By Kate Hawley

San Francisco Chronicle movie critic Mick LaSalle leads his article about this year’s Oscar nominations with a joke about how the Academy Awards provide fodder for “spiritual reflection.” The Washington Times agrees, but they’re not kidding. In a round-up of Oscar nominations, writer Gary Arnold interviews Barbara Nicolosi, executive director of Act One, a religious training center for movie producers and writers, who denounces the exclusion of The Passion of the Christ from the best picture category, saying, “I don’t know any other way to explain it but religious bigotry.” Arnold’s piece touts The Passion (and gloats that Fahrenheit: 9/11 was universally overlooked), making The Times’ ideological slant clear. But his piece raises the question of how Christians deeply affected by the film will react to its omission by the Academy, which is clearly relying as it traditionally has on a broad, mainstream artistic sensibility.