. It’s a thought-provoking film about family and the value of parental relationships.

It has a lot to say and ask about familial bonds and never gets political with blatant agendas. “Lion” is up for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Dev Patel), Best Supporting Actress (Nicole Kidman), Best Original Music Score (Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka), Best Adapted Screenplay (Luke Davies), and Best Cinematography (Greig Fraser).

Related: Bona-Fide Sensation ‘Lion’ Celebrates Family

“Hacksaw Ridge”
The fact that “Hacksaw Ridge” earned major Academy Award nominations is a huge step forward for the faith-based film genre. Even the colossally successful “Passion of the Christ” — also directed by Mel Gibson — didn’t get the kind of awards attention that “Ridge” has gotten thus far.

The film follows the story of Desmond T. Doss, a Medal of Honor recipient and conscientious objector to World War II. He refused to abandon his faith or a fellow soldier on the battlefield. At the Battle of Okinawa, Doss saved at least 70 men under extreme circumstances without ever holding a gun.

Gibson’s telling of the story was one that dug deep into the true meaning of courage, honor, and faith. It is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Best Director (Mel Gibson), Best Sound Editing (John Gilbert), Best Sound Editing (Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright), and Best Sound Mixing (Peter Grace, Robert Mackenzie, Kevin O’Connell, and Andy Wright).

A faith-based movie directed by Mel Gibson is unlikely to walk away with major awards like Best Picture on Sunday, knowing the Academy — but the awards and box office success of “Ridge” mean only good things for the genre as a whole.

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PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected].