Author Topic: Post-Oscar news coverage  (Read 65653 times)

Offline ethan

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Post-Oscar news coverage
« on: Mar 06, 2006, 06:32 AM »
Please post your Oscar coverage in this topic.

Breaking no ground
Why 'Crash' won, why 'Brokeback' lost and how the academy chose to play it safe.


By Kenneth Turan, Times Staff Writer
March 5, 2006

Sometimes you win by losing, and nothing has proved what a powerful, taboo-breaking, necessary film "Brokeback Mountain" was more than its loss Sunday night to "Crash" in the Oscar best picture category.

Despite all the magazine covers it graced, despite all the red-state theaters it made good money in, despite (or maybe because of) all the jokes late-night talk show hosts made about it, you could not take the pulse of the industry without realizing that this film made a number of people distinctly uncomfortable.

More than any other of the nominated films, "Brokeback Mountain" was the one people told me they really didn't feel like seeing, didn't really get, didn't understand the fuss over. Did I really like it, they wanted to know. Yes, I really did.

In the privacy of the voting booth, as many political candidates who've led in polls only to lose elections have found out, people are free to act out the unspoken fears and unconscious prejudices that they would never breathe to another soul, or, likely, acknowledge to themselves. And at least this year, that acting out doomed "Brokeback Mountain."

For Hollywood, as a whole laundry list of people announced from the podium Sunday night and a lengthy montage of clips tried to emphasize, is a liberal place, a place that prides itself on its progressive agenda. If this were a year when voters had no other palatable options, they might have taken a deep breath and voted for "Brokeback." This year, however, "Crash" was poised to be the spoiler.

I do not for one minute question the sincerity and integrity of the people who made "Crash," and I do not question their commitment to wanting a more equal society. But I do question the film they've made. It may be true, as producer Cathy Schulman said in accepting the Oscar for best picture, that this was "one of the most breathtaking and stunning maverick years in American history," but "Crash" is not an example of that.

I don't care how much trouble "Crash" had getting financing or getting people on board, the reality of this film, the reason it won the best picture Oscar, is that it is, at its core, a standard Hollywood movie, as manipulative and unrealistic as the day is long. And something more.

For "Crash's" biggest asset is its ability to give people a carload of those standard Hollywood satisfactions but make them think they are seeing something groundbreaking and daring. It is, in some ways, a feel-good film about racism, a film you could see and feel like a better person, a film that could make you believe that you had done your moral duty and examined your soul when in fact you were just getting your buttons pushed and your preconceptions reconfirmed.

So for people who were discomfited by "Brokeback Mountain" but wanted to be able to look themselves in the mirror and feel like they were good, productive liberals, "Crash" provided the perfect safe harbor. They could vote for it in good conscience, vote for it and feel they had made a progressive move, vote for it and not feel that there was any stain on their liberal credentials for shunning what "Brokeback" had to offer. And that's exactly what they did.

"Brokeback," it is worth noting, was in some ways the tamest of the discomforting films available to Oscar voters in various categories. Steven Spielberg's "Munich"; the Palestinian Territories' "Paradise Now," one of the best foreign language nominees; and the documentary nominee "Darwin's Nightmare" offered scenarios that truly shook up people's normal ways of seeing the world. None of them won a thing.

Hollywood, of course, is under no obligation to be a progressive force in the world. It is in the business of entertainment, in the business of making the most dollars it can. Yes, on Oscar night, it likes to pat itself on the back for the good it does in the world, but as Sunday night's ceremony proved, it is easier to congratulate yourself for a job well done in the past than actually do that job in the present.

http://theenvelope.latimes.com/awards/oscars/env-turan5mar05,0,5359042.story
« Last Edit: Mar 06, 2006, 06:46 AM by ethan »
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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #1 on: Mar 06, 2006, 06:44 AM »
Thank you for posting that ethan - makes you feel a little better  :-*

Offline sisya

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #2 on: Mar 06, 2006, 07:52 AM »
Plains talk from 'Brokeback' scribes

When asked whether some men were reluctant to see Brokeback Mountain, co-screenplay writer Diana Ossana said, “That’s just silly. I don’t know what they are so afraid of.”

“It’s just a movie. Go see it,” chimed in co-writer Larry McMurtry. “Whatever preconceived notions you have, you have to set them aside,” Ossana said.

McMurtry was asked whether Brokeback’s best-director Oscar was a way to recognize the gay-themed film without giving it the biggest award, best picture. His reply: “I’ve had four movies (nominated). The three rural ones (Hud, The Last Picture Show, Brokeback Mountain) lost; the one that was urban (Terms of Endearment) won. The members of the Academy are mostly urban people. We’re not a rural nation. It’s not easy to get a rural story made.” Asked whether Crash's Los Angeles setting helped its best-picture chances, McMurtry said, “Yeah, I do.”

McMurtry shared one other lesson from his Brokeback experience: “Americans don’t want cowboys to be gay.”  The homosexual angle also prolonged Brokeback's journey from page to screen, which took nine years. "The average movie takes seven years, Ossana said. “The obstacle for this one was the casting. Actors wouldn’t commit,” she said. -- C.P., B.K.

Posted at 12:49 AM/ET, March 06, 2006 in Oscars | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

http://blogs.usatoday.com/awardsnight/2006/03/red_states_blue.html
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Offline sisya

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #3 on: Mar 06, 2006, 07:54 AM »
Lee comments on win, loss

Backstage, Ang Lee was asked about winning best director and not best picture. “It was a surprise,” he said and congratulated the filmmakers of Crash.

He thought the audiences were hungry for stories about love, acceptance and complexity. “I’m just glad the audience embraced it,” he said about Brokeback.

Asked about Brokeback star Heath Ledger, Lee said, “A lot of people told me his performance reminded them of a young Brando. I think he did a marvelous, marvelous, miraculous performance, so original.” -- B.K.

Posted at 12:05 AM/ET, March 06, 2006 in Oscars | Permalink

http://blogs.usatoday.com/awardsnight/2006/03/lee_comments_on.html
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Offline hidesert

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #4 on: Mar 06, 2006, 08:17 AM »

Kenneth Turan of the LA Times is the dean of their film critics and is also one of the critics on National Public Radio and I look forward to hearing his reviews.  HIs last sentence sums it up, "Yes, on Oscar night, it likes to pat itself on the back for the good it does in the world, but as Sunday night's ceremony proved, it is easier to congratulate yourself for a job well done in the past than actually do that job in the present."

Thanks Ethan for posting it.



   
« Last Edit: Mar 06, 2006, 08:58 AM by hidesert »

Offline *Froggy*

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #5 on: Mar 06, 2006, 01:47 PM »
http://people.aol.com/people/articles/0,19736,1156049_1169105,00.html

Crash Wins in Oscar Upset
Sunday Mar 05, 2006 9:30pm EST
By Marla Lehner



Crash and Brokeback Mountain each took home three Oscars on Sunday, but it was Crash that scored an upset and won the top prize of the night, Best Picture, at the 78th annual Academy Awards.

Crash also won for Original Screenplay and Film Editing.

Meanwhile, Brokeback Mountain, which went into the night with a leading eight nominations, won for Best Director for Ang Lee, Adapted Screenplay and Original Score.

In his acceptance speech, Lee thanked Annie Proulx, who wrote the short story that the movie was based on, and said he made the film for his father, who passed away shortly before Lee starting filming Brokeback.

Reese Witherspoon and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who both went into the show highly favored, won for Best Actress and Best Actor respectively. They each played real-life people in their films; singer-songwriter June Carter Cash in Walk the Line and author Truman Capote in the biopic Capote.

Witherspoon thanked costar Joaquin Phoenix who "put his heart and soul into the performance" playing Johnny Cash and also thanked "my wonderful husband (Ryan Phillippe) and two children – who should be going to bed."

During his speech, Hoffman said, "I'm overwhelmed. I'm really overwhelmed." He then encouraged people to congratulate his mother, who accompanied him to the show. "She brought up four kids alone and she deserves congratulations for that."

George Clooney


George Clooney and Rachel Weisz were some of the evening's early winners. Weisz was named Best Supporting Actress for The Constant Gardener, while Clooney picked up the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Syriana.

"All right, so I'm not winning Director," joked Clooney, who was also nominated in the director and screenplay categories for Good Night, and Good Luck. He is the first person in Oscar history to get a nod for acting in one movie and directing another.

Upon accepting his award, Clooney said that "Oscar winner" now will always be attached to his name, along with "Sexiest Man Alive 1997."

First-time Oscar winner Weisz thanked her "luminous acting partner" Ralph Fiennes, as well as writer John le Carre, who wrote the "unflinching and angry" story about "people willing to risk their own lives to fight injustice."

Crowd favorite March of the Penguins won for Documentary, and its French filmmakers all carried fake stuffed penguins onstage to accept the award.

Before any awards were handed out, Hollywood's biggest night kicked off with a homage to past Oscar hosts, including Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, David Letterman, Whoopi Goldberg, and Steve Martin who all made brief appearances – and each declined invitations to host this year.

The actual host, Jon Stewart (who woke up in a dream sequence next to Halle Berry – and then Clooney) began the evening by poking fun at his own big-screen career – most notably his role as "the fourth male lead in Death to Smoochy." He also joked that singer Bjork, who once famously wore a swan dress to the awards show, couldn't make it because "she was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her."

In the technical categories, King Kong took home Oscars for Visual Effects and Sound Mixing as well as Sound Editing, an award presented by Alias star Jennifer Garner, who tripped on her way to the podium then joked, "I do my own stunts."

Rachel Weisz


Memoirs of a Geisha won for Costume Design, Cinematography and Art Direction. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe nabbed the trophy for Makeup.

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, was named the best Animated Feature, while Six Shooter won in the Short Film (Live Action) category.

In the music category, Hustle & Flow's "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," won for Original Song. The enthusiastic, and nearly unintelligible, acceptance speech by members of Three 6 Mafia was one of the highlights of the show.

Legendary director Robert Altman, who has been nominated for seven Oscars but has never won one, was presented with an honorary Oscar by veteran actresses Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin, who star in his upcoming Prairie Home Companion.

Altman compared making films to building a sandcastle at the beach. You build it, then "watch the tide come in and the ocean just takes it away, but that sandcastle lives in your mind."
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Offline chameau

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #6 on: Mar 06, 2006, 02:14 PM »
Breaking no ground

http://theenvelope.latimes.com/awards/oscars/env-turan5mar05,0,5359042.story

Why 'Crash' won, why 'Brokeback' lost and how the academy chose to play it safe.Winning duo: Co-writer and director Paul Haggis basks in the Oscar glow with producer Cathy Schulman.
(AMPAS)
By Kenneth Turan, Times Staff Writer
March 5, 2006 Sometimes you win by losing, and nothing has proved what a powerful, taboo-breaking, necessary film "Brokeback Mountain" was more than its loss Sunday night to "Crash" in the Oscar best picture category.

Despite all the magazine covers it graced, despite all the red-state theaters it made good money in, despite (or maybe because of) all the jokes late-night talk show hosts made about it, you could not take the pulse of the industry without realizing that this film made a number of people distinctly uncomfortable.

More than any other of the nominated films, "Brokeback Mountain" was the one people told me they really didn't feel like seeing, didn't really get, didn't understand the fuss over. Did I really like it, they wanted to know. Yes, I really did.

In the privacy of the voting booth, as many political candidates who've led in polls only to lose elections have found out, people are free to act out the unspoken fears and unconscious prejudices that they would never breathe to another soul, or, likely, acknowledge to themselves. And at least this year, that acting out doomed "Brokeback Mountain."

For Hollywood, as a whole laundry list of people announced from the podium Sunday night and a lengthy montage of clips tried to emphasize, is a liberal place, a place that prides itself on its progressive agenda. If this were a year when voters had no other palatable options, they might have taken a deep breath and voted for "Brokeback." This year, however, "Crash" was poised to be the spoiler.

I do not for one minute question the sincerity and integrity of the people who made "Crash," and I do not question their commitment to wanting a more equal society. But I do question the film they've made. It may be true, as producer Cathy Schulman said in accepting the Oscar for best picture, that this was "one of the most breathtaking and stunning maverick years in American history," but "Crash" is not an example of that.

I don't care how much trouble "Crash" had getting financing or getting people on board, the reality of this film, the reason it won the best picture Oscar, is that it is, at its core, a standard Hollywood movie, as manipulative and unrealistic as the day is long. And something more.

For "Crash's" biggest asset is its ability to give people a carload of those standard Hollywood satisfactions but make them think they are seeing something groundbreaking and daring. It is, in some ways, a feel-good film about racism, a film you could see and feel like a better person, a film that could make you believe that you had done your moral duty and examined your soul when in fact you were just getting your buttons pushed and your preconceptions reconfirmed.

So for people who were discomfited by "Brokeback Mountain" but wanted to be able to look themselves in the mirror and feel like they were good, productive liberals, "Crash" provided the perfect safe harbor. They could vote for it in good conscience, vote for it and feel they had made a progressive move, vote for it and not feel that there was any stain on their liberal credentials for shunning what "Brokeback" had to offer. And that's exactly what they did.

"Brokeback," it is worth noting, was in some ways the tamest of the discomforting films available to Oscar voters in various categories. Steven Spielberg's "Munich"; the Palestinian Territories' "Paradise Now," one of the best foreign language nominees; and the documentary nominee "Darwin's Nightmare" offered scenarios that truly shook up people's normal ways of seeing the world. None of them won a thing.

Hollywood, of course, is under no obligation to be a progressive force in the world. It is in the business of entertainment, in the business of making the most dollars it can. Yes, on Oscar night, it likes to pat itself on the back for the good it does in the world, but as Sunday night's ceremony proved, it is easier to congratulate yourself for a job well done in the past than actually do that job in the present.

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Offline chameau

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La dictature c'est ''ferme ta geule'', la démocratie c'est ''cause toujours''
 Jean-Louis Barrault

Offline chameau

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #8 on: Mar 06, 2006, 02:18 PM »
From The Times (London UK)

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,19133-2072301,00.html

Critics attack Academy for Brokeback snub
By Simon Crerar and Philippe Naughton

Chris Ayres: So LA weblog 
 
Leading US critics have questioned whether Hollywood is yet ready to give its biggest prize to a gay love story after the race drama Crash grabbed the Best Picture Oscar at the 78th Academy Awards last night.

Brokeback Mountain, the story of unfulfilled love between two gay cowboys that was nominated in eight categories, had been the runaway favourite for the award after cleaning up in the Golden Globes and Baftas.

But although it won three Oscars, including the Best Director award for the Taiwanese Ang Lee, the year's most talked-about film ended up losing on the final prize of the night.

"Perhaps the truth really is, Americans don’t want cowboys to be gay," said Larry McMurtry, the veteran Western writer who shared the award for best adapted screenplay.

Crash, a complex jigsaw about the lives of six ethnically-diverse people whose lives collide in a Los Angeles car accident, also won the Original Screenplay prize for its Canadian director, Paul Haggis.

Crash's ensemble cast includes Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock and the British actress Thandie Newton. Its producer Cathy Schulman said the film had a message "about love, about tolerance, about truth".

It was a good night for the lovingly crafted films King Kong and Memoirs of a Geisha, which matched Brokeback’s achievement by picking-up three technical Oscars each, despite being overlooked in the acting categories.

British talent was well rewarded. Rachel Weisz picked up Best Supporting Actress, Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit won Best Animated Feature Film (his fourth Oscar), and Six Shooter took the Best Animated Short for its director Martin McDonagh, the London-born playwright of Irish parents.

Weisz, 34, was rewarded for her performance in The Constant Gardener. The London-born actress, who is six months pregnant, called it a "tremendous, tremendous honour".

In the film, a political thriller set in Africa based on the novel by John Le Carre, Weisz played the wife of a British diplomat, played by Ralph Fiennes. She thanked her "luminous" co-star and Le Carré: "He wrote this unflinching, angry story and he really paid tribute to the people who are willing to risk their own lives to fight for justice. They are greater men and women than I."

But the Oscars saved their big surprise for the end. There were astonished gasps around Hollywood's Kodak Theatre as Jack Nicholson announced Crash's victory in the Best Picture category over hot favourite Brokeback.

No overtly gay love story had ever won a Best Picture statue and the critics immediately asked whether Oscar votes had not backed off from breaking that taboo.

"Film buffs and the politically minded will be arguing this morning about whether the Best Picture Oscar to Crash was really for the film’s merit or just a cop-out by the Motion Picture Academy so it wouldn’t have to give the prize to Brokeback Mountain," said Tom Shales of the Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan saw Brokeback’s failure as a sign that Hollywood was not yet ready to grant the topic of homosexual love mainstream respectability.

"Despite all the magazine covers it graced, despite all the red-state theatres it made good money in, despite (or maybe because of) all the jokes late-night talk show hosts made about it, you could not take the pulse of the industry without realising that Brokeback Mountain made a number of people distinctly uncomfortable," Turan said.

"So for people who were discomfited by Brokeback Mountain but wanted to be able to look themselves in the mirror and feel like they were good, productive liberals, Crash provided the perfect safe harbour."

Accepting his Best Director award, Brokeback’s Ang Lee thanked the film's two lead characters, Ennis and Jack. "They taught all of us not just about gay men and women whose love is denied by society, but most importantly the greatness of love itself," he said.

Crash's win was the first time that an independent studio had picked up the top Oscar since Gladiator won for DreamWorks in 2001. The film was made by the Canadian-owned Lionsgate, costing about $6.5 million to produce and has already earned $53 million at the box office.

The award more than vindicated Lionsgate's decision to post DVDs to all 120,000 members of the Screen Actors' Guild, who account for more than a fifth of Academy voters.

But some of the film's backers are tied up in legal action over its profits and credits. Cathy Schulman and Tom Nunan, two of the film's producers are suing the financier Bob Yari, alleging in part that he withheld millions in profits.

Mr Yari, a real estate developer, has filed separate suits against the Producers Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for allegedly denying him a fair procedure when they ruled against his producing credit on the film.

Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of the writer Truman Capote in the biopic Capote. Collecting the award, Hoffman said he was "overwhelmed, really overwhelmed".

Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress for her portrayal of Jonnie Cash’s wife June Carter in biopic Walk The Line - beating two British hopes, Keira Knightley and Dame Judi Dench. The 29-year-old also picked up the award for the evening's longest, most gushingly emotional speech.

"Oh my goodness, I never thought I would be up here in my whole life," she said. "My grandmother was my inspiration, and she taught me to have strength and self-respect and never to give those things away."

Not only did Witherspoon and Weisz win acting statues, they also fared well in the most competitive, and arguably most important, category: Best Frock.

Witherspoon caused a fashion flap at the Golden Globes in January when she turned up in a glittery Chanel cocktail dress that she told reporters was vintage, only to find out afterward that it was actually in from Chanel's 2002 collection and had already been worn out by Kirsten Dunst.

But Witherspoon set exactly the right tone of high style and retro glamour last night with an original Christian Dior gown from 1955 of heavily-embroidered shell pink silk with satin details and silver-threaded beading.

"I found it in a vintage store in Paris, and it’s mine! I worked with some wonderful people and they helped repair it and bring it back to its original condition," she confided backstage.

But there was no fashion shocker reminiscent of singer Bjork's bizarre "swan dress" several years ago. "She was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her," joked Jon Stewart, the host.
 
 
 
La dictature c'est ''ferme ta geule'', la démocratie c'est ''cause toujours''
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cara1158

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #9 on: Mar 06, 2006, 02:29 PM »
ethan -- Thanks for posting this article.  It pretty much sums up what we all know to be true. 

If I were the producer or otherwise participant in "Crash" my joy would be seriously dampened knowing that it did not "win fair and square" -- that it won because my Hollywood peers are spineless and gutless.  A shallow victory at best.

cara

Offline afhickman

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #10 on: Mar 06, 2006, 02:31 PM »
I think this article makes a good point about "Crash."  People tend to applaud at concerts when they hear a musical passage they recognize.  The Academy's members live mostly in L.A.  Where I live, of course, "Brokeback" is still the winner.


Comment: Academy's highbrow taste is not shared by the public
By James Christopher, Film Critic, for Times Online

The Oscar nominees and winners show the Academy's taste for gritty, real issues, but the public is going the other way
 
 


The Oscars have a duty to surprise. But Crash? Best Film? How the hell did that happen?

Brokeback Mountain was long the pink-hot favourite. Ang Lee won Best Director. The top film honour seemed a simple nab. But Paul Haggis’s loose bag of LA stories, most central of which is a racist cop who sexually abuses a traffic accident victim (Thandie Newton), crushed the competition. Why?

The script is clever, and the editing just sublime. But more importantly, it touches issues close to home. The racial theme is worthy of Newsnight. Sod’s law and a gut hatred of strangers is the tragi-comic glue. The film fondles an entire country’s most insular fears.

 
 
In short, Crash won the Academy’s most precious award partly because it is a local hero - so many of the Academy's voters are LA-based, after all - but also because after so many years of Hollywood playing at being the Dream Factory, it is choosing to deal with real issues, real people. The remarkable feature about the awards this year is the height of the nominees' brow. There are no popcorn sellers, and no clean sweeps.

Most of the films have almost too much to say. Brokeback Mountain taps sexual hypocrisy and blue-collar lies. Reese Witherspoon (Best Actress for Walk the Line) takes a musical legend to task. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s exquisite performance as Capote won Best Actor for an icon who is exposed as a bastard. Rachel Weisz plucked the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing an activist in The Constant Gardener (banishing somewhat the shame of this terrific film not winning any of the major Baftas). George Clooney won the male equivalent for the political thriller Syriana.

None of these films will ever mint commercial gold. But I’m inspired rather than alarmed. Films audiences are clearly growing up. Even Nick Park, who scooped the Animation Oscar for Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit thought big enough to admit that he would rather his films pitched for the big prizes (Best Film) than win an endless crop of ghetto awards.

I guess the deep point is this: the cutting edge of film is becoming increasingly public, and stars are starting to pick and choose subjects as carefully as directors. It’s simply not enough to face up a multi-million dollar franchise. If you want the serious prizes and respect you have to sacrifice the perks, or do projects under your own steam.

Clooney is the most fascinating example this year. He’s gambled all his chips on films that are fiendishly political, and, amazingly enough, he’s managed to drag fans and Academy voters into the cinema.

Despite his success with Syriana and increasingly statesman-like demeanour, I feel desperately sorry that he failed to pick up an award for Good Night, and Good Luck – a gripping account of media solidarity during Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witchhunts.

He deserved more. The interesting detail is how his film commitments have exactly mirrored a wider change of taste. Clooney has no qualms about tackling the status quo, and no fear about the size his opponent. The most significant result of Oscar’s creeping appetite for issues will depend entirely on box office faith. This is a first.

What worries me is how long anyone can sustain a political or artistic agenda amidst all the fuss and glamour. People - thinkers, I should say - like Clooney are rare. These strange films need events like the Oscars.

But they are flirting with shrinking audiences. The television figures are falling by millions, year on year. There is little patience for three-hour ceremonies. After numbing hours of reality TV, viewers think they have a right to vote. They can’t understand why they can’t vote for the Best Actor by simply pushing a button.
 
 

Offline chameau

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #11 on: Mar 06, 2006, 02:38 PM »
Some more stuff from The Times:

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,14929-2072364_2,00.html

Times Online March 06, 2006


Did the Academy wimp out?
Following its success at the Golden Globes, which prompted Christian groups to criticise Hollywood for promoting films with gay or leftist themes, Brokeback Mountain won only three Oscars. It failed to pick up any acting awards or the award for Best Picture, which went to the race drama Crash. Did the Academy wimp out - did Ang Lee's film deserve more success? Do you agree with the choice of other winners? Read the article and Chris Ayres's verdict, and visit our Oscars site for the full list of winners. Then send us your view using the form below. Your replies will be posted here
 
 




Did the Academy wimp out for Best Picture? Yes. Crash was the safe, liberal choice. It was a well-meant film but had a heavy-handed and clumsy plot. It hammered it's message home. Brokeback Mountain was subtle and moving. It simply told it's story. The awards BBM has won, the glowing reviews... Crash received far fewer of those. That is why it's win looks so strange. BBM has affected the lives of many people. I doubt Crash has. Crash is a film that you watch, feel worthy for watching, and then more-or-less forget. In the end the Academy could not vote for a film about men in love and voted against BBM but using anti-racism as a cover which I think is disgusting. As a black person  I feel used. A poor, manipulative film about race was used to out vote a good film about true gay experience. Vicky Hartell, London

I do genuinely believe that the Best Picture win for Crash was motivated by Hollywood's discomfort of the central theme of Brokeback Mountain. Why else would they choose not to celebrate and fully embrace a widely-admired, beautifully crafted film that has also had a wide, popular appeal? Why choose not to give the Best Director winner the Best Picture award too which happens almost every year? Hollywood simply found it was unable to lead the way, be brave and fully recognise the power of Brokeback Mountain. Hollywood has proven that, yet again, other people will have to fight the artistic and social battles - they're quite happy with maintaining the status quo and ossifying in their back-slapping ignorance. Tandy Arti, London

Why should any one doubt that the Academy genuinely thought Crash to be a better movie? The decision  shows that the Academy is not influenced by recent awards, is independent in its thinking and does not blindly follow trends. Vinay Mehra, Purley

I feel that the Academy brought out the tyre irons and hit us all in the face. I feel horrible for living in a country that does not respect or care who or what I am. I feel like all the work I do with developmentally disabled and the work as assisting to raise two daughters has been a waste of my time and effort.  Here they had the chance to show the world that the United States is ready to show people that homosexuals are not just the queens and the limp-wristed type but real men and to show what damage it has done to entire families by making these men hide.  But, again the United states proves we are really not that progressive or free as we like to say.  This is an almost worse day then the day after that stupid president got elected again in this country. How do I transfer citizenship to the UK? Joseph Geppert, Erie, USA

I applaud the Oscars for giving the awards to those who actually deserve them and not just giving them to Brokeback Mountain because everyone else was doing so in fact comparing the Oscars to the Baftas it was the Baftas which sold out and not the Oscars, personally I think that Brokeback Mountain is one of the worst films I have ever seen. Jason Coral, Cambridge

"Wimp" is not a strong enough word for what the Academy did. For a group who like to consider themselves liberal,open, accepting, the voters gave in to their underlying homophobia. Who will ever do a serious movie about gay love now? "Will and Grace"? Fine. "Ennis and Jack"?  Go back in the closet! Gerard Connolly, Bloomfield, NJ, USA

I was shocked and disappointed when Crash won best picture.  Brokeback Mountain was the better film, which was proven to me by the numerous other awards it has won around the world.  It comprises everything the Academy normally seeks in its best film category: grand, epic love story, great acting and script, and beautiful cinematography. This choice was a slap in the face to all gay people.  I am gay, and this year the Academy was too scared to honor a film that tells my story. Larry Andrews, Portland, OR, USA

Of course Brokeback Mountain deserved more success, but in a country as homophobic as the US the film was doomed to be judged not on its merits as a work of art but on its place in the so-called culture wars. The Academy is full of rather timid, rather dull and rather conventional people - not so very different from the middle America they claim to despise - who understand that they are in fact the puppets of their public rather than its puppeteers.  Michael Cull, Paris, France

There has been far too much emphasis on the homosexual love-plot of the film. This has led to it being pigeonholed as a "gay cowboy movie", and has removed the need for people to seriously analyse it as a film in its own right. Perhaps what happened was that the judges analysed which was best on the basis of cinematic criteria and decided that Crash was the better film. Ken Keir, Aberdeen

There were rumours that Academy Award voters were not even viewing Brokeback Mountain because they didn't want to see "that gay cowboy" movie. Tony Curtis, one of the Academy voters said as much in an interview. In view of the fact that Brokeback has received the highest number of awards for any film this year, I find it extremely strange that it lost the best picture award to Crash a fine film in itself, but one which had all but been dismissed as a front runner some time ago. I believe that the reason for this film's win was that it allowed the Academy's voters to be homophobic while still allowing them to play the "liberal" race card. I really find it hard to believe that they serious thought Crash was the better movie. Keith Anthony, Nottingham

I have asked many film industry people what made Crash so good. Direction? Acting? Cinematography? Technical excellence? They had to say "No" to all of those - after all, in those areas it got just one Oscar (editing), and it was the director's first effort. It has had few other awards, received no special critical acclaim. Its box office was low. On this basis, it was no better than any of the other best film nominees. It scored in only one area - its story. A superficially progressive race-relations yarn. But it has been clear for many weeks that it was the only way to stop Brokeback. If that's not why it won, I would love to hear why it did. Charlie Bourne, Leamington Spa

Both the movies Crash and Brokeback Mountain deal with highly controversial topics "racism" and "opressed sexuality/homophobia" (maybe thats three topics). Yet myself and most of my friends (straight and gay) have seen both films and all agree that Crash (although good) is a pretty unmemorable movie, but Brokeback Mountain is one of the most powerful movies we have ever seen. Judging by the amount of awards BBM received at the Baftas, I reckon the British Acadamy think so too. Although Ang Lee won Best Director, the Acadamy did wimp out, they played safe. BBM should have won in the Best Picture category. There is only one word I can think of Hollywood and their Acadamy and that is "homophobic". BBM has changed peoples minds and attitudes all over the world. It is one of the most memorable movies I have ever seen and has affected me in a way that no other movie ever has.  Cliff Street, Reading

Crash is a much better crafted movie than the overhyped and formulaic Brokeback Mountain. But way ahead is the South African film Tsotsi, which deservedly  won the award for Best Foreign Film.  John O'Byrne, Dublin, Eire
 
I believe Crash won at the Oscars because it was the lesser of two evils in the mind of "liberal" Hollywood.  Furthermore, I believe Crash won best picture because most of the Academy voters viewed it on DVD and didn't even see Brokeback Mountain which is still playing in theatres. Shame on you Academy. Lydia Nowak, Shannon, IL, USA

I watched both Crash and Brokeback Mountain, and Brokeback Mountain made the bigger impact by far. This is coming from a straight, African American female who people think would have liked Crash better. No way. Brokeback Mountain was gypped by the same biased attitude it is trying to fight. Crash wasn't awful; it's just that Brokeback Mountain was a much better movie and the fact that they deserved Best Picture is obvious to anyone. The Academy is full of elder people with old, traditional values... the other awards Brokeback Mountain received were just compromises to avoid peoples' outrage. They were given just so the Academy could say: "Why are you complaining? You won [insert award]!" I was totally shocked last night and sad for the people who worked so hard on that movie. Gabrielle Alighieri, Philadelphia

 
 
This was the most embarrassing possible outcome for the Academy and its voting party. Their should be no pride taken in this loud of a slur. I am gay and black and see more honesty and truth in the gay ranch hands then the racist caricatures. Votes can be bought and the academy is easily corruptable. The Academy has proven it is deeply flawed as a subculture and cannot see beyond the microcosm of Los Angeles. No one is cheering but in Los Angeles. Brokeback Mountain will forever be remembered as a milestone, Crash will be forgotten as quickly as it was when it was released. Alex Pierre, USA

This morning I was completely speechless. I shed several tears of disappointment. There was a movie that moved millions all over the world in an unprecedented way, being spoken about by many. The storyline touched people in their hearts and kept their minds occupied for days, forcing them to think and feel, sometimes forcing them to watch this movie again and again. This movie has a very artistic perfectionistic director and actors who played the stars down. A low budget movie, with an impact of an atom bomb. And then Crash wins.... a sort of documentary on a riot in LA, stuffed with all kinds of actors. Yeah, I slightly heard about it. No, nobody I knows ever mentioned it here. Its just another typical American production (i.e. lots of drama, shouting, action) apparently on an American race issue. A bit like the evening news, but two hours long. Does this movie urge you to go again and again? Will this movie be remembered? Despite all the feelings of disappointment, we've still got the movie: Brokeback Mountain. We have Ang Lee, Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams and Anna Hathaway who gave us their best, and who we will enjoy for many years to follow. Fitz Usmany, Rotterdam, Netherlands

There is no doubt that Brokeback Mountain was snubbed for the Academy Awards because of homophobia, which is has become almost fashionable in the USA because of the arrogance shown by the religious right after the debacle of the Bush re-election. If Los Angeles really cared about racism, why not do something concrete about the rampant poverty and racial slaughter in that city rather than vote for a movie that should never have even been nominated, let alone win. Thanks to the UK for not only showing its support in the Baftas but in putting before us Stephen Fry's unashamedly witty hosting. Name and address withheld

 
 
 
 
 
La dictature c'est ''ferme ta geule'', la démocratie c'est ''cause toujours''
 Jean-Louis Barrault

Offline karind1

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #12 on: Mar 06, 2006, 02:50 PM »
Thanks to the UK for not only showing its support in the Baftas but in putting before us Stephen Fry's unashamedly witty hosting. Name and address withheld

oh to that and the rest of the post above   AMEN!

Offline jakeofrome

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #13 on: Mar 06, 2006, 02:55 PM »
The post-Oscars debate: Why Brokeback lost

By Arthur Spiegelman - Reuters


The Oscars opened the closet door to gay-themed films but shut it almost as quickly.

"Brokeback Mountain," the much-ballyhooed favorite about two gay cowboys, won best director for Ang Lee on Sunday but stunningly lost the best picture prize to race drama "Crash." Additionally Philip Seymour Hoffman won best actor for playing gay novelist Truman Capote in "Capote."

The victory for "Crash" suggested Oscar voters were more comfortable with a tale that exploited the seamy underbelly of racial conflict in contemporary Los Angeles than with a heartbreaking tale of love between two married men.

"Perhaps the truth really is, Americans don't want cowboys to be gay," said Larry McMurtry, 69, who shared an Oscar for best adapted screenplay with Diana Ossana for "Brokeback."

No overtly gay love story has ever won a best picture award and, as of Monday morning, none has. The big question going into the Oscars was whether Hollywood, often in the forefront of social issues, would break another taboo.

"Film buffs and the politically minded will be arguing this morning about whether the Best Picture Oscar to 'Crash' was really for the film's merit or just a cop-out by the Motion Picture Academy so it wouldn't have to give the prize to 'Brokeback Mountain,'" said Washington Post critic Tom Shales.

Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan saw "Brokeback's" failure as a sign that Hollywood was not yet ready to grant the topic of homosexual love mainstream respectability.

"Despite all the magazine covers it graced, despite all the red-state theaters it made good money in, despite (or maybe because of) all the jokes late-night talk show hosts made about it, you could not take the pulse of the industry without realizing that 'Brokeback Mountain' made a number of people distinctly uncomfortable," he said, adding:

"So for people who were discomfited by 'Brokeback Mountain' but wanted to be able to look themselves in the mirror and feel like they were good, productive liberals, 'Crash' provided the perfect safe harbor."

BROKEBACK, CRASH WIN 3

"Brokeback" led the field with eight nominations and ended up with three prizes, also winning for original score.

Hoffman won for playing Truman Capote in "Capote," a story of the archly gay writer going to Kansas to report on the murder of a family of four for his classic book "In Cold Blood." Hollywood sweetheart Reese Witherspoon won best actress for her performance as country singer June Carter in the Johnny Cash biographical film, "Walk the Line."

"Crash," which covers a 36-hour period in Los Angeles as the lives of people of many races collide in a way that highlights bigotry, was a close second to "Brokeback" in Oscar handicapping. "Crash" writer/director Paul Haggis said he was "shocked, shocked" with the victory. It also won three prizes.

"We're still trying to figure out if we got this," he said, clutching his golden trophy in his hand. "None of us expected it. You hope, but we had a tiny picture ... this was a year when Hollywood rewarded rule breakers."

Following the plots of many of its message-themed movies, Oscar took a decidedly political tone with winners noting causes, and freshman show host Jon Stewart making wisecracks.

Stewart's performance seemed to divide the TV critics.

"It's hard to believe that professional entertainers could have put together a show less entertaining than this year's Oscars, hosted with a smug humorlessness by comic Jon Stewart, a sad and pale shadow of great hosts gone by," said the Post's Shales.
"I loved it. Shocking. Surprising. The guy who financed my movie did that too. He's a very mild mannered chap from Minnesota and we'd just screened the latest cut of my film and he asked if I wanted to see it. I was thinking, 'OK, this really square, straight guy,' and he showed me this movie. It's amazing.

"They're really good those boys and they did a great job. It's very brave of them."

Offline Kindred

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #14 on: Mar 06, 2006, 03:09 PM »
There is a Macromedia Flashplayer slide presentation at Washingtonpost.com, the first picture is a very nice shot of Heath and Michelle on the red carpet.  Picture #16 is of Jake.  Here is the link to the page, click on the "Oscar Fashion" link. (Sorry, didn't know how to copy the picture directly): 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/movies/features/2006/academyawards/index.html


A Bang-Up Night for 'Crash'
Drama Is Surprise Winner as Best Picture; 'Brokeback's' Lee Is Top Director

By Hank Stuever and William Booth
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, March 6, 2006; A01

HOLLYWOOD, March 5 -- "Crash," an ensemble story about underlying racial tensions across Los Angeles, won Best Picture on Sunday night at the Academy Awards. Its surprise win proved true the eleventh-hour buzz that surrounded the film, which touched a nerve among people who live in and around the endless, multicultural sprawl of the city and intuit its character from behind the wheels of their cars.

"Crash" has been controversial, with critics saying that it oversimplifies race issues and that some of the characters were stereotypes -- a notion that director Paul Haggis again batted aside during a backstage interview. "My favorite kind of film is the kind where you argue when you walk outside after the film, and break up with your date."

Haggis, who co-wrote the "Crash" script, which also won for Best Original Screenplay, noted that "a lot of people made this film. We owe a lot of people for being here." (Fourteen people share producing credits on "Crash," which has prompted two lawsuits over money and credit.)

Some cultural critics also complained during the awards season that "Crash" and the other Best Picture nominees -- voted on by the 6,000-plus-member Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- all were somehow out of touch with the mainstream.

Another Best Picture nominee, "Brokeback Mountain," the ranch-hands-in-love story that further stoked a national debate about gay rights, won three awards, including Best Director for Ang Lee.

"I wish I knew how to quit you," Lee quipped as he accepted his award, acknowledging that the movie's famous line had become something of a punch line. But he also very quickly thanked "two people who don't exist -- Ennis and Jack," the film's doomed couple. "They taught all of us who made 'Brokeback Mountain' about . . . the greatness of love itself." Asked backstage whether "Brokeback" lost Best Picture because of its subject matter, or some discomfort on the part of Academy voters, Lee answered simply, "I don't know."


In a year in which no Best Picture nominee captured a big audience or boffo receipts, the 78th annual dispensations of Oscar statuettes were similarly scattered among the year's films. "Crash," "Brokeback Mountain," "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "King Kong" each had three wins.

Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for his portrayal in "Capote" of the shyly flamboyant writer's quest to tell his best-selling story of murders in Kansas. "I'm really overwhelmed," Hoffman said. "You know that Van Morrison song, 'I love, I love, I love,' and he keeps repeating it?" The actor also thanked his mother profusely: "We're at the party, Ma, ya know?" he said. "She took me to my first play. . . . Her passions became my passions. Be proud, Mom, we're here tonight and it's so good."

Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line," and she also thanked her parents: "I'm so blessed to have my mother and my father, for being so proud of me it didn't matter whether I was making my bed or making a movie. My grandmother taught me to be a real woman, to have strength and self-respect and never give those things away. . . . I'm just trying to matter, and live a good life and make something that means something to somebody."

The show's host, Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" -- tapped to step in to what has become an ongoing search for a celebrity who can click with Oscar-host duties -- brought the show his trademark blend of cheeky, faux-everything humor. "Man, we are cruising tonight -- we are going to get home in time to watch 'Desperate Housewives,' " Stewart said of the 3-hour 22-minute program. (The show was about 10 minutes longer than last year's -- still, the four-hour Oscar broadcast is becoming a thing of the past.)

"Crash" also won for film editing. Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana won Best Screenplay Adaptation for "Brokeback Mountain," which was originally a short story by E. Annie Proulx.

George Clooney won Best Supporting Actor for his role as a rogue CIA agent in "Syriana." Clooney, who also was nominated for Best Director, offered a defense, in his acceptance speech, against the criticism that Hollywood puts out provocative, but unpopular and left-leaning, movies. "This Academy, this group of people, gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 [for her role as Mammy in "Gone With the Wind"] when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters," he said. "I'm proud to be . . . part of this community, proud to be out of touch."

Rachel Weisz won Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a humanitarian worker in Africa in "The Constant Gardener."

"March of the Penguins," a French-made love story about penguins' annual journey from the frigid sea to parenthood in Antarctica, won Best Documentary Feature. "A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin" won the short-subject prize.

"It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," the anthem from "Hustle & Flow," won Best Original Song. Winners Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard of the group Three 6 Mafia took the stage and gave as many overjoyed shout-outs as time allowed.

"How come they're the most excited people out here tonight?" asked Stewart, who mused that things just got a lot easier for a pimp. "That's how you accept an Oscar!"

The buildup to Sunday night's big awards was about a lot of smaller awards for movies that made a bigger dent in the box office and pop culture, for the way those movies looked and sounded: "King Kong" won Oscars for sound mixing, sound editing and visual effects; "Memoirs of a Geisha" won for cinematography, art direction and costume design; "The Chronicles of Narnia" won for makeup.

Best Original Score went to Gustavo Santaolalla for his work on "Brokeback Mountain"; the Best Animated Feature was "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/05/AR2006030500363.html
« Last Edit: Mar 06, 2006, 03:29 PM by Kindred »

Offline BADBRAD

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #15 on: Mar 06, 2006, 03:31 PM »
“You know it could be like this, just like this, always.”

Offline Kindred

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #16 on: Mar 06, 2006, 03:42 PM »
Copied here for easy reading:

Oscar misfire: ‘Crash’ and burn
The Academy takes yet another step toward irrelevance with its latest pick


COMMENTARY
By Erik Lundegaard
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 3:09 p.m. ET March 6, 2006


Talk about ruining a perfect evening.

Jon Stewart was funny, George Clooney was sharp, Salma Hayek looked to-freakin’-die-for, Philip Seymour Hoffman won in humble-but-lovable fashion and Ang Lee, the director of one of the best movies of the year, became the first non-Caucasian to win the Academy Award for best director.

Then Jack Nicholson, presenting the best picture winner, ruined everything. He didn’t say “Brokeback Mountain”; he actually said…“Crash.”

No, he didn’t. Did he? He did.

My god.

This is the worst best picture winner since “The Greatest Show on Earth” in 1952. It may be worse than that. “Greatest Show” was a dull, bloated romance set against the backdrop of a three-ring circus but at least it didn’t pretend to be important. “Crash” thinks it’s important. “Crash” thinks it’s saying something bold about racism in America.

But what is it saying?

That we all bear some form of racism. That we all “stereotype” other races. That, when pressured, racist sentiments spill out of us as easily as escaped air.

Here’s my take. Yes, we all bear some form of racism — that’s obvious. Yes, we all “stereotype” other races in some fashion — that’s obvious. (Particularly obvious in the Los Angeles of “Crash,” where so many characters are stereotypes.) But, no, we don’t easily give voice to our racist sentiments. And that’s why “Crash” rings so false.

Last month I wrote an article on the best picture nominees (called  “Anything But ‘Crash’”) in which I talked about how the most potent form of racism in this country is no longer overt but covert. Once upon a time, yes yes yes, it was overt, which is another reason why “Crash” sucks. It’s doing what simple-minded generals do: It’s fighting the last war.

The “Crash” quiz
Here, let’s take a little quiz. Say you’re an Asian woman who has just rear-ended the car in front of you. What do you do? Do you…

Wait in your car until a police officer arrives
Exchange licenses with the driver of the other car
Notice that the driver of the other car is someone who looks like Jennifer Esposito, immediately assume she’s Mexican-American (as opposed to, say, Italian-American), and then tell the African-American police officer that “Mexicans no know how to drive.”
How about this one? You’re talking to a bureaucrat on the phone about getting extra care for your father who is having trouble urinating, and she is not helpful. You ask for her name and she tells you: Shaniqua Johnson. You still need her help. What do you say?

“Shaniqua. That’s a beautiful name.”
“Shaniqua. You could do a better job of helping my father, who is in pain.
“Shaniqua. Big f---ing surprise that is.”
One last one. You’ve just been told by your hot, hot girlfriend, with whom you’re lucky to be sleeping in the first place, that she is not Mexican as you presumed; that her mother is from Puerto Rico and her father is from El Salvador. What do you say?

“I’m sorry, honey. I’m surprised I didn’t know that. Now come back to bed.”
“Really? How did they meet?”
“Who took [all Latinos] and taught them to park their cars on their lawns?”
And on and on and on. Every scene. Put a little pressure on somebody and they blurt simplistic racist sentiments. Right in the face of someone of that race.

Worse, none of it feels like sentiments these characters would actually say. It feels like sentiments writer/director Paul Haggis imposed upon them to make his grand, dull point about racism, when a more telling point about racism might have emerged if he’d just let them be. “Crash” is like a Creative Writing 101 demonstration of what not to do as a writer. To the Academy this meant two things: Best screenplay and best picture.


The Sandra Bullock/Ludacris scene
A few readers objected to my column last month — and will no doubt object to this one. They felt “Crash” taught them something important about race. More’s the pity. They said they learned that even good people do bad things, and even bad people have moments of compassion. Sorry they didn’t already know this. They felt like “Crash” was a movie the average person could support. “Average,” I guess, is the key word here.

Some agreed with me that the most potent form of racism today is covert rather than overt; but they added that this was a movie, after all, not a book, and in a movie you can’t show characters thinking.

Ah, but you can. Paul Haggis even did it in “Crash” — in the scene where Sandra Bullock's character grabs her husband's arm as two black men approach. Her move toward her husband is silent and instinctive, and Ludacris’ character suspects she does what she does because he’s black, and she’s scared of him, but he has no evidence. We only get the evidence later, from her, when she argues with her husband about the Latino locksmith. And even this scene is handled ineptly. She should have argued with her husband upstairs, away from the help. But Haggis wanted her to complain about the Latino locksmith within earshot of the Latino locksmith — because apparently that’s how we all do it. Lord knows if I don’t trust someone because of their race and/or class I raise my objection within earshot of them. Doesn’t everyone?

The main point is that you can dramatize our more covert forms of racism. But here’s how bad “Crash” is. Even though the Bullock/Ludacris scene is one of the more realistic scenes in the movie, it is still monumentally simplistic. I have a white female friend who lives close to the downtown area of her city. Usually she walks home from downtown. If she does this after dark, and two men are walking towards her, she’ll cross to the other side of the street to avoid them. But if the two men are black? She won’t do this, because she’s afraid of appearing racist. That’s how much of a conundrum race is in this country. “Crash” didn’t begin to scratch that surface.

Losing Jim
So why did it win?

There are rumors that older Academy members shied away from even viewing “Brokeback Mountain” for the usual homophobic reasons. Lionsgate also pushed “Crash” on Academy voters; it handed out a record number of DVDs and advertised heavily. I don’t know which explanation bothers me more. All I know is I feel sick. It feels like the ’72 Olympic basketball finals, when the Russians cheated and won; it feels like the ’85 World Series when a blown call in game six tilted the balance towards the Royals. It feels like the good guys wuz robbed.

My friend Jim is more interested in the Academy than anyone I know who isn’t involved in the industry. (He’s a chauffeur in Seattle.) By early summer he’s already talking up possible nominees. The discussion reaches a fever pitch in November and December when the prestige pictures are rolled out and critics make their “best of” announcements. He goes to see these films. He talks about them. He actually cares.

Not anymore.

“Crash’s” win did him in. The Academy, he said afterwards, “is not a serious body of voters who vote rationally. If they’re influenced by a DVD sales pitch, they’re not worth my time.”

Are they worth anyone’s time? Once again, they showed themselves susceptible to something other than a legitimate search for “the best.” Once again, marketing appears to have won. The Academy is 78 years old and acting every bit of it, and last night they took another doddering step towards irrelevancy.

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive

© 2006 MSNBC.com

URL: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11700333/page/2/

Offline hidesert

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #17 on: Mar 06, 2006, 10:20 PM »

Thanks again Ethan for posting Kenneth Turans "post mortem" of the Best Picture award.  Erik Lundegaard's article is good, but Kenneth Turan's is better crafted.  I even passed it around at work today.  In a non-confrontation way he points his finger at all those surface-liberals who acted like reactionaries.  I'd take it a step further and say that many didn't vote for Crash as their "feel good" movie but just wanted to stop BBM.  They may regret their vote.

 



   

Offline Cowboy Cody

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #18 on: Mar 06, 2006, 10:38 PM »
Ethan thanks for posting those. It reminds me there is still some good left out there. I needed that today.
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Offline ethan

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #19 on: Mar 06, 2006, 10:42 PM »
You are welcome, everyone. We, BBM fans, are not alone. What is wrong is *wrong* no matter how you look at it.
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Offline karind1

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #20 on: Mar 06, 2006, 11:21 PM »

  MSNBC.com

Oscar misfire: ‘Crash’ and burn
The Academy takes yet another step toward irrelevance with its latest pick

COMMENTARY
By Erik Lundegaard
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 3:09 p.m. ET March 6, 2006


Talk about ruining a perfect evening.

Jon Stewart was funny, George Clooney was sharp, Salma Hayek looked to-freakin’-die-for, Philip Seymour Hoffman won in humble-but-lovable fashion and Ang Lee, the director of one of the best movies of the year, became the first non-Caucasian to win the Academy Award for best director.

Then Jack Nicholson, presenting the best picture winner, ruined everything. He didn’t say “Brokeback Mountain”; he actually said…“Crash.”

No, he didn’t. Did he? He did.

My god.

This is the worst best picture winner since “The Greatest Show on Earth” in 1952. It may be worse than that. “Greatest Show” was a dull, bloated romance set against the backdrop of a three-ring circus but at least it didn’t pretend to be important. “Crash” thinks it’s important. “Crash” thinks it’s saying something bold about racism in America.

But what is it saying?

That we all bear some form of racism. That we all “stereotype” other races. That, when pressured, racist sentiments spill out of us as easily as escaped air.

Here’s my take. Yes, we all bear some form of racism — that’s obvious. Yes, we all “stereotype” other races in some fashion — that’s obvious. (Particularly obvious in the Los Angeles of “Crash,” where so many characters are stereotypes.) But, no, we don’t easily give voice to our racist sentiments. And that’s why “Crash” rings so false.

Last month I wrote an article on the best picture nominees (called  “Anything But ‘Crash’”) in which I talked about how the most potent form of racism in this country is no longer overt but covert. Once upon a time, yes yes yes, it was overt, which is another reason why “Crash” sucks. It’s doing what simple-minded generals do: It’s fighting the last war.

The “Crash” quiz
Here, let’s take a little quiz. Say you’re an Asian woman who has just rear-ended the car in front of you. What do you do? Do you…

Wait in your car until a police officer arrives
Exchange licenses with the driver of the other car
Notice that the driver of the other car is someone who looks like Jennifer Esposito, immediately assume she’s Mexican-American (as opposed to, say, Italian-American), and then tell the African-American police officer that “Mexicans no know how to drive.”
How about this one? You’re talking to a bureaucrat on the phone about getting extra care for your father who is having trouble urinating, and she is not helpful. You ask for her name and she tells you: Shaniqua Johnson. You still need her help. What do you say?

“Shaniqua. That’s a beautiful name.”
“Shaniqua. You could do a better job of helping my father, who is in pain.
“Shaniqua. Big f---ing surprise that is.”
One last one. You’ve just been told by your hot, hot girlfriend, with whom you’re lucky to be sleeping in the first place, that she is not Mexican as you presumed; that her mother is from Puerto Rico and her father is from El Salvador. What do you say?

“I’m sorry, honey. I’m surprised I didn’t know that. Now come back to bed.”
“Really? How did they meet?”
“Who took [all Latinos] and taught them to park their cars on their lawns?”
And on and on and on. Every scene. Put a little pressure on somebody and they blurt simplistic racist sentiments. Right in the face of someone of that race.

Worse, none of it feels like sentiments these characters would actually say. It feels like sentiments writer/director Paul Haggis imposed upon them to make his grand, dull point about racism, when a more telling point about racism might have emerged if he’d just let them be. “Crash” is like a Creative Writing 101 demonstration of what not to do as a writer. To the Academy this meant two things: Best screenplay and best picture.


The Sandra Bullock/Ludacris scene
A few readers objected to my column last month — and will no doubt object to this one. They felt “Crash” taught them something important about race. More’s the pity. They said they learned that even good people do bad things, and even bad people have moments of compassion. Sorry they didn’t already know this. They felt like “Crash” was a movie the average person could support. “Average,” I guess, is the key word here.

Some agreed with me that the most potent form of racism today is covert rather than overt; but they added that this was a movie, after all, not a book, and in a movie you can’t show characters thinking.

Ah, but you can. Paul Haggis even did it in “Crash” — in the scene where Sandra Bullock's character grabs her husband's arm as two black men approach. Her move toward her husband is silent and instinctive, and Ludacris’ character suspects she does what she does because he’s black, and she’s scared of him, but he has no evidence. We only get the evidence later, from her, when she argues with her husband about the Latino locksmith. And even this scene is handled ineptly. She should have argued with her husband upstairs, away from the help. But Haggis wanted her to complain about the Latino locksmith within earshot of the Latino locksmith — because apparently that’s how we all do it. Lord knows if I don’t trust someone because of their race and/or class I raise my objection within earshot of them. Doesn’t everyone?

The main point is that you can dramatize our more covert forms of racism. But here’s how bad “Crash” is. Even though the Bullock/Ludacris scene is one of the more realistic scenes in the movie, it is still monumentally simplistic. I have a white female friend who lives close to the downtown area of her city. Usually she walks home from downtown. If she does this after dark, and two men are walking towards her, she’ll cross to the other side of the street to avoid them. But if the two men are black? She won’t do this, because she’s afraid of appearing racist. That’s how much of a conundrum race is in this country. “Crash” didn’t begin to scratch that surface.

Losing Jim
So why did it win?

There are rumors that older Academy members shied away from even viewing “Brokeback Mountain” for the usual homophobic reasons. Lionsgate also pushed “Crash” on Academy voters; it handed out a record number of DVDs and advertised heavily. I don’t know which explanation bothers me more. All I know is I feel sick. It feels like the ’72 Olympic basketball finals, when the Russians cheated and won; it feels like the ’85 World Series when a blown call in game six tilted the balance towards the Royals. It feels like the good guys wuz robbed.

My friend Jim is more interested in the Academy than anyone I know who isn’t involved in the industry. (He’s a chauffeur in Seattle.) By early summer he’s already talking up possible nominees. The discussion reaches a fever pitch in November and December when the prestige pictures are rolled out and critics make their “best of” announcements. He goes to see these films. He talks about them. He actually cares.

Not anymore.

“Crash’s” win did him in. The Academy, he said afterwards, “is not a serious body of voters who vote rationally. If they’re influenced by a DVD sales pitch, they’re not worth my time.”

Are they worth anyone’s time? Once again, they showed themselves susceptible to something other than a legitimate search for “the best.” Once again, marketing appears to have won. The Academy is 78 years old and acting every bit of it, and last night they took another doddering step towards irrelevancy.

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive

© 2006 MSNBC.com

URL: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11700333/

Offline bokano

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #21 on: Mar 06, 2006, 11:55 PM »
http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/movieawards/oscars/2006-03-06-oscar-moments-cover_x.htm

What you saw: Surprise! Crash takes best picture.

What you didn't see: Backstage workers gasp as Crash wins over favorite Brokeback Mountain. When presenter Jack Nicholson is asked if he is surprised by the win, he says, "I didn't expect it because you heard so much about Brokeback," before confiding, "and that's who I voted for." But he cheerfully escorted Crash director Paul Haggis away. (Related items: Thirty-second Oscar recap | Get even more backstage dirt in our Awards Night report)

Oscar giveth — and taketh

What you saw: Ang Lee becomes the millionth or so person to use the catchphrase "I wish I knew how to quit you," while accepting his directing Oscar for Brokeback Mountain.

What you didn't see: Nobody in the darkened wings looks more surprised about Crash's win than Lee. He silently walks away as the Crash producers begin their acceptance speech, a wan smile on his face.


Offline ethan

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #22 on: Mar 06, 2006, 11:55 PM »
The Raw Story "Oscar the Chicken"
http://rawstory.com/news/2006/Oscar_chicken_0306.html

New York Times “Who Won?”
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/movies/redcarpet/2006oscars.html?hp

LA Times “Breaking No Ground”
http://theenvelope.latimes.com/awards/oscars/env-turan5mar05,0,5359042.story

MSNBC: “Crash and Burn”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11700333/

CNN: “Mixed Oscar results for gay/transgender themes”
http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/Movies/03/06/oscars.gay.films.ap/index.html

CBS News: “Viewers Split on Oscars Top 6”
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/06/oscar/main1373957.shtml

Deadline Hollywood “Clueless AMPAS Board”
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/clueless-academy-board/

Fox News: “How did Brokeback end up Crashing?”
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,187005,00.html

Reuters: “Why Brokeback Lost”
http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=entertainmentNews&storyid=2006-03-06T082553Z_01_N04161595_RTRUKOC_0_US-OSCARS.xml

NY Times “Crash walks away with top prize”
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/06/movies/redcarpet/06osca.html?ei=5094&en=2f4f29873c5ad4e6&hp=&ex=1141707600&partner=homepage&pagewanted=all

AOL News “Crash lands best picture”
http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/movies/article.adp?id=20060305232209990006

Variety “Party Crashed Big Time”
http://www.variety.com/ac2006_article/VR1117939293?nav=news&categoryid=1985&cs=1&s=h&p=0

E-Online “Spirit Awards go for Broke”
http://www.eonline.com/News/Items/0,1,18491,00.html?fdnews

Rotten Tomatoes story on Crash:
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/crash/

Miami Herald “Stars are Human”
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/entertainment/movies/14026328.htm

Winipeg Sun “Not Broke – We’d Fix it”
http://winnipegsun.com/SundayFocus/2006/03/05/1473338-sun.html

Washington Post “A Bang up Night for Crash”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/05/AR2006030500363.html

Chicago Sun Times Roger Ebert “Crasing a Joyous Oscar party
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060305/OSCARS/60306001

Guardian UK “Crash lands surprise win”
http://film.guardian.co.uk/oscars2006/story/0,,1724519,00.html

This is London “Academy Shuns the Blockbuster”
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/films/articles/21894249?source=Evening%20Standard

San Francisco Chronicle “Crash Breaks Through”
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/03/06/OSCARS.TMP

Fox News “Crash Causes near Cultural Earthquake”
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,186929,00.html

Times Online “Did the Academy Wimp Out?”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,564-2072364,00.html

GLAAD “How Brokeback Did It – 3 Academy Awards”
http://glaad.org

FENNEC “The Worst Best Picture in History”
http://awards.fennec.org/

Huffington Post “Hollywood Hardly Hearts Homosexuals”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gene-stone/hollywood-hardly-hearts-h_b_16886.html

Huffington Post “Sore Losers”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-robinson/sore-loser-mountain_b_16879.html

Sandra Bullock Fansite (Homophobic crap…)
http://www.sandra.com/brokeback_crash

Daily News “Life Lessons From the Oscars”
http://dailynews.com/redcarpet/ci_3572798

Gawker.com – “Google Can’t Hide its Dissapointment”
http://www.gawker.com/news/oscars/google-cant-hide-its-oscar-disappointment-158614.php

TimesOnline “Critics attack Academy for Brokeback Snub”
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,19133-2072301,00.html

MagicKetchup.com “Ang Lee wins but Brokeback gets Snubbed…”
http://www.magicketchup.com/blog/?p=53

Slate “On the Oscars”
http://www.slate.com/id/2137284/entry/0/?nav=tap3

The Advocate “The Dark Side of Brokeback Mountain”
http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid26588.asp

LA Times “And the Winner is, Homophobia?”
http://goldderby.latimes.com/

BBC “A Film that Crashed the Oscars”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4777808.stm

Times UK Online “Uneasy Hollywood Chooses Race Relations over Gay Cowboy Drama”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2072699,00.html

365 Gay.com “How did Brokeback Lose? Theories Abound”
http://www.365gay.com/Newscon06/03/030606brokeback.htm

Monster Works “Brokeback’s McMurtry Accuses Academy of Rural Discrimination”
http://contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/brokebacks%20mcmurtry%20accuses%20academy%20of%20rural%20discrimination_06_03_2006

Hollywood Hotline “Ratings drop for Academy”
http://hollywoodhotline.typepad.com/watcher/

National Review “Brokeback to the Future”
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/bennett200603061142.asp

Rush Limbaugh.com “Hollywood knows they are out of touch”
http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_030606/content/the_oscars.guest.html

Advocate “Maybe Brokeback was too controversial after all”
http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid26549.asp

Entertainment Tonight Academy Awards Round up
http://et.tv.yahoo.com/newslink/14102/

New York Times “Los Angeles retains custody of Oscar”
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/07/movies/redcarpet/07osca.html?hp&ex=1141707600&en=f9bcd4f56177090d&ei=5094&partner=homepage
« Last Edit: Mar 07, 2006, 12:00 AM by ethan »
Remembering Pierre (chameau) 1960-2015, a "Capricorn bro and crazy Frog Uncle from the North Pole." You are missed

Offline Lost_Girl

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #23 on: Mar 07, 2006, 09:21 AM »
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/05/oscar/main1369442.shtml

Interesting video and article.
Ang Lee talk about win and lost of Brokeback Mountain.
« Last Edit: Mar 07, 2006, 09:58 AM by Lost_Girl »
YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW BAD IT GETS !!!!

"There are places we can never return"
"When you ain't got nothing, you don't need nothing"

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Offline hidesert

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #24 on: Mar 07, 2006, 10:13 AM »

[size=12]Brokeback's' Oscar Bust[/size]

Kevin Naff, Washington Blade  March 6, 2006


It’s hard out there for a gay film fan. First, “Brokeback Mountain’s” Jake Gyllenhaal lost to George Clooney for Best Supporting Actor. Then Michelle Williams was beat by Rachel Weisz in the Best Supporting Actress category. The unsinkable Dolly Parton lost to something called Three 6 Mafia for Best Song. Heath Ledger lost the Best Actor award to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Then Felicity Huffman, an accomplished stage actress nominated for “Transamerica,” lost to the ever-grinning and unthreatening Reese Witherspoon for Best Actress.

Perhaps those results didn’t come as much of a surprise. But it was what happened at the end of last night’s Academy Awards telecast that left the audience stunned and gasping.

When Jack Nicholson announced “Crash” as Best Picture, the guests at a gay-hosted Oscar party I attended went silent. Not a person in the room picked “Crash” to win. Odds makers, film critics and pundits didn’t either. So what happened? Was there too much “Brokeback” hype? Did the buzz peak too early? Were Academy voters, many of whom live in Los Angeles, predisposed to support a film about their hometown? Or did anti-gay bias creep into the balloting?

Most likely the answer is a combination of all of the above. And it’s a huge disappointment because the best film of the year didn’t take home the Oscar. “Brokeback Mountain,” by far the year’s most celebrated film, lost to an unoriginal retread of a movie about intersecting lives in Los Angeles.

“The everyday lives of a number of Los Angeles residents are the subject of this loosely-knitted collection of short stories.” Does that tagline sound familiar? It sounds a lot like a description of “Crash,” but it was actually written 13 years ago about the brilliant Robert Altman film “Short Cuts.” Like “Crash,” “Short Cuts” also featured an ensemble cast of big Hollywood stars in cameo or supporting roles. Even the title of the winning film isn’t original — it was recycled from a 1996 film about car crashes.

As London Free Press columnist Dan Brown pointed out, “Hmmm … a troubled L.A. cop. You mean like the nervous cop played by John C. Reilly in ‘Magnolia?’ Or was he more like the crooked cop played by Tim Robbins in ‘Short Cuts?’ Granted, there’s nothing new under the sun. But repainting the same horse ridden by previous directors is not the mark of a strong storyteller.”

Unlike “Brokeback,” which won near-unanimous praise and swept the earlier awards, “Crash” received decidedly mixed reviews. The Miami Herald wrote, "Contrived, obvious and overstated, ‘Crash’ is basically just one white man's righteous attempt to make other white people feel as if they've confronted the problem of racism head-on."

The Boston Globe concurred, "Characters come straight from the assembly line of screenwriting archetypes, and too often they act in ways that archetypes, rather than human beings, do."

The hometown newspaper, the L.A. Times, described “Crash” as, "A grim, histrionic experiment in vehicular metaphor slaughter."

There were a few highlights for gay film fans. Hoffman’s portrayal of gay author Truman Capote was a deserving win. Ang Lee, who was named Best Director, mentioned gays in a long-overdue shout-out during his acceptance speech.

"[Ennis and Jack] taught all of us who made 'Brokeback Mountain' so much about not just all the gay men and women whose love is denied by society, but just as important, the greatness of love itself," Lee said.

“Brokeback” also won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, begging the question: How does a movie win awards for director and screenplay but lose Best Picture?

Maybe “Brokeback” was a victim of its own hype, but it’s more likely that too many straight Academy members either didn’t vote for the film or didn’t even bother to see it because of the overt gay love story and much-talked-about pup tent sex scene.

As “Brokeback" screenwriter Larry McMurtry told reporters backstage, "Americans don't want cowboys to be gay," Sadly, the groundbreaking film was slighted and its powerful message reduced to a series of tired, predictable gay jokes during the telecast.

It was an unfortunate finish for a film that will be remembered by many filmgoers — gay and straight alike — as the best of 2005.


Offline jakeofrome

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #25 on: Mar 07, 2006, 10:32 AM »
Was There a 'Brokeback' Backlash?

We chatted about it, joked about it, argued about it, spoofed it. "Brokeback Mountain" was everywhere in our popular culture - yet it lost the big Oscar it was supposed to win.

Was there a "Brokeback Backlash," or was "Crash" just the worthy contender that came on strong in the final Best Picture stretch? There were as many theories being offered up Monday as there are "Brokeback" parodies on the Internet.

One theory was that, despite the hoopla, the endless late-night monologues and the clever imitations, people (Academy voters, that is) didn't really love the soulful saga of two gay cowboys - and perhaps even felt uncomfortable with its themes.

"Sometimes people pretend to like movies more than they actually do," said Richard Walter, who heads the screenwriting program at UCLA's film school. "But this film wasn't really THAT good. What it tried to do was great, sensational. But what it actually accomplished wasn't so great. You can't really buy the love story."

Film critic Kenneth Turan, writing in the Los Angeles Times, said the problem wasn't with the film's quality. Rather, he said, "you could not take the pulse of the industry without realizing that this film made people distinctly uncomfortable."

"In the privacy of the voting booth ... people are free to act out the unspoken fears and unconscious prejudices that they would never breathe to another soul, or likely, acknowledge to themselves. And at least this year, that acting out doomed `Brokeback Mountain.'"

Gay activists did not necessarily agree.

"I don't think it has anything to do with the subject matter," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national gay rights group. He noted that "Brokeback" and "Crash" both dealt with "tough issues like indifference and intolerance."

"I was certainly disappointed," Solmonese said. "But I would trade that Oscar for all the positive conversations that this movie spurred between parents and their gay children, or between employees and their gay co-workers. That impact transcends any accolades."

Some people focused on the demographics of the typical Academy voter: older, and city-dwelling. Author and "Brokeback" co-screenwriter Larry McMurtry thought that was key to his film's loss.

"Members of the Academy are mostly urban people," McMurtry, who won the adapted screenplay prize with Diana Ossana, said backstage at Sunday night's ceremony. "We are an urban nation. We are not a rural nation. It's not easy even to get a rural story made."

McMurtry could have added that not only are Academy voters urban, they also are from Los Angeles - the city that is the heart of "Crash," a racial drama depicting the intertwining experiences of an array of characters over 36 hours. The film, featuring a huge and accomplished cast ("Raise your hand if you're NOT in `Crash,'" host Jon Stewart quipped to the crowd), also won for original screenplay and film editing.

"Brokeback" director Ang Lee, who won the directing prize, said he hadn't a clue why the film didn't take the best-picture award. "They didn't vote for it," he said. "I don't know. You asked me one question, and I don't know the answer."

But his brother had an opinion. Lee Kang, speaking in Tapei, Taiwan, suggested American bias was involved. "When the locals are voting, they will have this, whether you call it nationalism or something else," he said.

"Crash" writer/director Paul Haggis, for his part, said he hadn't "for a second" believed the whispers, which grew louder as Oscar night approached, that "Crash" had the momentum to overtake "Brokeback."

"I didn't believe any of that nonsense," he said. "In fact, we were so shocked. I mean, we're still trying to figure out if we got this."

"Crash" came out to mixed reviews in May, considered much too early for a film to stay in voters' minds. But Lionsgate Films reminded voters and critics of the movie's potency by flooding them with copies of the DVD late in 2005.

In winning over the heavily favored "Brokeback," the film evoked major upsets of the past, most recently the 1999 triumph of "Shakespeare in Love" over "Saving Private Ryan." Another famous underdog champ was "Chariots of Fire," which in 1982 beat both Warren Beatty's historical epic, "Reds," and the family story "On Golden Pond."

One disturbing difference for the Academy: a lot more viewers tuned in to see those upsets. An estimated 38.8 million people watched Sunday's telecast on ABC - down 8 percent from last year and the second-worst showing in nearly two decades, according to Nielsen Media Research. Except for the 2003 count of 33 million viewers - when "Chicago" took the best-picture award - viewership hadn't dipped below 40 million since 1987.

So what is to be learned from Sunday night's upset result? Not much, says Walter, the film professor. You just really never know what Academy voters are going to do.

"It's just a crapshoot," Walter said. "You go to Vegas and you put your money on number 17.

"There is NO lesson to be learned from all this. It doesn't mean a thing."

(The Associated Press)
"I loved it. Shocking. Surprising. The guy who financed my movie did that too. He's a very mild mannered chap from Minnesota and we'd just screened the latest cut of my film and he asked if I wanted to see it. I was thinking, 'OK, this really square, straight guy,' and he showed me this movie. It's amazing.

"They're really good those boys and they did a great job. It's very brave of them."

Offline rabjr1

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #26 on: Mar 07, 2006, 10:40 AM »
It's interesting to note that in one report it says that the producers of "Crash" sent out 120,000 videso to voting members of the Academy while BBM is still in theaters.  The backhanded politicing of films in Hollywood must be ruthless. 

Most critics and I guesssome Hollywood bigwigs were surprised about "Crash" win.  Looing agina at Jack Nicholson's reaction I guess he say he voted for BBM putting to rest my thinking he was homophic.

"Crash" hopes to generate more dollars with their dvd sales, we'll see.  If the people on this forum can see BBM multible times I'm sure the dvde sales of the movie will be the same.  I know I am going to buy several copies of the dvd one or two to watch and about 2 to keep in safe storage.
RAB aka Raoul The Really Rotten

Offline Kindred

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #27 on: Mar 07, 2006, 11:01 AM »
    Non-scientific poll results of WashingtonPost.com readers:

Which was the biggest snub at this year's Academy Awards?
   
11482 responses so far:

Giamatti Losing to Clooney              (17.1%), 1962 votes
No Oscar for Heath Ledger              (6.2%), 710 votes
No Best Picture for 'Brokeback'    (42.6%), 4886 votes
No Oscar for Joaquin Phoenix          (26.5%), 3045 votes
Williams Losing to Weisz                  (7.7%), 879 votes

(While the 42.6% for BBM didn't surprise me, the 26.5% for Joaquin did.)

Offline hidesert

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #28 on: Mar 07, 2006, 11:43 AM »
   Non-scientific poll results of WashingtonPost.com readers:

Which was the biggest snub at this year's Academy Awards?
   
11482 responses so far:

Giamatti Losing to Clooney              (17.1%), 1962 votes
No Oscar for Heath Ledger              (6.2%), 710 votes
No Best Picture for 'Brokeback'    (42.6%), 4886 votes
No Oscar for Joaquin Phoenix          (26.5%), 3045 votes
Williams Losing to Weisz                  (7.7%), 879 votes

(While the 42.6% for BBM didn't surprise me, the 26.5% for Joaquin did.) 

Very interesting.  Remember Washington, DC is just north of Virginia and Southerners have fond memories of Johnny Cash.  If the poll was taken by the New York Times it might be different. The loss for BBM appears to be widespread which is positive.

Almost all the major awards prior to the Oscars set a pattern of who deserved awards and even at the Oscars the awards were fairly predictable.  That was until the end and the big prize. Something doesn't smell right.

   
« Last Edit: Mar 07, 2006, 11:46 AM by hidesert »

Offline hidesert

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Re: Post-Oscar news coverage
« Reply #29 on: Mar 07, 2006, 11:54 AM »
Ok, take a deep breath and make sure your blood pressure isn't too high.  This is in effect Roger Ebert's response to Kenneth Turan's article.  Ebert and his chum Richard Roeper were both big "Crash" supporters.   


The Fury of the 'Crash'-lash[/b]

BY ROGER EBERT / March 6, 2006

LOS ANGELES -- One of the mysteries of the 2006 Oscar season is the virulence with which lovers of "Brokeback Mountain" savaged "Crash." When the film about racism actually won the Oscar for best picture Sunday, there was no grace in their response. As someone who felt "Brokeback" was a great film but "Crash" a greater one, I would have been pleased if either had won.

But here is Ken Turan in the Los Angeles Times, writing on the morning after: "So for people who were discomfited by 'Brokeback Mountain' but wanted to be able to look themselves in the mirror and feel like they were good, productive liberals, 'Crash' provided the perfect safe harbor. They could vote for it in good conscience, vote for it and feel they had made a progressive move, vote for it and not feel that there was any stain on their liberal credentials for shunning what 'Brokeback' had to offer. And that's exactly what they did."

And Nikki Finke, in the LA Weekly: "Way back on Jan. 17, I decided to nominate the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Bunch of Hypocrites. That's because I felt this year's dirty little Oscar secret was the anecdotal evidence pouring in to me about hetero members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences being unwilling to screen 'Brokeback Mountain.' For a community that takes pride in progressive values, it seemed shameful to me that Hollywood's homophobia could be on a par with Pat Robertson's."

Yes, and more than one critic described "Crash" as "the worst film of the year," which is as extreme as saying John Kerry was a coward in Vietnam. It means you'll say anything to help your campaign.

What is intriguing about these writers is that they never mention the other three best picture nominees: "Capote," "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "Munich." Their silence on these films reveals their agenda: They wanted "Brokeback Mountain" to win, saw "Crash" as the spoiler, and attacked "Crash." If "Munich" had been the spoiler, they might not have focused on "Crash." When they said those who voted for "Crash" were homophobes who were using a liberal movie to mask their hatred of homosexuals, they might have said the same thing about "Munich."

This seems simply wrong. Consider Finke's "anecdotal evidence" that puts Hollywood's homophobia on a par with Pat Robertson's. Pat Robertson? This is certainly the most extreme statement she could make on the subject, but can it be true? How many anecdotes add up to evidence? Did anyone actually tell her they didn't want to see the movie because it was about two gay men?

My impression, also based on anecdotal evidence, is that the usual number of academy voters saw the usual number of academy nominees, and voted for the ones they admired the most. In a year without "Brokeback Mountain," Finke, Turan and many others might have admired "Crash." Or maybe not. But it's a matter of opinion, not sexual politics.

It is not a "safe harbor," but a film that takes the discussion of racism in America in a direction it has not gone before in the movies, directing attention at those who congratulate themselves on not being racist, including liberals and/or minority group members. It is a movie of raw confrontation about the complexity of our motives, about how racism works not only top down but sideways, and how in different situations, we are all capable of behaving shamefully.

"Good Night, and Good Luck," "Capote" and "Munich" were also risky pictures -- none more so, from a personal point of view, than "Munich," which afforded Steven Spielberg the unique experience of being denounced as anti-Semitic. "Good Night, and Good Luck" was surely a "safe harbor" for liberals, with its attack at a safe distance on McCarthyism -- although it carried an inescapable reference to McCarthyism as practiced by the Bush administration, which equates its critics with supporters of terrorism.

"Capote" was a brilliant character study of a writer who was gay, and who used his sexuality, as we all use our sexuality, as a part of his personal armory in daily battle.

It is noticeable how many writers on "Hollywood's homophobia" were able to sidestep "Capote," which was a hard subject to miss, being right there on the same list of best picture nominees. Were supporters of "Brokeback" homophobic in championing the cowboys over what Oscarcast host Jon Stewart called the "effete New York intellectual"?

Of course not. "Brokeback Mountain" was simply a better movie than "Capote." And "Crash" was better than "Brokeback Mountain," although they were both among the best films of the year. That is a matter of opinion. But I was not "discomfited" by "Brokeback Mountain." Read my original review. I chose "Crash" as the best film of the year not because it promoted one agenda and not another, but because it was a better film.

The nature of the attacks on "Crash" by the supporters of "Brokeback Mountain" seem to proceed from the other position: "Brokeback" is better not only because of its artistry but because of its subject matter, and those who disagree hate homosexuals. Its supporters could vote for it in good conscience, vote for it and feel they had made a progressive move, vote for it and not feel that there was any stain on their liberal credentials for shunning what "Crash" had to offer.