Thirteen things about the Alone Yet Not Alone kerfuffle

There has been a lot of sound and fury over the past six days as industry insiders and pundits of all kinds respond to the Academy’s decision to rescind the Oscar nomination for ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’, the title song to a small Christian film that almost no one had heard of until a few weeks ago, but which will now have ample fodder for its publicity campaign when it gets a wider release later this year.

I wrote about the rescindment last Wednesday, within hours of it being announced, but I figured it would be good to both take a step back and look at the film’s background, on the one hand, and summarize what the fallout has been since the Academy’s decision, on the other hand. Here, below, is a point-form summary.

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Review: The Passion of the Christ: Definitive Edition (dir. Mel Gibson, 2004)

A lot has happened since The Passion of The Christ came out three years ago and broke a series of records, becoming the top-grossing R-rated movie, the top-grossing foreign-language film, and the top-grossing religious movie of all time — at least in North America. (The Matrix Reloaded is still the top R-rated film worldwide.)

Major movie studios have tried to replicate its success — by setting up faith-oriented divisions like FoxFaith, or by producing entire biblical movies of their own, such as The Nativity Story — and the careers of several of the film’s key players continue to reflect the film’s influence. Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus, will do so again in an audio Bible for Thomas Nelson. Hristo Shopov, who played Pontius Pilate, reprised the role last year in a remake of the Italian film The Inquiry. Benedict Fitzgerald, who co-wrote the script, recently wrote a prequel of sorts called Myriam, Mother of the Christ, and sold distribution rights to the as-yet-unproduced film to MGM.

And then there is director Mel Gibson, who bucked a wave of controversy over the film’s raw violence and alleged anti-Semitism, only to be caught making racist remarks shortly before finishing the similarly gory Apocalypto last year.

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