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Crashing the Oscars, and Other Embarrassingly Stupid Academy Decisions

Crashing the Oscars, and Other Embarrassingly Stupid Academy Decisions

I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed or surprised, but look at the Academy’s track record.

2003: “Chicago” beats “The Pianist,” “Gangs of New York,” and “Lord of the Rings”
2002: “A Beautiful Mind” beats “In the Bedroom,” “Gosford Park” and “Lord of the Rings”
2001: “Gladiator” beats “Crouching, Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Erin Brockovich,” and “Traffic”

And the list goes on, with smarmy winners like “Braveheart,” “Forrest Gump,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Dances with Wolves,” and “Rain Man,” and losers like “Raging Bull,” “Dangerous Liasons,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Goodfellas,” “My Left Foot,” and “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” just to name a few.

I’ll never forget back in 1990 when “Ghost” beat “Alice,” “Avalon,” and “Metropolitan” for best original screenplay. I lost any illusions that the Academy knows anything about good movies then. So with the “Crash” win (still I can’t bear to write it), it only confirms what the Academy has represented for the last couple decades: sentimentalist, nauseating, embarrassingly stupid movies for the lowest common denominator.

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Yes, the Best Picture voters are older and more conservative, but Crash was a very respectable emsemble picture (and a Los Angeles picture) and Brokeback Mountain was extremely overhyped. Ang Lee is certainly one of my favorite directors, and I’m surprised that Rodrigo Prieto didn’t win (or Lubezki, or Pfister; in fact, Cinematography was really the big question mark), but Brokeback wasn’t even in my top five- it survived on subject matter and the tiresome jokes that kept it in the spotlight. Baumbach should have taken original screenplay and either Capote or Good Night and Good Luck should have taken Best Picture- even though the former was too esoteric and the latter too short- but certainly not Brokeback.


The fun part of the whole thing is the fact that today, all the papers are acting as if Crash was this spunky little underdog that managed some wonderful feat in taking down Goliath Brokeback, rather than a worthless shit film from a hack writer/director that picked up those votes from people uncomfortable about viewing and voting for a superior film.
It’s the attitude today of “wow! the little guy can win!” that is making me particularly nauseated.

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