The Oscars are coming, and I haven’t seen almost any of the movies. As I scrolled through category after category of Oscar nominations only to find a small handful of films I’ve seen, I understood that I’ve been living under a rock for the whole year. In fact, I’ve been under two rocks—the rock of College and the rock of Christianity.
Living on campus without a car is not unlike being a part of the Gilligan’s Island castaways: you have interesting people for company and plenty of bamboo-rigged conveniences, but there’s no escape, and your only connection to the outside world is a radio. I really had planned to see some of these movies, but I was just too busy curled up in my dorm-room cave.
Christianity is a weightier rock, to be sure. As a child growing up in the “Christian bubble” I was rightly sheltered from many films, but parental censorship no longer applies to my life, and I have to figure out for myself how to honor God with my movie-going decisions. There’s no hard and fast rule; but when five of the eight films nominated for best picture are rated R, I’ll usually just give up the task of weighing the merits of each individual film and go see Inside Out for the second or third time.
I may be one of mass of people that are out of touch with the Oscars, and chances are—you are too. But I realize that it’s not always bad to be behind the times with our engagement with popular culture. While we can all celebrate the artistic talent and hard work that is highlighted in the Oscars, the best kind of cultural engagement is dictated by our interests, our time, and our faith.