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Old 03-06-2006, 05:25 PM   #361
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I know I've made note of this many times, but I honestly think had Tony Kushner won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, that would've been a bigger stride for the LGBT community. Here is someone who is actually gay. No one involved in the Brokeback film production was gay.
I see what you mean but certainly there must have been gay writers recognized in past years. I am completely ignorant about that but I can't imagine there haven't been, anyone please correct me on that And of course there is openly gay vs not.

Anyway, I just read this article on huffingtonpost.com-it certainly is the topic of the day. I don't agree with everything this guy says either



by Bill Robinson

The gay people I know are so anxious to see themselves portrayed as romantic leads in mainstream Hollywood movies, and justifiably so, that they've lost perspective on last night's Oscars.

By 10am this morning I had received dozens of enraged calls, emails, and text messages. Friends were livid that "Crash" beat "Brokeback Mountain" last night. Kenneth Turan of the LA Times wrote a desperate, angry piece that claimed that "Brokeback" was defeated by the secret homophobia of Academy voters (though he does not bother to explain why they awarded it best Dierector and Adapted Screenplay). He not only derides "Crash" as standard, manipulative Hollywood fare, and a "feel-good film about racism," but his outraged piece seemed to imply that "Brokeback" was the only other nominee in the category, and was, in its own right, basically flawless.

Even Google has gotten in on the act... as Gawker reports, if you type in "I'm Really Glad Crash Won" you get, "Did you mean "I'm Really Glad Trash won?"

Sorry, but I don't agree with the sore losers. Yes, homophobia exists all over the place, including among Academy voters, but the "Crash" victory probably had more to do with the thousands of DVD's sent to voters, and the six-figure Oscar spending spree on its behalf. "Brokeback" had garnered endless awards, and is the highest grossing best picture nominee. Is it really the victim of an anti-gay conspiracy?

Even if you agree that "Crash" allowed liberals to feel they had examined their souls just enough to avoid feeling compelled to vote for the unpalatable "gay cowboy" movie, none of that changes the flaws in "Brokeback". As much as many of us love the theme of the film, and what it represents, it was by no means a perfect movie. That is really a faulty premise on which to debate the "Crash" upset. Even leftie New Yorker critic David Denby pointed out the first half of Brokeback feels no more engaging than flipping thru a stack of postcards.

I also disagree that "Crash" was a feel-good racism film. It was much more complicated and disquieting than "Brokeback", which some argue had nothing more to say than it was hard being a closeted sheep herder in Wyoming in the 60's, and, yes, love is important. A beautiful film, to be sure, but it is far too easy to let its banner cause cloud an accurrate perception of the movie itself. Not that "Crash" was any better. Most people I talked to felt it was on-the-nose, and ham-fistedly directed.

Like a lot of people, my favorites of the year weren't among the final five. Of those, personally, I admired "Munich", and the much more pressing, timely, and challenging issues it illuminated. I wish the Turans of the world would explore the resistance to that film in our current political climate... a much more psychologically revealing endeavor, to be sure.
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:44 PM   #362
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Originally posted by blueyedpoet
I know I've made note of this many times, but I honestly think had Tony Kushner won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, that would've been a bigger stride for the LGBT community. Here is someone who is actually gay. No one involved in the Brokeback film production was gay.
I think it's disturbing how while congradulating themselves for how "out of step" they are with the world, Hollywood catered just as much to Israel as the Bush administration.
How would Kushner winning an Oscar have constituted a big stride for the gay community? Gay screenwriters are nothing new...but successful gay-themed films are. Munich had no effect on that one way or the other. Anyways, as the winner of a Tony, an Emmy, a Pulitzer, and a boatload of other awards (mostly for Angels in America), Kushner is hardly a neglected talent in the gay entertainment world.

I liked Munich very much, probably slightly more than Brokeback, but I don't think its artistic superiority was so blindingly obvious as to make its failure to win an obvious case of Hollywood's "catering" to anyone. It was sensitively told and well-paced, but there was nothing revolutionary or novel about its themes (self-defeating nature of retributive justice, etc.) or the way it chose to approach them. I actually found Brokeback more groundbreaking on that front because of the subtlety with which it addressed its subject. Granted, Munich did poorly in Israel, and that was almost certainly partly due to relentless critical attacks on its fast and loose playing with certain facts...but in and of itself, that would make a poor reason for awarding it an Oscar; it's not the Academy's job to rebuke overly politicized critics. I'm just not convinced that it ever clearly had the edge in terms of artistic merit, and if it didn't, then I don't see the virtue in jumping to conclusions about why else it didn't win.
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:53 PM   #363
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I haven't seen Munich or Brokeback Mountain yet...but I'm willing to bet they were "artistically superior" to Crash.
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:07 PM   #364
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I haven't seen Crash yet, though several film critics I respect, including Ebert who liked all 5 nominees, named it as their Oscar preference. Crash does seem to be a film people either really liked or really loathed, which actually kind of intrigues me. But personally, I can only speak to the comparison between Munich and Brokeback, which I would consider pretty much a toss-up with regards to awardworthiness--even though I liked Munich better myself.
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:34 PM   #365
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I think you're putting entirely too much stock in the oscars by saying a BM win would've been good for the country. Do average people really care that much about the oscars? Is your life or my life going to change as a result of who wins and loses?

Edit: I'm a complete hypocrite because I'm an avid sports fan and I felt my life did change after the Red Sox won the world series. If average people care about sports, then average people care about the oscars. My bad.

Well, you're a lot more than a hypocrite, but that's another whole thread.

My life won't change at all based on the Oscars and, unlike sports teams, I think the same is true for most people.

However, I stand by my comment because had BM won, it would forever be known not just as that "gay cowboy flick" but the first gay film that won an Oscar. People call it, "Oh... what's the name of that movie that won all the awards? It was about gay cowboys. What's it called again?"

I have no idea if there was a backlash (like U2 suffered backlashes once they became too popular) or if Hollywood did fear making a gay-themed film their award winner or if Hollywood really truly felt "Crash" was the better movie. I don't know. But I do think that overall, people will remember BM more than they will "Crash", Oscar or not.

Still, given the Oscars BM did win, including a big one, I don't think it really matters much. It'll always be referred to as an Oscar-winning movie and that's probably good enough for the average person.
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:11 AM   #366
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Crash is a good movie,and I only watched the Oscars this year to see how BM and Walk The Line would do...

Joaquin Phoenix

I had my fingers crossed for BM but even if it didnt win...it doesnt change my mind or heart.
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:34 AM   #367
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Originally posted by yolland

How would Kushner winning an Oscar have constituted a big stride for the gay community? Gay screenwriters are nothing new...but successful gay-themed films are. Munich had no effect on that one way or the other. Anyways, as the winner of a Tony, an Emmy, a Pulitzer, and a boatload of other awards (mostly for Angels in America), Kushner is hardly a neglected talent in the gay entertainment world.

I just think a known gay writer winning an Oscar for a "regular" film would have been a greater stride than Brokeback Mountain winning. I mean even Ang Lee tried to downplay the "gay-ness" of his film by talking about the universality of love. Brokeback Mountain is a movie about two gay cowboys and their struggle with their love in a damning society. If it had been about a man and a woman who love each other, it would've ended completely different.
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:09 AM   #368
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Originally posted by VertigoGal
I haven't seen Munich or Brokeback Mountain yet...but I'm willing to bet they were "artistically superior" to Crash.
I thought they both were, I thought Good Night And Good Luck was too
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:19 AM   #369
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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."
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:25 AM   #370
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^ even Roger Ebert can be wrong; he's right in that just because you prefer another film to "brokeback" you're not homophobic, he just overestimates how good a film "crash" is, imho.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:37 AM   #371
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I find it most interesting that all 5 movies this year say the same thing in different ways and from different perspectives and it came down to a heated debate around art versus political message between the 2 fictional portraits (the other 3 having historical truthiness).

There is something poetic and tragic in that all by itself.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:44 AM   #372
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he just overestimates how good a film "crash" is, imho.
I think he does too, if Munich had won I wouldn't have had an issue with it. If GNAGL or Capote had, I would have said they weren't deserving over Brokeback Mountain-I thought they were both very good films, Capote I would put above GNAGL.

Here's another analysis/opinion piece.

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK
Hollywood isn't being straight with gay community

By Wesley Morris, Boston Globe Staff | March 7, 2006

The crash you heard late Sunday night was not only Jack Nicholson announcing the best-picture Oscar winner. It was the sound of lots of closet doors slamming shut in a huff. ''Brokeback Mountain," the so-called gay cowboy movie, lost to ''Crash," a drama about the shrieking, teary, hateful, and guilty people who refuse to stop running into each on the streets of Los Angeles.

Some movies are born political, and others have politics thrust upon them. Poor ''Brokeback Mountain" was such a movie. Ang Lee's adaptation of Annie Proulx's short story was not out to attack us with a statement. It really is just an unhappy love story that happens to have enormous social relevance because its protagonists are two men. Yet the movie's biggest supporters may have turned an otherwise innocent film into a cause that got on voters' nerves. The dialogue became quotable, and the poster was mocked, lessening the emotional seriousness and making for a once-in-a-lifetime pop-culture phenomenon.

''Crash," which many Los Angelenos have come to regard as gospel, was the logical beneficiary.

As Oscar host Jon Stewart pointed out, half of Hollywood acted in ''Crash," and actors make up the Academy's largest branch. Plus, the average age of voters is rumored to be 60-something, which means that ''Crash" might have triggered a civil-rights hot flash in the Academy.

Despite the interlocking story lines, ''Crash" is in its way a conventional social-problem drama that also appealed to voters' sense of laziness. The movie is set in their backyard. And the depiction of nonstop racial strife might have tapped into some voters' guilt about their own wealth and their own prejudices.

Sandra Bullock, as a pampered politician's wife, and Matt Dillon, as a racist LAPD officer, follow particularly improbable trajectories from bigotry to enlightenment: Each dares to hug a person of color. In the case of Bullock's character, it's her Latina maid, who exists solely for this grotesque expression of guilt.

''Crash" edges to the brink of insanity then assures you, ''If we can't all get along, the least we can do is try." Maybe the puppets in the Broadway musical ''Avenue Q" said it best when they sang, ''Everyone's a little bit racist sometimes." ''Crash" turns that declaration into volcanic melodrama.

Oddly, the characters doing all the colliding in ''Crash" are straight. Director and co-writer Paul Haggis was sure to populate his movie Noah's Ark-style, with two or three members of various races, ethnicities, and social classes represented. Homosexuals didn't make the cut.

Thus the win for ''Crash" makes an interesting point about where Hollywood stands on the whole gay issue -- less ''I wish I knew how to quit you" and more ''not that there's anything wrong with that."

Throughout Oscar night, winners gave eloquent shout-outs to tolerance. George Clooney pointed out that Hattie McDaniel won her award at a time when it was dangerous and unfashionable to reward talented African-Americans.

A truly bracing acceptance speech, though, would demand acceptance of openly gay actors instead of congratulating a breakthrough that goes back six decades. Yes, there might not be a Halle Berry without Hattie McDaniel. But suddenly it's more reasonable to wonder when we'll ever see a gay McDaniel.

It's fine for Hollywood to urge gay tolerance. But it should give America an actual homosexual to tolerate first.

The defeat of ''Brokeback" exposes this blind spot all too clearly. Best-director winner Ang Lee praised the fictional ''cowboys" in his movie for their bravery. But the real -- and truly audacious -- Truman Capote went unthanked in best actor winner Philip Seymour Hoffman's acceptance speech.

The culture of the movie business isn't all that different from the military or sports. An accusation of homosexuality can turn a star litigious or, in some cases, relentlessly straight. Obviously, the movies are in the business of illusion. And anything that shatters the illusion is bad for business.

As this year's Oscars demonstrated, Hollywood will find a way to produce or distribute ''Capote," ''Brokeback Mountain," and ''Transamerica," but fosters an environment in which the lead parts in those movies have to be played by ostensibly straight actors. There are no gay film stars. We all know the gay actors go to Broadway (they want Tonys!) or come from England. Seriously people, Ian McKellen can't do all your work for you.

In any case, ''Brokeback Mountain" might not have been stridently political enough for Academy voters. The heroes never even say the word ''gay." ''Crash" throws all its issues up on the screen; of course it won. The Academy can congratulate itself from the bottom of its heart, while claiming to have searched its soul for solutions to decades of African-American neglect. Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman, and now Three 6 Mafia are recent winners. There are lots of African-American stars and producers. Black is pretty normal in the movies.

Homosexuality? Not so much.

In an attempt to ''normalize" ''Brokeback Mountain" during Sunday night's broadcast Stewart trotted out a montage of great homoerotic moments in Westerns. It put the movie in an irreverent cinematic context, and it was very funny until you realized that, because the men in the montage aren't truly gay, all that clip reel actually does is reinforce paranoia about what seems gay. Just like the ''Brokeback" parodies sprouting all over the Internet, it was a backhanded compliment -- progressive, yet misleading, true but false, distancing and distorted.

In the very same way that straight Stewart happily woke up in bed with straight Clooney during one of Sunday night's skits, it was more insidiously coy illusion. Smirking and winking pussyfoots around the issue. Waking up beside Harvey Fierstein and loving it -- that's pushing the envelope.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:59 AM   #373
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If you want to see the into to the Awards here it is, including the whole Gay Cowboy theme they showed.

http://www.wimp.com/stewart/
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:02 PM   #374
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mrs. s., that's the best analysis i've yet read

hopefully, all the people at the Oscars went home after "crash" won and hugged their maids.
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Old 03-07-2006, 01:03 PM   #375
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mrs. s., that's the best analysis i've yet read
Me too. And it kinda makes me wonder what will happen first...gay marriage and adoption formally recognized in law or on film.
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