We’re a little bit (okay, a lot) excited about the Academy Awards this year – the red carpet glamour, the little gold statuettes, and yes, the fantastic lineup of films. When this Sunday February 26th rolls around, we’ll be ready to geek out movie-style with our popcorn and personalized Oscar ballots.
Meanwhile, Repair the World decided to do something special in honor of Oscar season. The best films have a way of not only touching our hearts, but inspiring our consciences as well. Many of this year’s Best Picture nominees touch on social issues – from domestic worker rights to healthcare to taking care of the world’s children. We took a closer look at the nine nominees and paired each one with a non-profit organization that is doing world-changing work related to the films’ themes. Think of it as Hollywood-inspired service. As you enjoy the Oscars this year, take a minute to learn more about or get involved with one (or several!) of the organizations featured below.
And the 2012 Best Picture Nominees are…
The story*: As the era of silent films draws to a close, two actors find their careers and their relationship influenced by the coming of talking pictures.
The org: Screen Actors Guild Foundation
What they do: Volunteer with SAG Foundation’s many programs that assist struggling actors.
The story: The complexities of life, death and family relations challenge a man faced with losing his wife.
The org: Caring Bridge
What they do: Help connect families around illness, and make the act of giving care to a sick family member easier.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The story: A young boy who may have Asperger’s syndrome must deal with the loss of his father on September 11.
The org: 9/11 Day of Service
What they do: Organize an annual national day of service in memory of September 11th.
The story: In the racially charged climate of Jackson, Mississippi, in 1963, a young white Southerner convinces a group of African-American maids to relate their experiences working in white households.
The org: Domestic Workers United and and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
What they do: Work to establish fair labor practices for domestic workers / Run a domestic workers campaign called Shalom Bayit.
The story: Hugo Cabret is a young Parisian orphan who lives hidden away in the vast Gare Montparnasse train station.
The org: Covenant House
What they do: Help young people without a home find their way.
Midnight in Paris
The story: On a trip to Paris with his fiancée, a screenwriter is filled with nostalgia for the Paris of the 1920s, when artists and writers flocked to the City of Light in a celebrated period of creativity.
The org: 826 National
What they do: Run eight writing and tutoring centers for kids across the country.
The story: Following a devastating loss to the New York Yankees in the 2001 playoffs, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and his assistant, Peter Brand, devise a statistics-based formula for choosing potential players.
The org: Geeks Without Borders and Peace Players International
What they do: Utilize technology for the greater good / unite and inspire young people in divided communities through sports.
The Tree of Life
The story: A middle-aged man’s contemplation of the pattern and meaning of his life is interwoven with moments from his childhood in a small Texas town.
The org: Fresh Air Fund
What they do: Fresh Air children are boys and girls who live in New York City and are eager to experience the simple pleasures of life outside the city. Volunteer as a camp counselor or host a child and be a part of creating unforgettable memories.
The story: The horrors of war are seen through the eyes of a valiant horse whose young owner must relinquish him to the army at the start of World War I.
The org: The Humane Society
What they do: Work to ensure humane and fair treatment to animals, including horses.
How are you celebrating The Oscars this year? Let us know by tweeting @repairtheworld.
*All story descriptions come from the official Academy Award website.