Saturday, March 11, 2006

Oscars, briefly

Okay, I was commenting on another's blog regarding the bias of the Oscars and thought, "you know, this is one of those things I really should shout out on my own page" so, here goes.

I was able to see Capote, Brokeback Mountain, and Crash before the award ceremonies. Capote being the latest. I waited a few months after Brokeback's release to avoid the crowd and in the interim, heard MUCH praise for the movie. Now usually this leads to a big build up with a big let down. So when I viewed the movie I was objective in mind going in and somewhat confused on my feelings when I got out.

It is, in a nutshell, a movie about two men who find lust while on a mountain and realize at the end there may be more to it. However, they choose to marry women. I can imagine having to hide ( and did so myself for a brief while) like that but I can't help but notice they dragged others into it. They weren't requirement or even expected to marry in that time. I just thought it was a very selfish and indulgent move on their part.

The scenery, in the beginning 20 minutes, was beautiful and I've seen it on National Geographic. It was entertaining but I felt it slow and lacking something...I guess any form of empathy for the characters, mainly due to the way they cheated on their families. Only tender moment was the finding of the shirts behind the closet. And again, seeing the shirts on the closet door at the end.

I say this not with bias; I am a liberal lesbian with many gay and lesbian friends in which some enjoyed the movie, a lot. I just didn't find it Oscar worthy, especially against a film such as Crash.

This movie was not only entertaining and done well, but it was important in a politically valid and current way. It did make you think and it made you talk and it made a lot of buzz before Brokeback took more than it's fifteen minutes worth from the media machine. Crash deserved to win, it wasn't an Academy cop out...which, to say so only slights Crash even further because it was a valid and effective picture that was so intertwined in story and so relevant to our culture and so applicable to every single person in our country if not world that it ABSOLUTELY deserved the accolades it received.

It's upsetting to me that some of the gay and lesbian community are being sore losers. I think Brokeback did great things for the community in generating the buzz it did. It offered exposure and did seem to push the envelope and open another door for the 'cause'. But I also think there are better pictures that represent a better image and creative force for the community such as Brother to Brother. We all need to show grace in losing. There is no place for arrogance for anyone.

I'm not going to say bias doesn't exist, and that it doesn't exist even in liberal Hollywood and the Academy. However, I don't believe the award going to Crash was an example of bias, only of merit. If there was any disappoinment, it was in Joaquin not winning the Oscar for his portrayal of Johnny Cash. What an amazing performance. Love Phillip's work and have enjoyed him for years but Capote was an okay movie that was about a manipulative, selfish, and self-centered man. Phillip did a great job playing him but I don't think he pulled you in the same way Phoenix did. That was a shameful loss.

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