Crash was not a big surprise or was it the biggest upset in Acadamy history. For once the acadamy voted Best Picture to a film that truly deserved it. I am a gay man and from the day the nomintaions came out I said Crash was the best film I had seen last year. Had I been an acadamy voter, I would have voted the way all the awards went last night except for Best Supporting Actress. I felt Catherine Keener was much better than Rachel Weiz.
Well, it was certainly a surprise to me and to everybody else who was watching it at our little â€œOscar partyâ€. Let’s face it, it was truly a handicapper from the start:
(1) its release date (May 8, 2005) – it barely made it in â€œunder the wireâ€ as an eligible candidate;
(2) by industry standards, this movie was already â€œold newsâ€ â€" when the nominees were announced, it had already been released on home video for several months (since September 6, 2005), whereas other nominees were just beginning wide theatrical release and are still in theaters today (and are only now being released on home video â€" a smart â€œpost-Oscarâ€ marketing move);
(3) a low-budget ($6.5M) and low-profile film, from a Hollywood production and publicity standpoint (and yet it did a respectable $55M box office when compared with Brokeback Mountainâ€™s current $79M take, which will undoubtedly continue to go higher).
Looking at the nominees across all categories, you could say that the playing field was â€œloadedâ€. Three out of the biggest contenders focused on themes and characters that were either gay (â€œBrokeback Mountainâ€, â€œCapoteâ€) or trans-gendered (Transamerica). Perhaps it was more gayness than even Hollywood could handle all at once.
Sorry to say, but in these â€œp.c.â€ times, it seems that excellence can also be a liability: “Brokeback Mountain” received SO much buzz, hype and critical acclaim (not to mention many other â€œbestâ€ awards – and deservedly so) that the Academy must have felt that a vote for it would have been perceived as an obvious “no-brainer” pressure bow to popular consensus. From an image standpoint, they must have felt it better to deliberately â€œgo against the grainâ€, shock everyone, pick an underdog and err on the side of â€œpolitical correctnessâ€ – the Academy at its â€œliberalâ€ best: â€œedgyâ€ and at the same time â€œsafeâ€.
Ironic (and disappointing) actually, because so much of America still has a hard time accepting or acknowledging issues of sexual orientation or identity on ANY level, and being gay or trans-gendered is ANYTHING but popular or mainstream. If the Academy REALLY wanted to make a genuine statement about â€œtoleranceâ€ on awards night, they could have stepped up to the plate and voted the way so many others have. Besides, donâ€™t they have ANY clue as to who Oscarâ€™s most loyal audience is???
Ah, thereâ€™s nothing like Academy Awards night â€" the second biggest gay national holiday (after Halloween, of course!) :–)
â€œAgendaâ€? Hmmâ€¦I never received a memo from the â€œhome officeâ€ about any agenda. I must be out of the loop!
As for â€œnormalizingâ€â€¦I didnâ€™t realize it was abnormal in the first place (the American Psychological Association recognized that 32 years ago).
“Brokeback Mountain” told a love story, plain and simple, without resorting to obvious clichÃ©s, â€œpreachy-nessâ€, â€œin your faceâ€ language, or sordid sex scenes (unlike so many other movies).
No need to strive for â€œshock valueâ€ – the screenplay and dramatic elements speak for themselves, allowing a variety of perspectives and dimensions to emerge. Undeniably, this was an â€œunconventionalâ€ love, given the time, setting and social climate the characters found themselves in (the characters themselves were not your â€œusualâ€ gay men – anything but stereotypical). Director Ang Lee and writers Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana did a masterful job of adapting Annie Proulxâ€™s short story for the big screen – the fact that they didnâ€™t â€œgay it upâ€ is precisely why I loved this film!
â€œLove is a force of nature.â€ – movie tagline
I never received my agenda either and I’m thoroughly out of the closet and have been for 35 years. I think someone has got the gay agenda confused with the straight agenda. Brokeback was made by straight people for a straight audience. It’s theme (according to the straight author of the story) is homophobia in rural America. We see this form of psychological terrorism inflicted on Ennis at a young age and the repressed and fearful person that Ennis turns into. We see that it destroys his marriage— and the love of his life. Rural America (and the big cities for that matter) can still be a very dangerous place for gay people and this is not 1963. The high profile murder of Matthew Sheppard comes to mind. My own personal opinion is that I thought Brokeback was a far superior film to Crash although I liked it also. The fact that it didn’t really have an agenda is one of the reasons the film has done well in all it’s bookings nationwide and will probably have a huge dvd audience next month when it comes out again. Might not have won best picture but I think Brokeback, as a story and a film, will have a long life.
I posted the first comment. I just knew some right wing idot (gee is this Bush posting something under a false name he lies about everything else)would start up on the gay issue. Nobody pushed Brokeback down your throat or anybody elses. I think the acadamy showed they are not hoomophobic or prejudice by awarding both films.
All rights groups like the Christian, ACLU groups all fight towrd getting people to accept what they believe. People should accept what they want.
Alas, our responses were entirely predictable, but then again, we are known for our bitchy sarcasm, clever wit and snappy repartee. ;–)
What I do believe is that these organizations are trying to advocate fair and equal treatment in housing, accommodations, and the workplace, and protection under the law from those that try to deny these rights (and in a modern democratic society, these are basic rights, not privileges). Acceptance is a pipe dream, because it is ultimately a personal choice that cannot be decided or regulated by someone else, and Iâ€™m not sure what a â€œnormalâ€ lifestyle is, because normalcy has no universal definition. However, if oneâ€™s daily lifestyle means living in fear of losing oneâ€™s job, being denied insurance benefits, or having the tar beaten out of them in public, then compared to the rest of society (i.e. the â€œmajorityâ€), I would have to say that it is definitely not â€œnormalâ€.
All gay people should NOT expect or deserve special treatment, just fair treatment. All gay people should NOT expect everyone to like them, but should expect others to let them live without fear or harm.
But that was not your original point. You seemed to be saying that you are tired of the movies (and mass media) being used as a vehicle of sorts to push some specialized homosexual â€œagendaâ€ (or dare I say â€œpropagandaâ€) of â€œnormalcyâ€ to mainstream society, and that gay rights groups play an influential role in this. Actually, if one watches or reads the news regularly, one would probably conclude that it is the rest of societyâ€™s behavior that needs to be â€œnormalizedâ€ first in order for ANYBODY to get along.
We all have choices, and you will find many more movies out there that do NOT make it a point of advocating tolerance towards gays or promoting â€œthe gay lifestyleâ€ ** anymore than they do so for blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews or women, and you are more than welcome to view those movies, regardless of whether you are gay, straight, or anything in-between. If you or I feel that we are being relentlessly â€œassaultedâ€ by messages with the words â€œbigot, â€œracistâ€ or â€œdiscriminationâ€, we have the right to say so, but we also have the right to ignore those messages by changing the channel, turning the page, ignoring the movie, or simply walking away. Democracy may not be perfect, but at least we have it.
** Iâ€™ve always found humor in people using this phrase, since those same people have yet to define â€œthe straight lifestyle.â€
Just like straights, there are some gay people who need to synchronize the speed of their mouths (and keyboards) with their brains.
George W. Bush, although not exactly the sharpest tack on the board, really has nothing to do with this. However, with regards to the worldâ€™s problems, he has far exceeded his personal quota.
Are you serious? Perhaps you have never seen â€¦â€Pattonâ€, â€œTora!Tora!Tora!â€, â€œFull Metal Jacketâ€, â€œApocalypse Nowâ€, â€œPlatoonâ€, â€œThe Deer Hunterâ€, â€œGood Morning, Vietnamâ€, â€œGloryâ€, â€œThe Tuskegee Airmenâ€, â€œBlack Hawk Downâ€, â€œSaving Private Ryanâ€, â€œPearl Harborâ€â€¦not to mention oldies like “All Quiet on the Western Front”, “Bridge On the River Kwaiâ€, â€œStalag 17â€, â€œThe Great Escapeâ€ and every John Wayne, Henry Fonda or John Ford WWII movie ever made. Just go to IMDb.com and search under the genre â€œwarâ€ â€” I think youâ€™ll find something from the 5,464 titles listed there.
Correct me if Iâ€™m wrong, but if I follow your â€œa tit for a tatâ€ train-of-logic, I suppose then that Hollywood would have to produce approximately 5,464 gay-themed movies, just to make the playing field â€œevenâ€. Calling all gay actors! (Shouldnâ€™t be any problem finding too many of those.)