The 78th Academy Awards went pretty much as planned–that’s if you don’t count the BEST PICTURE upset. But was Crash winning over Brokeback Mountain really the upset? Although I did predict Brokeback Mountain to win, Crash’s victory is not the huge surprise most think, considering the events that have happened in the last two months that, I think, ensured its upset win. Two months ago, Brokeback Mountain was locking up everything in sight and was the clear-cut favorite to win the golden guy, until the following things happened that turned the tide:
- It was released on DVD, making it much more accessible (and more recent in voters’ minds)
- It won the SAG award for Best Ensemble. This was the turning point, I believe. Although I wasn’t surprised by its win (Crash had, like, 40 lead roles and Brokeback had only 4 actors in the whole picture and the SAG Award is for acting only, not writing, directing or anything else and actors LOVE ensemble pieces, please!), I believe its win woke Academy voters from their Brokeback haze and almost gave them permission to even think about giving the Oscar to another film. Once this levee was broken (bad analogy), it was all over.
- Matt Dillon has been on a publicity tour like no other to support Crash in the past two months. He’s been EVERYWHERE. He has been the face of the film and, let’s face it, who doesn’t love Matt Dillon?!
- Crash was the alternative to the perceived year of the gay. I can’t believe the voters WEREN’T affected by the constant barrage of gay cowboy jokes and the constant references to the gay roles and gay movies, particularly Brokeback Mountain, Capote and Transamerica. Hollywood is already labeled as gay-friendly—were the voters afraid of being labeled as gay-loving? This is classic gay backlash at its best.
All that being said, and there is so much more to say, Crash will go down, in my mind, as one of the least-deserving Best Pictures ever, up there with Titanic and Shakespeare in Love. And Brokeback Mountain, for all of its beauty and incredible acting, goes home with just 3 Oscars (Director, Score and Adapted Screenplay). Sad.
I’m exhausted and I’ll have much more to say after I’ve slept on this edition of Oscar, but let me say I predicted 21 of 24 awards correctly, including all of the shorts! Amazing! I’ll post all the winners tomorrow.
Crash is a Best Picture winner. Wow.