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Oscar Podcast Preview: 2005 – Oscar’s Unforgettable Year, Brokeback Mountain Loses to Crash

The morning after Brokeback Mountain lost I got an email from a reader, a very young reader in a foreign country, who told me that he would have killed himself that night had he not found Oscarwatch. The reason was mainly that he’d found a place where people were bitching about it – loudly, as is our wont. We knew it meant a lot that Brokeback Mountain, which had won an unprecedented amount of awards heading into the race – taking even the Producers and Directors and Writers Guild awards. But one other movie was pushing through the crowd, one that won the SAG ensemble, the Eddie and the Writers Guild. Crash had a couple of things going for it over Brokeback Mountain, though for many of us (with the exception of a scant few like David Carr, for instance) it was unthinkable. Not to dump on Crash continually as I don’t think it’s the worst film to win Best Picture, but all four of the other nominees were superior in terms of ambition and artistry.

But Crash had much in the way of appealing to actors. It was also strong on themes of race and at that time racism trumped homophobia. Perhaps it still does. Perhaps you can’t even compare the two as I don’t think you can. They represent separate histories, separate fights, separate aches. The Academy could do the racism thing back then but they just couldn’t go there wholly with Brokeback Mountain, this because many of them refused to see it. The same fate was awaiting 12 Years a Slave if voters hadn’t put their might behind a film that would mean more than just the usual “like” button being clicked. So good for them – I feel confident that if they saw 12 Years they would be more than proud of their vote, just as if they’d seen Brokeback Mountain they would have seen one of the most richly told and moving stories of 2005.

Looking back on it now I can see how it would have been too confrontational for them, even though as confrontation goes Brokeback is easy on the eye. It was a year I will never forget, however, one that changed the way I saw the Oscars. The thing I remember most about it was Kenneth Turan’s op-ed in the LA Times the following morning, which follows this post.

But that year wasn’t just Brokeback vs. Crash. It was also the year many of us proclaimed Munich the film to beat before it was even finished. It was the year we all learned (or some of us learned) the lesson about determining a winner sight unseen. Critics and audiences wanted Munich to be a different movie than it turned out to be. But watch it again. It is a lot better than you remember, I bet.

Capote is a magnificent work – a perfect film, with one of the best performances by an actor – EVER. Philip Seymour Hoffman WAS Truman Capote. But the film also captured much of the mystery and haunting tragedy that lingers even now with the murder of the Clutter family.

And finally, George Clooney’s best film, Good Night, and Good Luck – a movie we should all watch every year to remind ourselves what journalism is supposed to mean. Also Clooney’s ambition only went unrewarded because it was going up against such magnificent films.

And so that is why Crash gets a bad wrap – not just for beating Brokeback Mountain in an 11th hour shocker. But for beating Capote, Munich, and Good Night, and Good Luck. They are all five good movies – but this was a year like 1976 – Rocky is still remembered and appreciated, but it will never be All the President’s Men. It will never be Network.

Ang Lee, by the way, is now John Ford on the eve of How Green Was My Valley beating Citizen Kane. Ford had won two Oscars for directing but had yet to win Best Picture along with those.

What questions might you have? We’ll be recording some time soon.

`Brokeback’ dreams crash and burn as the academy’s voters play it safe
{THE OSCARS} | CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK
March 06, 2006|Kenneth Turan | Times Staff Writer

SOMETIMES you win by losing, and nothing has proved what a powerful, taboo-breaking, necessary film “Brokeback Mountain” was more than its loss Sunday night to “Crash” in the Oscar best picture category.

Despite all the magazine covers it graced, despite all the red-state theaters it made good money in, despite (or maybe because of) all the jokes late-night talk show hosts made about it, you could not take the pulse of the industry without realizing that this film made a number of people distinctly uncomfortable.

More than any other of the nominated films, “Brokeback Mountain” was the one people told me they really didn’t feel like seeing, didn’t really get, didn’t understand the fuss over. Did I really like it, they wanted to know. Yes, I really did.

In the privacy of the voting booth, as many political candidates who’ve led in polls only to lose elections have found out, people are free to act out the unspoken fears and unconscious prejudices that they would never breathe to another soul, or, likely, acknowledge to themselves. And at least this year, that acting out doomed “Brokeback Mountain.”

For Hollywood, as a whole laundry list of people announced from the podium Sunday night and a lengthy montage of clips tried to emphasize, is a liberal place, a place that prides itself on its progressive agenda. If this were a year when voters had no other palatable options, they might have taken a deep breath and voted for “Brokeback.” This year, however, “Crash” was poised to be the spoiler.

I do not for one minute question the sincerity and integrity of the people who made “Crash,” and I do not question their commitment to wanting a more equal society. But I do question the film they’ve made. It may be true, as producer Cathy Schulman said in accepting the Oscar for best picture, that this was “one of the most breathtaking and stunning maverick years in American history,” but “Crash” is not an example of that.

I don’t care how much trouble “Crash” had getting financing or getting people on board; the reality of this film, the reason it won the best picture Oscar, is that it is, at its core, a standard Hollywood movie, as manipulative and unrealistic as the day is long. And something more.

For “Crash’s” biggest asset is its ability to give people a carload of those standard Hollywood satisfactions, but make them think they are seeing something groundbreaking and daring. It is, in some ways, a feel-good film about racism, a film you could see and feel like a better person, a film that could make you believe that you had done your moral duty and examined your soul, when in fact you were just getting your buttons pushed and your preconceptions reconfirmed.

So for people who were discomfited by “Brokeback Mountain” but wanted to be able to look at themselves in the mirror and feel as if they were good, productive liberals, “Crash” provided the perfect safe harbor. They could vote for it in good conscience, vote for it and feel they had made a progressive move, vote for it and not feel that there was any stain on their liberal credentials for shunning what “Brokeback” had to offer. And that’s exactly what they did.

“Brokeback,” it is worth noting, was in some ways the tamest of the discomforting films available to Oscar voters in various categories. Steven Spielberg’s “Munich”; the Palestinian territories’ “Paradise Now,” one of the best foreign language nominees; and the documentary nominee “Darwin’s Nightmare” offered scenarios that truly shook up people’s normal ways of seeing the world. None of them won a thing.

Hollywood, of course, is under no obligation to be a progressive force in the world. It is in the business of entertainment, in the business of making the most dollars it can. Yes, on Oscar night it likes to pat itself on the back for the good it does in the world, but as Sunday night’s ceremony proved, it is easier to congratulate yourself for a job well done in the past than to actually do that job in the present.

*

“A lot of people say this town is too liberal, out of touch with mainstream America … ,” Stewart said. “I don’t really have a joke here. I just thought you should know a lot of people are saying that.” Clooney’s riposte: “This group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I’m proud to be a part of this academy … and proud to be out of touch.”

105 Comments on this Post

  1. I’m very excited about this podcast. Brokeback Mountain is my all-time favorite film. I still have a hard time enjoying Crash because of the way things went down.

  2. Bryce Forestieri

    What a formidable year. I am repeatedly unable to come up with short lists that encompass the breadth of what one must have seen to have a proper grasp of the year’s cinematic offerings. Clearly we just went through one of the great decades in the form’s history. As I was cataloguing The Essentials into a coherent display based on endurance, priority, and merit, I revisited several titles and discovered more than a few omitted treasures — and I can tell you that it was an overwhelming retrospective. Thanks to AD for giving us the chance and pretext for these explorations!

    The Essentials in Cinema from 2005

    1. A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, David Cronenberg
    2. CACHE, Michel Haneke
    3. ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW, Miranda July
    4. THE NEW WORLD, Terrence Malick
    5. THE CHILD, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
    6. THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA, Tommy Lee Jones
    7. SIN CITY, Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
    8. THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU, Cristi Puiu
    9. JUNEBUG, Phil Morrison
    10. BRICK, Rian Johnson
    11. CAPOTE, Bennet Miller
    12. BATMAN BEGINS, Christopher Nolan
    13. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, Ang Lee
    14. A BITTERSWEET LIFE, Kim Jee-woon
    15. C.R.A.Z.Y., Jean-Marc Vallee
    16. THE BEAT THAT MY HEART SKIPPED, Jaques Audiard
    17. THE BOW, Ki-duk Kim
    18. THE VIOLIN, Francisco Vargas
    19. HEIGHTS, Chris Terrio
    20. MATCH POINT, Woody Allen
    21. SERENITY, Joss Whedon
    22. THREE TIMES, Hou Hsiao-Hsien
    23. MYSTERIOUS SKIN, Gregg Araki
    24. LADY VENGEANCE, Chan-wook Park
    25. KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: DIRECTOR’S CUT, Ridley Scott
    26. NINE LIVES, Rodrigo Garcia
    27. MUNICH, Steven Spielberg
    28. THE SUN, Aleksandr Sokurov
    29. ELECTION, Johnnie To
    30. MAN PUSH CART, Rahmin Barani
    31. LORDS OF DOGWTOWN, Catherine Hardwicke
    32. PRIME, Ben Younger
    33. LAST DAYS, Gus Van Sant
    34. KISS KISS BANG BANG, Shane Black
    35. BROKEN FLOWERS, Jim Jarmusch
    36. KING KONG, Peter Jackson
    37. WALK THE LINE, James Mangold
    38. YES, Sally Potter
    39. V FOR VENDETTA, James McTeigue
    40. THE CONSTANT GARDENER, Fernando Meirelles
    41. WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT, Steve Box, Nick Park
    42. WOLF CREEK, Greg McLeang
    43. PARADISE NOW, Hany Abu-Assad
    44. THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, Jason Reitman
    45. THE PROPOSITION, John Hillcoat
    46. 12 AND HOLDING, Michael Cuesta
    47. JARHEAD, Sam Mendes
    48. TRANSAMERICA, Duncan Tucker
    49. WAR OF THE WORLDS, Steven Spielberg
    50. THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, Rob Zombie
    51. DON’T COME KNOCKING, Win Wenders
    52. GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK, George Clooney
    53. THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, Noah Baumbach
    54. SYRIANA, Stephen Gaghan
    55. HARD CANDY, David Slade
    56. THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN, Judd Apatow
    57. WEDDING CRASHERS, David Dobkin
    58. HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, Mike Newell

    Guilty Pleasure: JUST FRIENDS + THE BROTHERS GRIMM + COLOR ME KUBRICK + FANTASTIC FOUR + HAVOC

  3. Al Robinson

    I did a little looking back, and saw that Crash winning Best Picture actually wasn’t all that surprising. If you look at just the guilds, even though Brokeback Mountain won Best Picture at the Directors Guild Awards, and Producers Guild Awards, it was Crash that won the Screen Actors Guild Award. And, the largest body of the voting academy are actors.

    Here’s how these 5 awards broke down for Best Picture:

    Academy Awards
    *Crash
    Brokeback Mountain
    Capote
    Good Night, and Good Luck.
    Munich

    Critics’ Choice Awards
    *Brokeback Mountain
    Capote
    Cinderella Man
    Crash
    Good Night, and Good Luck.
    King Kong
    Memoirs of a Geisha
    Munich
    The Constant Gardener
    Walk the Line

    Directors Guild Awards
    *Brokeback Mountain
    Capote
    Crash
    Good Night, and Good Luck.
    Munich

    Producers Guild Awards
    *Brokeback Mountain
    Capote
    Crash
    Good Night, and Good Luck.
    Walk the Line

    Screen Actors Guild Awards
    *Crash
    Brokeback Mountain
    Capote
    Good Night, and Good Luck.
    Hustle & Flow

    Brokeback Mountain – 5 n / 3 w
    Crash – 5 n / 2 w
    Capote – 5 n / 0 w
    Good Night, and Good Luck. – 5 n / 0 w
    Munich – 3 n / 0 w
    Walk the Line – 2 n / 0 w
    Cinderella Man – 1 n / 0 w
    Hustle & Flow – 1 n / 0 w
    King Kong – 1 n / 0 w
    Memoirs of a Geisha – 1 n / 0 w
    The Constant Gardener – 1 n / 0 w

  4. Al Robinson

    But, I do have a question, and researching Crash made me think of this:

    Since the AMPAS voters are all Americans, how important are the Golden Globes and the BATFAS? I know they have some influence, but it seems like the main ones to pay attention to are the guilds, and the critics’ choice awards, since a lot of voters who chose to skip certain movies, make their choices based on what the critics thought.

  5. Al Robinson

    Here are the movies I would consider from 2005 for Best Picture.

    A History of Violence – David Cronenberg – 2005
    Brokeback Mountain – Ang Lee – 2005
    Capote – Bennett Miller – 2005
    Cinderella Man – Ron Howard – 2005
    Crash – Paul Haggis – 2005
    Good Night, and Good Luck. – George Clooney – 2005
    Jarhead – Sam Mendes – 2005
    King Kong – Peter Jackson – 2005
    Munich – Steven Spielberg – 2005
    The World’s Fastest Indian – Roger Donaldson – 2005
    Walk the Line – James Mangold – 2005

    My top 5:
    1. King Kong
    2. Brokeback Mountain
    3. Capote
    4. Munich
    5. The World’s Fastest Indian

  6. Would love for you guys to talk about Junebug a bit, if only to mention this was Amy Adams’ breakout year and many (including Roger Ebert, if I remember correctly) were expecting her to pull off an upset. Was amazing that a film that was so under the radar managed to get that nomination.

  7. Bob Burns

    The worst thing that happened to Crash was its undeserved wins. Its a neat little, kinda geeky film that I admired when I watched it. The people in the diversity movement here were effusive about it. Now it is is forever blighted with homophobia.

    The thing I like about Crash is that it makes a clear statement that everyone is capable of heinous racism under stress, in conflict….. even people who oppose racism. We’ll never see another film with that message because no one wants to hear it, face the fact that their own monster can burst out at any time.

    The film fails because the message wasn’t clear. it ends on the cathartic high of Bullock embracing her latina maid. It was obvious to me that Bullock’s character would never treat her maid like a friend and would return to abusing her very soon – but haggis backed off from making that kind of hard point.

    I recommend listening to the Haggis/Cheadle commentary. its pretty dark, but that is not the impression most people got from watching the film. I’ve yet to read anything here in the miles of comments about the film that reflects my understanding of the film or the point of view of the film makers. that’s the film makers fault, not the viewers.

    BBM is entirely the opposite. Everything the viewer is intended to think and feel is perfectly clear. No ambiguity.

    Regarding BBM’s Oscar failure, it is just one more awards failure by the otherwise brilliant Focus Films. It should be said that BBM is a weepie and few weepies win BP (any?).

  8. Al Robinson

    This was the year when Ang Lee was the first Asian director to win the Oscar for Best Director. Since then he’s already won a second one.

  9. Al Robinson

    I guess we shouldn’t be that surprise that Crash won, because Brokeback had 8 Oscar noms, and Crash had 6. The second most of the Best Picture noms, and I fear that homophobia kept people from chosing Brokeback Mountain. Shame on you voters!!!

  10. Richard B

    Crash has to be the most awful movie to win in at least the past 15 years. Brokeback Mountain makes Paul Haggis look remedial. Also, I need to watch the Constant Gardener to understand how Amy Adams lost.

  11. Bryce Forestieri

    Awards Preferences (nominees are ranked in order of preference)

    The embarassment of riches was so annoying this year that I decided to go Cesar-style in the acting categories with 24 nominees, but unlike them, I split them evenly between the sets.

    Best Director

    1. David Cronenberg – A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (W)
    2. Michael Haneke – CACHE
    3. Miranda July – ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW
    4. Terrence Malick – THE NEW WORLD
    5. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne – THE CHILD

    Best Actor

    1. Heath Ledger – BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (W)
    2. Tommy Lee Jones – THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA
    3. Romain Duris – THE BEAT THAT MY HEART SKIPPED
    4. Byung-hun Lee – A BITTERSWEET LIFE
    5. Philip Seymour Hoffman – CAPOTE
    6. Jeremie Renier – THE CHILD

    Best Actress

    1. Shu Qi – THREE TIMES (W)
    2. Q’orianka Kilcher – THE NEW WORLD
    3. Juliette Binoche – CACHE
    4. Deborah Francois – THE CHILD
    5. Joan Allen – YES
    6. Miranda July – ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW

    Best Supporting Actor

    1. John Hawkes – ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (W)
    2. Clifton Collins Jr. – CAPOTE
    3. Jake Gyllenhaal – BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
    4. William Hurt – A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
    5. Liam Neeson – BATMAN BEGINS
    6. Mickey Rourke – SIN CITY

    Best Supporting Actress

    1. Amy Adams – JUNEBUG (W)
    2. Glenn Close – HEIGHTS
    3. Michelle Williams – BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
    4. Robin Wright – NINE LIVES
    5. Danielle Proulx – C.R.A.Z.Y.
    6. Luminita Gheorghiu – THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU

    Best Original Screenplay

    1. Miranda July – ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (W)
    2. Michael Haneke – CACHE
    3. Terrence Malick – THE NEW WORLD
    4. Guillermo Arriaga – THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA
    5. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne – THE CHILD

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    1. Danny McMurtry, Diana Ossana – BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (W)
    2. Josh Olson – A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
    3. Dan Futterman – CAPOTE
    4. Gregg Araki – MYSTERIOUS SKIN
    5. Frank Miller – SIN CITY

    Best Film Editing

    1. Michael Hudecek, Nadine Muse – CACHE (W)
    2. Robert Rodriguez – SIN CITY
    3. Rian Johnson – BRICK
    4. Ronald Sanders – A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
    5. Roberto Silvi – THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA

    Best Cinematography

    1. Emmanuel Lubezki – THE NEW WORLD (W)
    2. Peter Suschitzky – A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
    3. Stephane Fontaine – THE BEAT THAT MY HEART SKIPPED
    4. Steve Yedlin – BRICK
    5. Adam Kimmel – CAPOTE
    ———–but a travesty not to mention———–
    6. Remi Adefarasin – MATCH POINT
    7. Rodrigo Prieto – BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
    8. John Mathieson – KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
    9. Kim Ji-yong – A BITTERSWEET LIFE
    10. Christian Berger – CACHE

    Best Original Score

    1. Gustavo Santaolalla – BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (W)
    2. Delparan, Yeong-gyu Jang – A BITTERSWEET LIFE
    3. Hans Zimmer, John Newton Howard – BATMAN BEGINS
    4. John Williams – MUNICH / Harry Gregson-Williams – KINGDOM OF HEAVEN [tie!]
    5. Michael Andrews – ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW / Julian Nott – THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABITT [tie!]

    Best Animated Feature

    1. Steve Box, Nick Park – WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABITT (W)

    **Exceptionally weak year for animation therefore only one nominee but a great winner nonetheless.

    Best Foreign Language Film

    1. Cristi Puiu – THE DEATH OR MR. LAZARESCU (Romania) (W)
    2. Kim Jee-woon – A BITTERSWEET LIFE (South Korea)
    3. Jean Marc-Vallee – C.R.A.Z.Y. (Canada)
    4. Jacques Audiard – THE BEAT THAT MY HEART SKIPPED (France)
    5. Kim Ki-duk – THE BOW (South Korea)

    Best Production Design

    1. KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (W)
    2. BATMAN BEGINS
    3. MUNICH
    4. KING KONG
    5. C.R.A.Z.Y.

    Best Costume Design

    1. KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (W)
    2. C.R.A.Z.Y.
    3. KING KONG
    4. MUNICH
    5. THE NEW WORLD

    Best Sound Mixing: KING KONG
    Best Sound Editing: BATMAN BEGINS
    Best Makeup: SIN CITY

    Best Documentary Feature

    1. Werner Herzog – GRIZZLY MAN (W)
    2. Philip Gronin – INTO GREAT SILENCE
    3. Martin Scorsese – NO DIRECTION HOME
    4. Marshall Curry – STREET FIGHT
    5. Werner Herzog – WHITE DIAMOND

  12. Brian S.

    Munich and Capote has grown on me much more since then, but Brokeback Mountain is still incredible to watch. Crash, while tackling the issues of racial profiling with near perfection, has remained the same, if not shrunk, because it should not have won Best Picture. Problem was, in 2005/06, the anti-gay marriage wagon was on the move and people were still resistant to the idea, hence the political implications that came with it during this time of going along with the anti-gay agenda. This to me was like when High Noon (yes, I’m going back to 1952) lost Best Picture when it should have won, but didn’t because of the Red Scare; its screenwriter, Carl Foreman, was blacklisted for being a communist. Jack Nicholson’s announcement is exactly how we felt when Crash won.

    Otherwise, it was great to see Clooney, Witherspoon, and Weisz win acting Oscars. It is haunting to know the two best acting performances, both considered legendary, died of OD’s in NY five years apart. Hoffman WAS Capote and Ledger WAS Ennis Del Mar. Three 6 Mafia, for this one year, had one Oscar more than Scorsese, as Jon Stewart joked that year. Memoirs of a Geisha and Cinderella Man did not live up to expectations.

    Poor Ang Lee. Next time, Jack Nicholson shouldn’t present BP, because he also did it in 2012. Crash is among the five worst BP winners I believe and it will continue to be scrutinized.

  13. I’ve only seen exactly half of your list, Bryce. 29 movies. I’ve always considered 2005 to be one of the weakest years in recent memory. Perhaps this is why. Here’s my list:

    1. Munich
    2. Grizzly Man
    3. Match Point
    4. Hustle & Flow
    5. A History Of Violence
    6. Brokeback Mountain
    7. The 40 Year Old Virgin
    8. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
    9. Good Night And Good Luck
    10. Cache
    11. Batman Begins
    12. The Squid And The Whale
    13. Capote
    14. Sin City
    15. Kung Fu Hustle
    16. Broken Flowers
    17. Jarhead
    18. Wedding Crashers (first 2 acts)
    19. Syriana
    20. King Kong

  14. Winston

    I HAVE A QUESTION!!

    If Brokeback Mountain were released in 2014, do you believe it would win Best Picture?

  15. I think 2005 was the busiest year of my young adult life at the time, and as a result I missed a lot of stuff that year. Plus, I lived in Miami at the time and we didn’t have many good arthouses. That has changed over the years but I’ve since relocated to LA, so I have no trouble seeing what I want. I’ve also found it easier to balance my film watching with my work and social responsibilities as the years roll on. Maturity!

  16. I always liked Munich. I’ve definitely seen it more than once, which isn’t particularly common for me unless I love a movie or have a specific reason to rewatch it. A super selection of nominees that year… save Crash. I’m totally on that bandwagon. It’s a bad film.

  17. Winston, its impossible to say because the Oscar race is really only about narrative and momentum. Its certainly not out of the question that it would pick up steam and get a lot of buzz, but would it peak early and fizzle out, would it come too late in the game to make a real impact, or does it find that sweet spot where it can ride the underdog train all the way to Oscar night?

    Moreover, what other films are in contention, and who’s campaigning for them? Finally, which one is backed by Harvey Weinstein?

  18. The anti-Crash bandwagon is one of the ugliest and most unjustifiable snarkfests of recent times, as the film is easily the best of the nominees (followed by Munich, not Brokeback Mountain), and the second-best film of 2005 after Malick’s The New World. It forwards a very powerful and audacious polemic against the reflexive prejudice that every human has to grapple with in themselves and from others, and this idea that the narratively-soggy Brokeback deserved to win, ostensibly because it married an elegantly crafted but mundane romance with homosexuality, is absurd and insulting.

  19. Sasha Stone

    Great comment Bob Burns….Agree completely.

  20. Brokeback Mountain was by far my least favorite film nominated. The gay romance was forced and fake.

  21. murtaza

    Sasha is right, Munich is so much better in second viewing. i liked it first, i loved it the second time.

    I like both Crash and BBM but yes to me BBM is a winner, i kind of disliked good night and blah blah, liked Strathairn though…

  22. paleiko

    Support Independent-Film-Project “Dreamlands” basded on works of H.P. LOVECRAFT:

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-dreamlands#home

  23. Brian S.

    I will say I agree that Crash is a victim of being labeled as the Academy’s homophobic response to Brokeback (as another responser connected to) and it is not Paul Haggis’ fault. The intent was good and I understood the themes, but it just seemed cheesy and unclear.

    On another note, having a second look at the nods, Amy Adams makes her debut and Paul Giamatti got the nod he should have gotten the previous year. Cinderella Man, unfortunately, came out months after Million Dollar Baby. Syriana was eh, but Clooney was greta.

  24. I refuse to watch Crash. I never did and never will.

  25. Glenn UK

    I have to say that I was very underwhelmed by BBM and I am sure I was one of many who wondered just what the fuss was all about. It was a nice, slow, plodding film and nothing more to me. The ending left me cold and not teary. It’s a film I have never re-visited. Plenty of gay movies are made every year with lesser known stars but have far more interesting content.

  26. Bob Burns

    saw Cache in a crowded theater theater at the Vancouver Film Festival. I’ll never forget the complete dumbstruck silence when the movie ended…. and then seconds later in the silence someone said “what!?!” and everyone stayed in their seat for several more seconds talking chattering with their friends.

    had forgotten Hustle and Flow…. warm feelings. have to watch it again soon.

  27. A lot of things went wrong that year.

    I have a huge problem with Witherspoon and Clooney winning. Felicity Huffman’s brilliant turn in “Transamerica” was by far the best of the year. Not to mention that Maria Bello wasn’t even nominated for “A History of Violence” (although I’m not sure she was competing in lead or supporting).

    Same goes for Clooney, who simply had to score somewhere. Every single other actor in supporting actor category was more worthy. I even wouldn’t mind William Hurt winning. Those couple of minutes on the screen are just stellar. And also some worthy performances didn’t make the cut, like Clifton Collins Jr. in “Capote” – how do you NOT nominate that performance?

    One could start worrying about BBM winning when it didn’t get nominated for editing, and that was also a huge omission. The movie’s pacing is simply amazing. But as the academy’s unwritten rule says – “no parralel editing, no award.”

    The up sides?

    King Kong winning 3 out of 4.

    Best animated feature line-up consisting of three legends – Burton, Miyazaki and Park – with the right one eventually winning.

    Martin McDonagh’s career gets launched.

  28. In all honesty I thought ‘Crash’ was the better film, I wasn’t fond of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ maybe because all the hype got to me and I felt it got too melodramatic at times. (Though you probably could make the same case for Crash)

    It is a weird notion though that if you don’t like ‘Brokeback’ your a homophobic which is what nearly every critic accused the Academy of with the exception of Roger Ebert who defended their choice. I mean the film won the second best award of the night, must of meant the members did like it enough especially to award it with 3 Oscars including director… they just liked Crash better overall. But in the end, it’s just an opinion, something critics and audiences seem to get too worked up over (though admittedly I got really annoyed when ‘Argo’ won BP).

    Also, for films portraying homosexuality, I highly recommend the 1919 film ‘Different From The Others’ and 1961’s ‘Victim’, both films far ahead of their time.

  29. Igor Sousa

    I’ve never been so annoyed in a cinema than at the time I watched Crash. I hated with all my guts, specially that awful last act. It’s by far the worst film to win an Academy Awards and it’s even worse that it won also Script and Editing. It makes no sense.

    Ditto, I actually erased this film out of my mind and for me there is only one Crash, the Cronenberg one!

  30. Oh, Cache is so so so great. That ending will forever be debated.

    And yes, I’ll echo all the love for the somehow underrated Munich. Still do not understand how that film managed to drum up so much controversey.

  31. I wish BBM would’ve won — I think it’s the better film — but I don’t hate Crash. I don’t think it’s a terrible film. I was really happy that Matt Dillon was nominated. He was the best part of that movie. The scene where he saves Thandie Newton from the car stuck with me long after I left the theater.

    I thought Jon Stewart did a great job hosting the show. He created these hilarious political campaign-esque ads for Best Actress and Best Sound Effects Editing.

  32. casey chapman

    Here would be my choices for the nominations (in order of my preference)

    BEST PICTURE
    1. Brokeback Mountain
    2. Mysterious Skin
    3. Capote
    4. Junebug
    5. Hard Candy
    6. Cache
    7. Match Point
    8. Broken Flowers
    9. Heights
    10. The Devil’s Rejects

    BEST DIRECTOR
    1. Ang Lee – Brokeback Mountain
    2. Greg Araki – Mysterious Skin
    3. Michael Haneke – Cache
    4. Bennett Miller – Capote
    5. Jim Jarmusch – Broken Flowers

    BEST ACTOR
    1. Phillip Seymore Hoffman – Capote
    2. Heath Ledger – Brokeback Mountain
    3. Joseph Gordon Leavitt – Mysterious Skin
    4. Bill Murray – Broken Flowers
    5. Patrick Wilson – Hard Candy

    BEST ACTRESS
    1. Glenn Close – Heights
    2. Felicity Huffman – Transamerica
    3. Ellen Page – Hard Candy
    4. Juliet Binoche – Canche
    5. Joan Allen – Yes

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
    1. Jake Gylenhaal – Brokeback Mountain
    2. Brady Corbet – Mysterious Skin
    3. Sid Haig – The Devil’s Rejects
    4. William Hurt – A History of Violence
    5. Kevin Zegers – TransAmerica

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
    1. Amy Adams – Junebug
    2. Sharon Stone – Broken Flowers
    3. Catherine Keener – Capote
    4. Jessica Lange – Broken Flowers
    5. Anne Hathaway – Brokeback Mountain

  33. Oscar Trivia: CRASH was originally 4 hrs long but Haggis cut the part where Sandra Bullock’s character adopts a giant ghetto kid and turns him into an NFL football star.

  34. Al Robinson

    Ryan,

    What’s funny is that part of the movie they cut out, still went on be also be nominated for Best Picture. ;-)

  35. ^
    funny? or suspicious?

  36. Al Robinson

    Both. ;-)

  37. I remember being pleasantly surprised that there was an upset in the Best Picture race. Upsets rarely happen. And I really liked Crash. But now, 9 years later, While I still like Crash, I believe that Brokeback deserved the win and the loss in hindsight is pretty glaring. Having said alllll of that, I think Brokeback is more/better remembered now as THE film that shoulda won, but didnt. It has that.

    And what else I remember is that I was psyched for A History of Violence given the reviews and when I saw it, me and my crew absolutely hated it. Haha. Thats what I got from 2005

    Oh, and I did really love Munich at the time, too.

  38. Crapping on Crash and The Blind Side. What’s new?

    While if you held a gun to my head and made me choose (I’d have to go with Brokeback), it’s not that much of a superior choice. I have plenty of friends who liked Crash more, a populist-friendly film that Oscar often goes for. It’s not that clear-cut that Brokeback “should” have won.

    12 Years a Slave proved, even with people refusing to see the film, it could still win BP. Brokeback didn’t. Now, the argument might be, “Well, Brokeback had more “vocal” opponents and a poster child (Ernest Borgnine).” That’s all well and good. But, Slave overcame two frontrunners which both had 90+ MC scores and grossed well over double Slave’s take (like it or not, American Hustle was a contender at one point, despite going home empty-handed; but even if you can’t relinquish that truth, Gravity still matched Slave’s critical reception, grossed over $250M domestic, and won five more non-BP Oscars in a non-sweep year). Brokeback had the better MC score and box-office and it still couldn’t win.

    It’s funny how people complain when certain films sweep the awards circuit and then win BP. Yet, when one of them loses, it’s this huge travesty. Brokeback isn’t some undeniable work of art that will be remembered for centuries to come. It’s beautifully photographed and features a gay romantic storyline that had never been given such a highly-produced treatment up until then. But, if you think Ennis’ reimagining of Twist’s death as Anne Hathaway explains what happens in that awful wig of hers is some kind of well-executed sequence that is far and away above the insulting bluntness of Crash’s narration, then we have to agree to disagree.

  39. - Now, the argument might be, “Well, Brokeback had more “vocal” opponents and a poster child (Ernest Borgnine).”

    Another argument might be that Best Picture can be won or lost by one single vote. So maybe 300 refused to watch Brokeback and refused to vote for it while only 298 people refused to watch 12 Years a Slave and refused to vote for it. The flaw in your argument is the failure to account for comparative numbers of people, and counting numbers of people is how ballots are tabulated.

    Another argument might be that black people and black stories are generally more accepted by conservative voters than gay people and gay stories. As far as I know nobody last week said this about BLACK PEOPLE.

    “I would much rather have.. and I will say this to anybody’s face… somebody who drank and drank too much taking care of my child than I had somebody whose lifestyle is questionable around children.

    Because that ain’t the damn way it’s supposed to be. You know.. you got people out there — I’m telling you buddy — I don’t agree with some of the lifestyles that I see portrayed and I don’t say anything because that is the way they want to live, but I am not going to let my child be around. ”

    I’m not going to let 2 women stand up there and hold hands and let my child be aware of it. And I’m not going to see them do it with 2 men neither.”

    I’m not going to do it. Because that ain’t the way the world works. ”

    Now, all these people showering down and saying ‘Oh it’s a different lifestyle they can have it.’ Ok, fine and dandy, but I don’t have to look at it and I don’t want my child around it.”

    – Brokeback isn’t some undeniable work of art that will be remembered for centuries to come.

    Yes, it is.

    Notice how Ernest Borgine and Tony Curtis spoke openly and proudly about their disgust for a gay love story. Where are the bigots emboldened enough to make proud public statements about their disgust for a black love story? The two movies and two situations are nowhere near comparable.

    But it’s really cute how you laugh about Anne Hathaway’s awful hair at the same time you defend The Blind Side.

  40. What’s funny is that you think an organization–which rarely chooses the best picture of the year, let alone the best choice out of their preselected shortlist–created some kind of travesty by choosing Crash over Brokeback Mountain in one category. Oh, wait, no two categories. They chose Crash for editing. Oh, wait, no, Brokeback was never even nominated for editing. But, wait, films which don’t get nominated for editing win for BP all the time. Oh, no wait, whoops.

    Hey, Ryan, can you name the last BP winner that wasn’t nominated for editing? I’ll give you a hint. It was Ordinary People, 34 years ago.

    But, I guess writing “crapping on [insert film title]” is some kind of “defense” in your words. Okay, sure.

  41. Oh, wait, no, Brokeback was never even nominated for editing. But, wait, films which don’t get nominated for editing win for BP all the time.

    If your argument is that the Oscars also fucked up by not nominating Brokeback Mountain for Best Editing then I’ll agree.

    Pointing to the Academy’s Best Editing fuck-up as your excuse for a larger Best Picture fuck-up is certainly an interesting defense, Judge Judy.

    The BAFTA nominated Brokeback Mountain for Best Editing and so did the Editors Guild.

    who knows. Maybe there are more homophobes in the Academy’s Editors branch than there are in the Academy at large.

  42. Jonas Grondahl

    I think Munich is a brilliant movie. One of Spielberg’s best. It perfectly encapsulates what when through the minds of those who had the task of “carrying out the trash.” Without Spielberg being pro anything.

  43. Another argument might be that black people and black stories are generally more accepted by conservative voters than gay people and gay stories. As far as I know nobody last week said this about BLACK PEOPLE.

    Hollywood is also considered generally way more “liberal” and “to the left” than the rest of the country. So, while pointing out the obviousness that black civil rights have more of a mainstream history than gay civil rights (and the corresponding social acceptance that comes with that), it doesn’t address the degree of formidability in the competition in the respective races.

    Brokeback was up against a film with a lower MC score and box-office. It was also in wide release during the awards season.

    Slave’s battle, if you want to set Hustle aside (as I already explained in an earlier comment), was against a film that outgrossed it by five times and had almost the exact same MC score.

    So, even with black stories being more acceptable than gay stories in the regular world and/or Hollywood, there are other aspects which leveled the playing field (mainstream AND critical acceptance), and made it all a wash. More people may have refused to see and/or vote for Brokeback than Slave, but Slave offered an equal critically and more commercially successful alternative (i.e. more palatable). Slave was still able to overcome those odds.

  44. Let me just be clear. I’m not bothered so much that the Academy chose Crash over Brokeback.

    It’s bigger than that. I think it’s embarrassing for the Oscars that they chose the WORST of the 5 nominees in 2005. It’s a joke. It makes the Academy look lowbrow and unsophisticated. They do this once or twice a decade and whenever they do it’s always abhorrent.

    Crash would have been a fabulous Best Picture winner in 1966.

  45. Hollywood is also considered generally way more “liberal” and “to the left” than the rest of the country.

    That’s what Rush Limbaugh says so it must be true, right?

    How about how the heads of all the studios groomed Ronald Regan for years to become the conservative political voice of Hollywood and orchestrated Nixon’s election too.

    Cinesnatch, actors on the red carpet are outspoken liberals. There’s a sizable quiet silent percentage of film industry people who keep their conservative attitudes out of the news. They know that it works magic in the Bible Belt to portray Hollywood as seething nest of liberal decadence. Trust me. All of Hollywood is not West Hollywood.

    If you don’t believe me then trust your gut. Look around at the so-called “liberal media” and decide for yourself how liberal it is. Wake up.

  46. Ryan, there are conservative artists in the industry who claim discrimination against higher-ups. Why you think I’m basing my argument on red carpet actors and West Hollywood is beyond me.

    But I don’t consider Brokeback Mountain a work of art, either.

    “They do this once or twice a decade and whenever they do it’s always abhorrent.” I’d argue the contrary. The Academy gets it right maybe once a decade. And even that’s a generous assessment.

  47. steve50

    This old chestnut again.

    I can’t continue to bemoan the fact that the Academy missed the boat – yet again – in 2005, or the obvious reasons behind it. But gay issues aside, BBM could have been about Swiss clockmakers, cloistered nuns, or grundge poets in the basement of the first Starbucks. It was Proulx’s words directed by Ang Lee (with that cast, cinematography and score) that made it a classic.

    The undertow of the unspoken in that work was unfortunately missed – or dismissed – by many used to being waterboarded with plot and emotion, but the film itself doesn’t need defending. There will never be another like it.

  48. “They do this once or twice a decade and whenever they do it’s always abhorrent.” I’d argue the contrary. The Academy gets it right maybe once a decade.”

    What I mean specifically is that once or twice every 10 years the Academy manages to pick the Worst of the Five BP nominees to give the big prize.

    conservative artists in the industry who claim discrimination against higher-ups.

    That’s one thing butthurt conservatives do best: whine about oppression from their imaginary Liberal Overlords.

    Meanwhile… The 1950s Hollywood Blacklist, witch hunts branding liberal writers and directors as Communists — conservative fearmongers and fearful studio heads destroying the careers of liberals and progressives.

  49. Sasha Stone

    Slave was still able to overcome those odds.

    Because activism pre-voting is stronger than it was in 2005 heading into the race. All of the loud bitching came afterwards. Brokeback in a way paved the way for 12 Years to win. Probably it wouldn’t have if there never had been such an upset due to voters not watching.

  50. Sasha Stone

    I have plenty of friends who liked Crash more, a populist-friendly film that Oscar often goes for. It’s not that clear-cut that Brokeback “should” have won.

    Oh my god you just rewrote the gospel. Can you come back again and tell me more?

  51. Bryce Forestieri

    BROKEBACK does have all the timeless qualities of a classic. Trust me, I never get this wrong. I call all the classics. But I’ll come back when I see cinematic arguments.

  52. Al Robinson

    One thing I would be interested in hearing you guys discuss on the podcast is about the Best Actor race. I think people pretty much knew that Philip Seymour Hoffman was going to win for his portrayal of Truman Capote, but I know there was a LOT of buzz about Heath Ledger’s performance as Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain.

    Also, I just want to point out that both actors played gay characters. But, do you think one possible reason why Hoffman won was because in the movie, he didn’t “act gay”?, whereas Ledger did?? Was there any politics going on there?

  53. Al Robinson

    Okay, I better explain what I mean by “act gay”. Physical interaction, i.e. kissing, sex, etc.

    I don’t mean to sound ignorant or un-pc.

  54. Al Robinson

    “Trust me, I never get this wrong. I call all the classics. But I’ll come back when I see cinematic arguments.”

    Bryce, this is why I respect you. You have confidence.

  55. Al Robinson

    Makes me wonder. If Gravity had won Best Picture over 12 Years a Slave, would people have grouped Gravity with Crash?

  56. Brokeback in a way paved the way for 12 Years to win.

    Brokeback in a way paved the way for 12 Years to win.
    Brokeback in a way paved the way for 12 Years to win.
    Brokeback in a way paved the way for 12 Years to win.

  57. Glenn UK, I agree completely. Mysterious skin was a much better movie than Brokeback. Yet it went completely under the radar.

  58. Al Robinson

    “Okay, I better explain what I mean by “act gay”. Physical interaction, i.e. kissing, sex, etc.”

    Geez, even my explination sounded stupid. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. The question makes sense as I say it in my head, but as I wrote it, I realized how wrong it sounds.

  59. Bryce Forestieri

    “Mysterious skin was a much better movie than Brokeback”

    What’s one movie have to do with the other, you uninformed soul?

  60. Al Robinson

    Talking about homophobia and racism, makes me long for the preview of the 2009 Oscar Podcast, when we can discuss 10-feet tall blue people. There is nothing offensive about 10-feet tall blue people. Or at least, I don’t think there is…

    :-)

  61. But, do you think one possible reason why Hoffman won was because in the movie, he didn’t “act gay”?, whereas Ledger did?? Was there any politics going on there?

    We’ll try to parse that on the podcast, Al.

    But here’s my initial reaction about the issue of “acting gay”

    Hoffmann acted very gay in terms of acting fey — he satisfied the expectations straight people have of flamboyant gay men.

    see The Boys in the Band for a textbook example of how a straight director and gay writer made a movie than pandered to all the worst stereotypes that they knew would “sell” to mainstream audiences in the past. And that had always been the template for gay men in movies — gay guys who were sad, pallid, flaming, and a bit pathetic — until Brokeback came along.

    The only way Ledger acted gay was in the middle of sex, and even then during gay sex he was more manly than a lot of straight guys.

    So Proulx and Lee (and Osana and McMurtry) upset narrow-minded expectations of how gay men should be depicted onscreen. Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar are the kind of gay guys that make a lot of people uncomfortable — especially straight guys (and maybe straight guys who are not 100% straight).

    part of the genius of Brokeback Mountain was setting it in 1963. For the contrast with actual 1960s homoerotic movies like Hud, and to also make it clear that gay men like Jack and Ennis were able to assimilate invisibly into straight society throughout history.

    And to show us how the ultimate sadness of Brokeback Mountain was not only the aspect of star-crossed lovers — but instead the real tragedy of gay life in mid-century America was the repression and smothering of desire.

    Exploring the lives of unique and progressive-minded individuals trying to find their place within the confines of cruel restrictive rules of society is the strongest recurring theme that runs through all of Ang Lee’s films.

  62. Bryce Forestieri

    “see The Boys in the Band for a textbook example of how a straight director and gay writer made a movie than pandered to all the worst stereotypes that they knew would “sell” to mainstream audiences in the past.”

    Spoken like a boss, Ryan. Still an exceptional “work of art”!

  63. Al Robinson

    “Hoffmann acted very gay in terms of acting fey and satisfying the expectations straight people have of flamboyant gay men”

    First, for the record, I didn’t mean to sound homophobic myself, because I’m very much not. But I do think my comment sounded ignorant and immature. I apologize for sounding like that. Ryan, you of course understood what I was trying to say, and I thank you for that.

    In terms of Hoffman’s depiction, yes, I agree that by his mamerisms and his speach, you could tell he was gay. Whereas Ledger definitely came off as a straight guy who’s conflicted by his true sexuality. The fact that cowboys back then were not supposed to be anything but “manly”.

    Ugh, it’s such a shame that BOTH men are gone way too damn soon!!

  64. You sounded just fine, Al! Don’t worry. Nothing you wrote was remotely offensive. Not at all.

    I knew what you meant and I’m sure everyone else here knew what you meant too.

  65. Al Robinson

    “If any of us get laid tonight it’s because of Eric Bana in Munch”

    Scene from Knocked Up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b5RMpAXf7w

    Oh Munich, the forgotten step-child of the 2005 Oscar Best Picture race.

  66. Bryce Forestieri

    Anyone seen INTERIORS lately? Is Joey the original hipster? I think she’s THE embodiment

  67. Al Robinson

    Thanks Ryan. I feel better. Again, can’t wait to discuss blue people.

    LOL :-)

  68. Robert A.

    Al, in some ways I think PSH as Capote was easier for the Academy to swallow than Ledger as Ennis. Both gave tremendous performances, so I can’t begrudge PSH winning. But I actually wonder if Capote was an easier gay man for some people to accept because he fit closer to the stereotype of the gay man–effeminate, “breathy” voice and so on–and many people seem more comfortable with the stereotyped version of the gay man because he’s easier to laugh at or dismiss or think of as “the other.” In Brokeback, you had guys who were masculine and did “manly” stuff like ride horses and shoot guns, and they were young and handsome and attractive to women, but they wanted each other. I’ve often wondered if the fact that Ennis and Jack were straight-seeming in so many ways is actually what unconsciously bothered a lot of people who were accustomed to seeing gay men portrayed as people like JACK! on Will and Grace–silly and goofy and bouncy and kind of bitchy, so it’s easy to shake your head and shrug and think, “Yup, them gay guys.”

    But when the gay guys started to look and act like the straight guys–when the line started to blur–that was when the Ernest Borgnines and Tony Curtises of the world got perturbed. Because everyone KNOWS that gay guys are supposed to be like Capote and not John Wayne.

    Good grief, does this make any sense? I know what I’m trying to say, but I’m not sure I’ve said it right at all.

  69. Robert A.

    Damn it, Ryan, you already said what I was trying to say, and you said it better!

    *Charlie Brown sigh*

  70. Al Robinson

    One thing that made me fall in love with Brokeback Mountain was it’s epicly gorgeous soundtrack. Gustavo Santaolalla’s music was so true and raw. I think it conveyed the scenery and the emotional roallercoaster perfectly.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEdhYYTp7lc

  71. Al Robinson

    LOL. Don’t worry Robert A, I know what you mean. But, yes, trying to explain sometimes get’s a person brain-tied.

  72. Robert A., You actually did a better job fleshing out the sketchy point that I only outlined. My explanation looks like a Readers Digest Condensed Book abridgement of your meatier observation.

  73. Al Robinson

    Going back to what I was orignially trying to say, what I was trying to say is that I think maybe the voters picked PSH because Capote doesn’t kiss or have sex with another man, whereas Legder’s Del Mar did. That probably turned a few people off.

  74. Al Robinson

    OMG OMG OMG!!! I forgot that 2005 was the year when Three 6 Mafia won the Oscar for “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”. DAMN!!!

    That was hilarious when they got up on stage to accept their Oscar. Then right after, Jon Stewart came out looking like he’d just seen a ghost.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ARG9BXUZSc

  75. steve50

    Well said Robert and Ryan.

    By slowly illustrating an open, friendly character like Jack reading, playing and eventually unravelling the tightly controlled and repressed drive of someone like Ennis scared the living bejeezus out of folk like Borgnine and Curtis. It’s a simple fact that given the right circumstances coupled with a little loneliness and some booze, anything is possible – and they were having none of that.

    Hoffman was brilliant, no question. His flighty and flappy in your face Capote was the polar opposite of Ledger’s Delmar. Ledger had the tougher role while Hoffman had the more socially acceptable one. Capote was an easy read for the uncomfortable and appreciated at a safe distance. Ennis could be the guy in the mirror. And Al, you’re right, the kiss probably didn’t help.

  76. Al Robinson

    I saw on 60 Minutes, that it took PSH 8 months to prepare for the scene in Capote where he says goodbye to Perry Smith.

  77. Al Robinson

    (Footage of “Capote”)

    KROFT: (Voiceover) The depth of his commitment and his talent is apparent in one of the final scenes of “Capote.” After six years of cajoling, befriending and seducing two killers into telling him a story that will make him famous, he says his final good-byes as they head off to the gallows.

    It took Hoffman nine months of his life to get the performance just right and when the shooting was over he was tapped out and done being Truman Capote.

    HOFFMAN: I remember I immediately started talking like myself, like that, and I thought to myself, I’m never going to do that again. I’m not going to act like him anymore.

    KROFT: Why?

    HOFFMAN: Because I was free, first off. So the minute you’re able to walk away from that, separate yourself, you do. I do.

    KROFT: So you can’t even do it like one more time?

    HOFFMAN: No.

  78. Al Robinson

    Here’s the whole interview. Sorry, the other one was just a clip.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/philip-seymour-hoffman-life-work-and-demons/

  79. Al Robinson

    Heath Ledger talks about Brokeback Mountain:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYjIsWNJGtw

  80. Can you guys discuss how Memoirs of a Geisha, a film I really like and an admittedly gorgeous film was able to win 3 Oscars that night (cin, art d, costumes). It just felt random for it to win all 3 when other films seemed primed to take those categories.

  81. “It’s bigger than that. I think it’s embarrassing for the Oscars that they chose the WORST of the 5 nominees in 2005.”

    Says you. I think Brokeback only the third or fourth best of the nominees (GNGL being the least of the five), and find it ridiculous that some people attempt to spin things as everyone or even most people who preferred Crash only doing so because of homophobia. Brokeback is just a weaker film, with less inspired storytelling.

  82. “Can you come back again and tell me more?” Sure. Let’s do lunch.

    “That’s one thing butthurt conservatives do best: whine about oppression from their imaginary Liberal Overlords. Meanwhile… The 1950s Hollywood Blacklist, witch hunts branding liberal writers and directors as Communists — conservative fearmongers and fearful studio heads destroying the careers of liberals and progressives.” Hmmn. You’re bringing up an unprecedentedly tragic chapter in Hollywood from over sixty years ago that destroyed the lives of many. Yet, you’re also arguing that anything which falls short of it doesn’t deserve one shred of sympathy. When the targets of the oppression (however extreme or little) don’t jive with your political persuasions, I guess there is little reason to care. Censorship and/or oppression is perfectly acceptable. ;)

  83. No idea what you’re talking about, Vince.

    When the targets of the oppression (however extreme or little) don’t jive with your political persuasions, I guess there is little reason to care. Censorship and/or oppression is perfectly acceptable.

    What’s that mean? If you’re trying to insinuate that I believe censorship and/or oppression are perfectly acceptable then you’re out of your mind.

    If you’re obliquely referring to a specific incident of liberals censoring and oppressing conservatives, then let’s hear it. Let me know what the heck you’re talking about and I’ll tell you whether or not I think it’s perfectly acceptable on a case by case basis.

    What I did was remind you that there have been explicit and tragic instances throughout Hollywood and American history where conservatives have ruined tie lives of liberal-minded artists and individuals seeking to lead progressive lives.

    There are of course many other instances big and small, including the oppression and repression of gay and minority voices in Hollywood. These acts of exclusion and denial of pathways to personal expression are well-known and widespread. And they’re not perpetrated by liberal-minded people.

    So let’s hear about some of the ways liberals censor conservatives. I’ll be glad to let you know if it’s acceptable to me if you tell me what you’re talking about.

  84. mileshigh

    I have an issue when people debate CRASH and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (especially in the comments section on the site through the years). I have a different memory of CRASH during awards season. I remember reading that CRASH was the first movie (or one of the first) where all voters received a DVD screener of the movie. (If I’m wrong, apologizes.) It became required viewing for many police officers (at least LAPD). The LA focus appealed to the Academy. Also an ensemble cast (quite a few actors) could campaign for the movie. Paul Haggis was hot after MILLION DOLLAR BABY. Also, keep in mind CRASH opened the year of Hurricane Katrina when issues of race and poverty reached a tipping point after the first full year of the re-election of George W. Bush. I actually predicted CRASH would win Best Picture when I saw it opening night back in May.

    I don’t buy homophobia being an argument for BROKEBACK losing. Whenever I bring that idea up to numerous movie watching friends, they think it is ridiculous. Over time, I tend to agree with them. Hollywood homophobic!? Nah! Yes, a few old actors made claims about the gay theme, but I doubt that tipped the voting scale. Unless one vote determined the winner could a homophobic claim be made and that is something we will never know.

  85. Al Robinson

    mileshigh, Crash did in fact have DVD screeners. It even had a March 10, 2006 re-release in American theaters.

  86. Al Robinson

    Of course, the March 10 re-release was AFTER it won Best Picture.

  87. Bryce, He was talking about other GAY movies that are far more interesting that have lesser known stars. Since mysterious skin came out the same year as Brokeback and they both deal with homosexuality that’s why I brought it up. Does that answer your question???

  88. Al Robinson

    What I find very interesting is that on IMDb, Crash has a rating of 7.9, while Brokeback Mountain has a rating of 7.7

    Here are how the 5 stack-up:
    Crash – 7.9
    Brokeback Mountain – 7.7
    Munich – 7.7
    Good Night, and Good Luck – 7.6
    Capote – 7.4

    Batman Begins – 8.3
    Walk the Line – 7.9
    A History of Violence – 7.5
    King Kong – 7.3

    It seems like Batman Begins in the most liked.

  89. Al Robinson

    Also, much like 1996, 2005 was the year of the “small” films:

    Brokeback Mountain – $83,043,761
    Crash – $54,580,300
    Munich – $47,403,685
    Good Night, and Good Luck. – $31,558,003
    Capote – $28,750,530

  90. What I find very interesting is that on IMDb, Crash has a rating of 7.9, while Brokeback Mountain has a rating of 7.7

    Al, We need to dig deeper into the those scores. Click on the number of voters to see the internal breakdown.

    Let’s look specifically at the number of voters who gave each movie a score of 1 (we’ll call that the Frothing Hater score).

    2052 people gave Munich a 1 — 1.4%
    9523 people gave Crash a 1 —- 3.1%
    1063 people gave Capote a 1 — 1.4%
    898 people gave GN&GL a 1 —– 1.2%
    7223 ppl gave Batman Begins a 1 — 1.1%
    10,992 people gave Brokeback a 1 — 5.2%

    Now let’s see if we can figure out why 5% of the population would despise Brokeback so much. Maybe it makes them sick to look at Jake Gyllenhaal kissing Anne Hathaway?

    Tell me 5% of frothing furious voters hating a movie can’t kill it’s total tally.

    20% of voters gave Crash a score of 10
    26.5% of voters gave Brokeback a score of 10

  91. Bryce Forestieri

    In the words of Carla Jean’s momma, IMDB is “no good”

    In better news the highly fragmented PRESQUE RIEM is now good to stream on the Netflix!

    p.s. It’s gay…and good!

  92. “Now let’s see if we can figure out why 5% of the population would despise Brokeback so much. Maybe it makes them sick to look at Jake Gyllenhaal kissing Anne Hathaway?”

    Why did 3% of the voters hate Crash so much? Maybe it makes them anxious to see portrayed the fluidity of prejudice, how everyone (be they black, white, kind, nasty, bitter, naive, etc.) is guilty sometime somewhere despite whatever lip-service they may pay to progressive ideals. And yet the film still has the intelligence to realize that humans are a complex of impulses and drives, and can still have noble qualities (hence the Matt Dillon arc).

  93. Al Robinson

    Ryan, I have somehow never clicked on that before. WOW!!! It’s a bit revealing. I never even thought to.

    That’s sad that 5.2% of voters gave BM a score of 1 out of 10. But, on the bright side, the highest percentage of scores was a 10 out of 10.

  94. steve50

    “…the film still has the intelligence to realize that humans are a complex of impulses and drives, and can still have noble qualities…” (Crash)

    Not to mention the amazing prominence of coincidences used to propel the story. Unlike Magnolia, where we treat such things as fable, Crash expects us to take them as fact…believe it or not. I say not.

  95. Why did 3% of the voters hate Crash so much? Maybe it makes them anxious to see portrayed the fluidity of prejudice

    My honest-to-god best guess? half of that 3% are frustrated Brokeback fans lashing out at Crash.

    Without that 1.5% backlash then Crash’s percentage of 1 scores is in line with the normal 1.5% that almost every regular movie gets. Including 12 Years a Slave.

    Crash and Haggis mean to hammer us with two hard lessons.
    1) Inside every ugly racist is a tender heart of gold waiting to be enlightened.
    2) Inside every thoughtful caring person is an ugly racist ready to snap and wreak vengeance on “the others”

    From my own life experience, here’s what I know about both those preachy lessons: They’re complete and utter bullshit.

  96. Jerry Grant

    This post nailed it.

    With Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Munich, A History of Violence, and Cache, this was one of the strongest years for films in the last decade. Everyone knows the travesty about Crash by now. And everyone knows Brokeback is one for all time. The important thing is also giving mention to those others tremendous movies. Yes, Munich is most certainly underrated. And Cache and History of Violence are masterpieces as well.

    My top ten:
    1. Brokeback Mountain
    2. Capote
    3. Cache
    4. Munich
    5. A History of Violence
    6. King Kong
    7. Walk the Line
    8. The New World
    9. Match Point
    10. The Squid and the Whale

  97. Jerry Grant

    honorable mentions: Grizzly Man, Paradise Now, 40-Year-Old Virgin, Good Night and Good Luck

  98. “If you’re obliquely referring to a specific incident of liberals censoring and oppressing conservatives, then let’s hear it. ”

    “That’s one thing butthurt conservatives do best: whine about oppression from their imaginary Liberal Overlords.”

    Whatever I present to you, Ryan, you’re going to weigh with a bias and discount, because it won’t be overt enough for you. But, several outspoken conservative actors have made it pretty clear that they’re better off keeping their politics to themselves, whereas you don’t hear that from their liberal counterparts.

  99. daveinprogress

    @bryce, i did see Interiors a couple of months ago, it still haunts me; yes Joey was a great character, although the name of the actress escapes me.

    After Hoffman;s death i watched Capote again – so impressed – again. I’m just glad those funny Academy folk honoured Philip in his lifetime; they sure as fuck must regret overlooking The Master for Waltz’s 2nd Oscar. Hoffman inhabits Truman in every way with every fibre.

    Re Brokeback – i’m not weighing in, but fascinating to see how impassioned the arguments still are 8 years on.

  100. Robin Write

    2005

    5 So Pleased They Were Nominateds:

    – Supporting Actor – William Hurt {A History of Violence}
    – Supporting Actress – Amy Adams {Junebug}
    – Original Screenplay – Noah Baumbach {The Squid and the Whale}
    – Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki {The New World}
    – Original Score – Gustavo Santaolalla {Brokeback Mountain}

    5 Far Out but Warranted Oscar Omissions:

    – Supporting Actress – Eva Green {Kingdom of Heaven}
    – Original Score – Mark Isham {Crash}
    – Supporting Actor – Clifton Collins Jr {Capote}
    – Best Actress – Naomi Watts {King Kong}
    – Original Score – James Horner {The New World}

    5 Pleasant Surprises:

    – Sin City
    – Fever Pitch
    – The 40-Year-Old Virgin
    – Serenity
    – In Her Shoes

    5 Disappointments or Why Did You Bothers:

    – Constantine
    – Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
    – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    – The Island
    – Elizabethtown

  101. But, several outspoken conservative actors have made it pretty clear that they’re better off keeping their politics to themselves

    Then why don’t they? If I was a Republican in 2014 I’d want to keep it to myself too. I’d be embarrassed to admit it.

    But it’s interesting to hear that “outspoken conservatives” can still moan about how they wish they could to conceal their politics – but it spite of all the oppression they still somehow moan loud enough so that they’re not really trying to conceal anything. Actually it sounds like somebody who likes to whisper about how bad they’re being bullied in order to feign being victimized. Constantly performing. They should get jobs as actors! …oh, I forgot.

  102. I find the whole Crash v Brokeback thing intriguing. The Academy almost NEVER chooses the best film of the year; some years they do not even nominate it!

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