Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Annie Proulx, Very Sore Loser

I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain, so I can't say how robbed it was when the Best Picture Oscar went to Crash. Still, I can't help being tickled by Annie Proulx's indignation about "losing" the award. She evens calls Crash "Trash" in her recent rant published in the Guardian:
The people connected with Brokeback Mountain, including me, hoped that, having been nominated for eight Academy awards, it would get Best Picture as it had at the funny, lively Independent Spirit awards the day before. (If you are looking for smart judging based on merit, skip the Academy Awards next year and pay attention to the Independent Spirit choices.) We should have known conservative heffalump academy voters would have rather different ideas of what was stirring contemporary culture. Roughly 6,000 film industry voters, most in the Los Angeles area, many living cloistered lives behind wrought-iron gates or in deluxe rest-homes, out of touch not only with the shifting larger culture and the yeasty ferment that is America these days, but also out of touch with their own segregated city, decide which films are good. And rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash - excuse me - Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline. Next year we can look to the awards for controversial themes on the punishment of adulterers with a branding iron in the shape of the letter A, runaway slaves, and the debate over free silver.
HA HA. For those of you who have seen Brokeback, how great was it really?


Anonymous said...

So I saw both Brokeback and Crash. I thought both were great movies. But when it comes to the Academy Awards.... there can only be one winner and the rest are all nominees, right? It's hard to compare art to art, but in the context of Brokeback, an Academy Award would've been well deserved. The problem with this year's nominees was that they were all top notch, but very very different.

In my opinion, Brokeback was a great movie because it broke homosexuality in our society into a simple and easy to digest issue that everyone can relate to. I don't think I talked to anyone who saw it (man or woman) that actually said, "I don't get it. What's the big deal?" You either saw it and got it or you just chose not to see it. Brokeback did a better job of not judging in the film. Ang Lee just left all the issues as they are. You were allowed to feel what you wished about gay sex, cheating on your spouse, promiscuity, gay-bashing, etc. No statement about how society should deal with such a complex issue except to make the gay lovers human.

Crash was great for film editing and the way it weaved everything together. But the message.... a bit too much in your face.

Actually, I saw Capote last week and I thought that should've been a much higher contender than Crash.


chanchow said...

Hey JEM:

I will see if I can download Meteor Crusher onto my BB. I've tired of the Brick Game, so the timing is right.

Having not seen Brokeback I will say that I'm glad the movie was made and got all the acclaim and publicity that it did. I think Ang Lee is fantastic. He has managed to make movies across so many genres (from Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility), to kung fu (CTHD), to American comic icon (Hulk), to gay cowboy). It blows my mind. So fearless. I will put Brokeback on my Netflix queue so that I can actually form a decent opinion on the movie.

I agree that Crash hit you over the head with its message. It was especially heavy handed at the beginning and I was very put off initially. I prefer movies with bold messages that are delivered more subtly, like Good Night and Good Luck.

I thought Capote was a much better film overall than Crash-- the acting was better, the story was tighter-- but alas, it wasn't a very "important" movie, whatever that means.

In any case, I think it's pretty absurd that Annie Proulx threw such a tissy. We all know that giving awards for best artistic this or that is inherently flawed. As a writer, she should know that as well as anyone.