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Thread: Oscar Academy Awards 2006

  1. #1
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    Oscar Academy Awards 2006

    The official website
    see
    http://www.oscar.com/

    The results will be announced on Mar 5.
    ;)


    Best Motion Picture of the Year
    Brokeback Mountain (2005) - Diana Ossana, James Schamus
    Capote (2005) - Caroline Baron, William Vince, Michael Ohoven
    Crash (2004) - Paul Haggis, Cathy Schulman
    Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) - Grant Heslov
    Munich (2005) - Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Barry Mendel

    Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
    Bestia nel cuore, La (2005) - Cristina Comencini (Italy)
    Joyeux Noël (2005) - Christian Carion (France)
    Paradise Now (2005) - Hany Abu-Assad (Palestine)
    Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage (2005) - Marc Rothemund (Germany)
    Tsotsi (2005) - Gavin Hood (South Africa)

    Best Achievement in Directing
    George Clooney for Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
    Paul Haggis for Crash (2004)
    Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    Bennett Miller for Capote (2005)
    Steven Spielberg for Munich (2005)

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
    Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote (2005)
    Terrence Howard for Hustle & Flow (2005)
    Heath Ledger for Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    Joaquin Phoenix for Walk the Line (2005)
    David Strathairn for Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
    Judi Dench for Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005)
    Felicity Huffman for Transamerica (2005)
    Keira Knightley for Pride & Prejudice (2005)
    Charlize Theron for North Country (2005)
    Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line (2005)

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting RoleGeorge Clooney for Syriana (2005)
    Matt Dillon for Crash (2004)
    Paul Giamatti for Cinderella Man (2005)
    Jake Gyllenhaal for Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    William Hurt for A History of Violence (2005)

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
    Amy Adams for Junebug (2005)
    Catherine Keener for Capote (2005)
    Frances McDormand for North Country (2005)
    Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardener (2005)
    Michelle Williams for Brokeback Mountain (2005)

    Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the ScreenCrash (2004) - Paul Haggis, Robert Moresco
    Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) - George Clooney, Grant Heslov
    Match Point (2005) - Woody Allen
    The Squid and the Whale (2005) - Noah Baumbach
    Syriana (2005) - Stephen Gaghan

    Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
    Brokeback Mountain (2005) - Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana
    Capote (2005) - Dan Futterman
    The Constant Gardener (2005) - Jeffrey Caine
    A History of Violence (2005) - Josh Olson
    Munich (2005) - Tony Kushner, Eric Roth

    Best Achievement in Cinematography
    Batman Begins (2005) - Wally Pfister
    Brokeback Mountain (2005) - Rodrigo Prieto
    Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) - Robert Elswit
    Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) - Dion Beebe
    The New World (2005) - Emmanuel Lubezki

    Best Achievement in Editing
    Cinderella Man (2005) - Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill
    The Constant Gardener (2005) - Claire Simpson
    Crash (2004) - Hughes Winborne
    Munich (2005) - Michael Kahn
    Walk the Line (2005) - Michael McCusker

    Best Achievement in Art Direction
    Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) - James D. Bissell, Jan Pascale
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) - Stuart Craig, Stephanie McMillan
    King Kong (2005) - Grant Major, Dan Hennah, Simon Bright
    Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) - John Myhre, Gretchen Rau
    Pride & Prejudice (2005) - Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

    Best Achievement in Costume Design
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) - Gabriella Pescucci
    Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) - Colleen Atwood
    Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005) - Sandy Powell
    Pride & Prejudice (2005) - Jacqueline Durran
    Walk the Line (2005) - Arianne Phillips

    Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
    Brokeback Mountain (2005) - Gustavo Santaolalla
    The Constant Gardener (2005) - Alberto Iglesias
    Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) - John Williams
    Munich (2005) - John Williams
    Pride & Prejudice (2005) - Dario Marianelli

    Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
    Hustle & Flow (2005) - Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman, Paul Beauregard ("It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp")
    Crash (2004) - Michael Becker, Kathleen York ("In the Deep")
    Transamerica (2005) - Dolly Parton ("Travelin' Thru")

    Best Achievement in Makeup
    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) - Howard Berger, Tami Lane
    Cinderella Man (2005) - David LeRoy Anderson, Lance Anderson
    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) - Dave Elsey, Annette Miles

    Best Achievement in Sound
    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) - Terry Porter, Dean A. Zupancic, Tony Johnson
    King Kong (2005) - Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges, Hammond Peek
    Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) - Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell, Rick Kline, John Pritchett
    Walk the Line (2005) - Paul Massey, Doug Hemphill, Peter F. Kurland
    War of the Worlds (2005) - Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer, Ron Judkins

    Best Achievement in Sound Editing
    King Kong (2005) - Mike Hopkins, Ethan Van der Ryn
    Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) - Wylie Stateman
    War of the Worlds (2005) - Richard King

    Best Achievement in Visual Effects
    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) - Dean Wright, Bill Westenhofer, Jim Berney, Scott Farrar
    King Kong (2005) - Joe Letteri, Brian Van't Hul, Christian Rivers, Richard Taylor
    War of the Worlds (2005) - Pablo Helman, Dennis Muren, Randy Dutra, Daniel Sudick

    Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
    Corpse Bride (2005) - Tim Burton, Mike Johnson
    Hauru no ugoku shiro (2004) - Hayao Miyazaki
    Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) - Steve Box, Nick Park

    Best Documentary, Features
    Darwin's Nightmare (2004) - Hubert Sauper
    Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) - Alex Gibney, Jason Kliot
    Marche de l'empereur, La (2005) - Luc Jacquet, Yves Darondeau
    Murderball (2005) - Henry Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro
    Street Fight (2005) - Marshall Curry

    Best Documentary, Short Subjects
    God Sleeps in Rwanda (2005) - Kimberlee Acquaro, Stacy Sherman
    A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin (2005) - Corinne Marrinan, Eric Simonson
    The Life of Kevin Carter (2004) - Dan Krauss
    Mushroom Club, The (2005) - Steven Okazaki

    Best Short Film, Animated
    Badgered (2005) - Sharon Colman
    The Moon and the Son (2005) - John Canemaker, Peggy Stern
    The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello (2005) - Anthony Lucas
    9 (2005) - Shane Acker
    One Man Band (2005) - Mark Andrews, Andrew Jimenez

    Best Short Film, Live Action
    Ausreißer (2004) - Ulrike Grote
    Cashback (2004) - Sean Ellis, Lene Bausager
    Síðasti bærinn í dalnum (2004) - Rúnar Rúnarsson, Þórir Snær Sigurjónsson
    Our Time Is Up (2004) - Rob Pearlstein, Pia Clemente
    Six Shooter (2005) - Martin McDonagh

    ;)

  2. #2
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    just some random thoughts ...
    ;)

    (1) congrats to Brokeback Mountain and Crash ... ;) ...
    I think the Best Film will be a tough fight between these two ...
    ... hmmm, a lot of things will influence the final outcome ... incl. the media, beliefs, regrets, etc ...

    (2) From the Best Foreign Film category, we learn a good lesson ...
    i.e., you need a good story telling (and if possible, a good message) to touch and move people ... ;)
    well done ... you may read my reviews on Joyeux Noël (France), Sophie Scholl (Germany) and Paradise Now (Palestine) in this board ...

    Italy should be happy ... ;) ...
    FYI, this is the "replaced" film ... not their original submission ...

    (3) Best Animation, will it simply go to Howl's Moving Castle?

    good luck! (and good night?!) hee hee

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    Best Picture Nomations

    I want to congratulate the Academy for its strong and respectable nominations for Best Picture. I feel that all of the nominee films are great and worthy of consideration. Good job!!! It's been a long, long, long time, I can't remember the last time I felt this good about the slate for best picture. Perhaps there is hope after all.

  4. #4
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    Ah how I love the Oscars for the sole purpose of complaining about them. Congrats to Terrence Howard the surprise nominee for Hustle and Flow, a film that I now have to go out and see. Russell Crowe was denied again, although for once Paul Giamatti wasn't, so about damn time he gets some recognition.

    Now for a complaint, the best picture race is always a tricky bird. Roughly 13 or 14 films I would have easily been happy with being nominated, and of those only two did get nominated (Munich and Crash). Which means that the other three I disagree with. Good Night and Good Luck as well as Capote were overrated, and Brokeback Mountain is overhyped. I would for once like to see Academy members have a memory that lasts longer than a month and give the award to Crash, by far the best film nominated. What my other complaint is that the nominees for best picture are exactly the same as the best director race, how extremely boring. I thought that for once David Cronenberg might get recognized, or at least have one or two odd ball choices. I don't think Bennett Miller did anything fantastic, but then again I found the film overall overrated.

    Not surprising my pick for best actor was left out of the running (poor Pierce Brosnan), but the nominees are generally pretty good and with the exception of Howard not surprising. The actress race is even less shocking, and at least my two favorite performances of the year were selected (Knightley and Witherspoon). I was a little disappointed that Mickey Rourke wasn't nominated for Sin City in the supporting category (laugh if you will but I really thought he could pull it off). The foreign nominees are garbage as usual, no nominations for The World, Weeping Meadow, or Nobody Knows, which were the three foreign films on my top ten. But like I say every year (and every presidential election) the voting process has to change, the bylaws for foreign films are absolutely retarded and need to be seriously modified, lest more garbage get rewarded (Nowhere in Africa anybody?).

    I can bitch a little more, but I'll just remained patiently tuned to the awards so that I can change my bitching from what did or didn't get nominated to what won.

    p. s. My goal of seeing all best picture nominees BEFORE the nominees were announced was successful, might be a small accomplishment, but it's the first time I've been able to do it.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by wpqx

    (i) Ah how I love the Oscars for the sole purpose of complaining about them. ....

    (ii) Now for a complaint, the best picture race is always a tricky bird. ... Good Night and Good Luck as well as Capote were overrated, and Brokeback Mountain is overhyped.

    (iii) The foreign nominees are garbage as usual, no nominations for The World, Weeping Meadow, or Nobody Knows, which were the three foreign films on my top ten. ...

    hee hee ...

    (i) in the entertainment world, any news is good news ... ;PPP

    (ii) like tabuno, i have no qualms over the 5 Best Films ... since you chose different descriptions (i..e, "overrated" and "overhyped"), i presume there is a difference (pardon my english) ...

    do you mean the following?!
    "overrated" means bad, not worth the high ratings ...
    "overhyped" means that it is still excellent, but because of too much publicity and expectations, one does not get as much out of it (in relative terms) ...

    (iii) "The World" was not submitted by China, but instead "The Promise" (by Chen Kaige) was ... you might find it interesting to note that the majority of the Chinese do not think that "The World" is the best film of the year ...

    "Nobody Knows" was submitted last year by Japan but missed out in the nominations ... this year, "Blood and Bones" was submitted (you may read my review in the forum too)

    "Weeping Meadow" ... i can't recall ...

    Anyway, to be fair, I have watched 3 out of the 5 nominees ... while I will NOT deny that they are probably "safe" options and NOT necessarily the best film from the country (because different nationalities will have different taste and some best films will be "lost in translation"), I have to defend that the 3 films (Merry Christmas, Sophie Scholl and Paradise Now) are actually "very well told" stories with "very good messages" ... taking into account the age/taste/beliefs/etc of voting members in the Academy, I do not think it is surprising that they like the films ...


    If you want ... I could probably try explaining why "The Promise" (China), "Perhaps Love" (HK), "The Wayward Cloud" (Taiwan), "Blood and Bones" (Japan), "The Tin Mine" (Thailand), Days of Santiago (Peru), etc did not make it ...


    As for Tsotsi, reviews seem to be great. I am not sure about Italy's Don't Tell.

    ;)
    Last edited by hengcs; 02-01-2006 at 08:17 PM.

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    Good Points

    [QUOTE]wpqx posted:
    my pick for best actor was left out of the running (poor Pierce Brosnan)...I was a little disappointed that Mickey Rourke wasn't nominated for Sin City in the supporting category (laugh if you will but I really thought he could pull it off).[ /QUOTE]

    You have two good points. I loved Pierce's performance in The Matador that combined both humor and drama (always a difficult mix) along with creating a sympathetic bad guy (again not always an easy performance). Thanks for reminding me of Mickey Rourke, he's been overlooked and out of the spotlight for many years as Bruce Willis has had much of the limelight that took away much of the focus on Rourke.

  7. #7
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    Sorry about the overhyped comment. But I believe that had Brokeback Mountain not been made out to be such a monumental achievement, then perhaps it would sit better in my esteem. I had a similar reaction to Crouching Tiger, which also was given near mythical status by the time it was in general release.

    I realize the errors involved with the foreign film race, and over the next few months more films will be coming out, but I still stand by the fact that nearly every year the best foreign film not only doesn't win, but isn't even nominated, and more often not even eligible to be nominated. And yeah Herzog not even being in the top 15 for Grizzly Man seemed ridiculous.

    I'm in the process of revamping all of my old Oscar complaints right now. I was writing a book/journal of alternate Oscar picks year by year for the four major categories, and after three years of work I lost all of it, so the process of rebuilding is a slow one to say the least.

  8. #8
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    Hey to all,


    after FINALLY watching all the 5 films in the category ...
    my VOTE goes to ...

    Best Motion Picture of the Year
    Shld win ... Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    May win ... Crash (2004) ... becos lots of voters may relate more to LA and the issues involved ...


    Like previous years, I am usually more keen on a few categories ...

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
    Prefer ... Heath Ledger for Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    Don't mind ... and may win ... Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote (2005)

    Why?
    becos I feel that Heath has a tougher role given that the character has fewer expressions and lesser range of emotions and fewer lines ...
    Philip has done an excellent job too, but his character is given the "luxury" of more lines/words, more expressions, and more range of emotions ...
    But seriously, I am okay with either ...


    Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
    Crash (2004) - Paul Haggis, Robert Moresco

    Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
    Brokeback Mountain (2005) - Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana


    This category is tough ...
    I have yet to watch Tsotsi and Don't Tell, so my opinions are only about the other 3 ...

    Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
    Joyeux Noël (2005) (France)
    - overall very nice theme, however, one has to immerse in the film to appreciate the various subtleties involved ...

    Paradise Now (2005) (Palestine)
    - the first quarter or half is kind of slow, but the ENDING scene will remain after one leaves the cinema ... the overall message is also thought provoking ...

    Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage (2005) (Germany)
    - people like to celebrate an undaunted person, it is pretty much a one person show ... but the pacing is good ...

    rgds
    Heng

  9. #9
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    Comments on wpqx's (justified) complaints and a friend's predictions

    wpqx:

    I don't think Bennett Miller did anything fantastic, but then again I found the film overall overrated.
    I agree on that; I still can't see what's so great about Miller's directing in Capote, and I think the original Richard Brooks/Robert Blake 1967 movie about this material, In Cold Blood. is better. However, all the interest in the movie is due to Philip Seymour HOffman's preformance, and it is a good one. And even though I didn't really like Matador, I will agree with you that Pierce Brosnan is very good in it and I don't know anyone else who could have done it as well. The Academy seems to like a clever, "wow" kind of schtick, like somebody immitating some real person in a spot-on way, or a man pretending to be a woman or vice versa or pretending to be a disabled person. I prefer a performance that has energy and intensity, inwardness, that perhaps makes you identify with or strongly react to the character and forget that it's acting (with Hoffman you never really do I'm afraid), that makes you care about the experience being depicted and moves you;and since I was most moved by the "over-hyped" Brokeback, I would like it if Heath Ledger's "imploded" performance won (I think for periods you do forget he's acting), but that's not likely to happen. and why should it? Ledger is young. Let him turn in some more performances as good as Giammati's or Hoffman's have been.

    I can well understand wpqx, turning against an over-hyped film. Crouching Tiger is a good example. Therre are many. I thought Sideways was hugely overhyped. However I am deeply moved by Brokeback so I don't care about the hype and I think a lot of the hype is due to the fact that people just are blown away by the movie as I am. There are plenty who aren't, but they aren't necessarily in the majority. The Brokeback thread on this site has gotten twice as many hits as any of the other Now Playing threads right now. Still, I can understand your reaction very well and often have it myself. Just bear in mind that overhyping ceases to matter when you happen to love the movie involved in the hype, but when it fails to blow you away, it becomes annoying.

    In a way the Oscars are all about hype and not much else. They themselves are the ultimate hype.

    The truth is that there is not really a great masterpiece film made every year. But when there is one, nine out of ten times the Academy doesn't even know it exists. They don't know from Jia Zhang-ke, and they didn't nominate Haneke's Caché and Wong's 2046. They overlooked Grizzly Man....and so on and on. Personally, I do not like Munich, though I agree it is a movie from 2005 that anyone has to watch, and I will be horrified if it wins. I also think Crash tries too hard to be significant and doesn't deserve to be rewarded for its obviousness. So I don't want to see the Oscars, I'll just see later what happens, even though I might like watching Jon Stewart.

    ____________________________________________

    A friend of mine who has a good success rating at Oscar prediction has sent me his list:

    78th Academy Awards

    [From a friend of CK]

    PROJECTED OSCAR WINNERS:
    Best Picture: Brokeback Mountain
    Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote
    Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line
    Best Supporting Actor: Paul Giamatti for Cinderella Man
    Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardener
    Best Director: Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain
    Best Original Screenplay: Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco for Crash
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Larry McMurty and Diana Ossana for Brokeback Mountain
    Best Cinematography: Rodrigo Prieto for Brokeback Mountain
    Best Editing: Michael Kahn for Munich
    Best Art Direction: James D. Bissel and Jan Pascale for Good Night, and Good Luck.
    Best Costume Design: Colleen Atwood for Memoirs of a Geisha
    Best Original Score: John Williams for Munich
    Best Makeup: Howard Berger and Tami Lane for The Chronicles of Narnia:The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
    Best Sound: Paul Massey, Doug Hemphill and Peter F. Kurland for Walk the Line
    Best Visual Effects: Pablo Helman, Dennis Muren, Randy Dutra, and Daniel Sudick: Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
    Best Foreign Film: Paradise Now
    Best Documentary: March of the Penguins
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-04-2006 at 03:44 PM.

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    I'm outta the running for predicting this year's Oscars because I haven't seen any of the Best Pic nominees, nor many of the other supposed "big" movies like March of the Penguins.

    Nathan Lee says Munich matters and I trust him.

    Brokeback is a film I'll love for the filmmaking
    (the story? hmm, I just don't know)
    Lost love among cowboys.
    A hard pill to swallow for me.

    I love Ang Lee and I love cameraman Rodrigo more.
    (DP on Alexander &Frida)
    The man's an ace cinematographer.
    If he doesn't win I'll be angry unless Wally Pfister takes it.

    Mr. Phoenix?
    Reese?
    You won't see me complaining if either wins, but I am concerned that there weren't any more amazing acting jobs in Hollywood.

    I mean, this is the best of the bunch?

    There's nothing more "wow" than this?
    This is the cream of the crop?

    You can bet on Hoffman winning for best actor.

    The show will be worth watching for Stewart.

    He's gotta be better than Silly or Whoppy.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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    Re: Comments on wpqx's (justified) complaints and a friend's predictions

    Originally posted by Chris Knipp

    The truth is that there is not really a great masterpiece film made every year. But when there is one, nine out of ten times the Academy doesn't even know it exists. They don't know from Jia Zhang-ke, and they didn't nominate Haneke's Caché and Wong's 2046. They overlooked Grizzly Man....and so on and on. Personally, I do not like Munich, though I agree it is a movie from 2005 that anyone has to watch, and I will be horrified if it wins. I also think Crash tries too hard to be significant and doesn't deserve to be rewarded for its obviousness. So I don't want to see the Oscars, I'll just see later what happens, even though I might like watching Jon Stewart.

    Precisely.

    I'll be watching because my wife and daughter want me to, and I already watched tonight's Miami Festival films during press screenings. Not that I care a whole lot...but I'm rooting for King Kong to win Art Direction and Sound, A History of Violence for Adapted Screenplay, Howl's Moving Castle for Animated Film, The New World for Cinematography, Cinderella Man for Editing, and Brokeback Mountain for everything else, including Best Picture.

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    I hope I'm not watching but out doing something else. I was going to be going out to see Fateless or Night Watch with a friend, but it seems he may not be free. I am invited to an Oscar night party, but begged off because I can't stand the drawn out tedium of it all or how lousy I feel if something I dislike or think little of wins big. I'm with you on Brokeback and I guess the odds are good.

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    Crash WINS

    I am happy to see that Crash win its Best Picture Oscar tonight, it was my second favorite movie of 2005 after North Country as well as the three technical awards for Memoirs of a Geisha my third favorite movie of the year.

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    The Academy Crashes!

    It was a very split-up year for the Academy Awards which had looked like they might be something of a sweep for Brokeback Mountain. Was there a Brokeback backlash? It certainly feels that way to this fan. Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director isn't bad, but still, Crash for Best Picture was a surprise, and goes against popular polls, which favored Brokeback for Best Picture by 13 pomts, and even Jake Gyllenhaal was a small five points over Clooney in the polls for Best Supporting Actor. I guess Crash's winning for Best Original Screenplay was a harbinger of doom in beating out stuff as good, smart, topical, entertaining, and heartfult as Good Night, and Good Luck; Match Point; The Squid and the Whale; and Syriana. Go figure. Well, if that's the way they feel. . . I guess as Manohla Dargis said in her feisty pre-Oscars Q & A,, Crash gave the Academy's mainly white L.A. resident members the satisfaction of believing in certain fantasies and false platitudes:
    Manohla Dargis:
    There are a few obvious reasons why Crash connected with the Academy. First, Los Angeles, where most of Academy members live, is a profoundly segregated city, so any movie that makes it seem like its white, black, Asian and Latino inhabitants are constantly tripping over one another has appeal. If nothing else it makes Los Angeles seem as cosmopolitan as, well, New York or at least the Upper West Side. Second, no matter how many times the camera picks out Oprah Winfrey on Oscar night, the Academy is super white. Third, the Academy is, at least in general terms, socially liberal. You see where I’m going, right? What could better soothe the troubled brow of the Academy’s collective white conscious than a movie that says sometimes black men really are muggers (so don’t worry if you engage in racial profiling); your Latina maid really, really loves you (so don’t worry about paying her less than minimum wage); even white racists (even white racist cops) can love their black brothers or at least their hot black sisters; and all answers are basically simple, so don’t even think about politics, policy, the lingering effects of Proposition 13 and Governor Arnold. This is a consummate Hollywood fantasy, no matter how nominally independent the financing and release. I also think it helped the film’s cause that its distributor sent out more than 130,000 DVD's to the industry, insuring easy viewing.
    No hard feelings about Supporting Actors Oscars, though. Clooney gave his all, and Rachel Weisz was the most dynamic and glittering of the candidates in her category. For Capote, Hoffman was a logical prediction for Best Actor, the Academy typically favoring Phillip's brilliant schtick over the heartfelt feeling of Joaquin Phoenix's and Heath Ledger's performances. In terms of general feeling, Ang Lee's choice was the right one and he gave an acceptance speech that was a model of dignity and warmth. Reese Witherspoon feels right as a choice too for Best Actress.. I can't say how many will follow in the groove of why Crash was chosen, or how many will see and ultimately how many will finally live to remember that film. Tsotsi is a surprise for Best Foreign Film, another one that was behind two others in the polls I have seen. I'm glad the mellow, musical Hustle and Flow beat out Crash and Transamerica for Best Original Song. March of the Penguins and Wallace and Gromit made sense as choices for doc and animation; no surprises there. For big King Kong fans, it at least scored big in the effects. Everything nominated for Best Original score was heavy and schmaltzy, so who cares that Gustavo Santaolalla's for Brokeback won out over John Williams, John Williams (yes, he scored both geishas and Israaeli hit men this year), or Alberto Iglesias or Dario Marianelli. Since I've given Manohla an inordinate amount of space, I might as well give her the last word:
    while the Oscars are reliably irritating and often just plain stupid – and boring and silly and wrong – sometimes they draw attention to worthy films and give a boost to equally worthy filmmakers.
    Yeah, sometimes. But not enough.

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    In the "reliably irritating" aftermath of comments on "terrible decisions" made by the Academy this year as a friend just put it, I forgot to mention something the Human Rights Campaign just emailed me about in a letter headed THE 2006 ACADEMY AWARDS CELEBRATE GLBT-FRIENDLY FILMS, and it's true: this was quite an amazing Hollywood year for gayness, with Capote, Brokeback Mountain, and Transamera all dealing with gay experience, even if the only sexy one is BM. But there I go being picky again. The Human Rights Campaign people know that's not the way to go for social progress. Things work in small increments but this year was a leap forward and there's something to be glad about.
    Tonight America honored three films that portrayed gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters with compassion and honesty. Capote, TransAmerica, and Brokeback Mountain each brought gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender stories to movie theaters, the front pages of newspapers, and, most importantly, the everyday conversations of millions of Americans this year.

    All across the country, these stories are touching lives and changing minds. . .
    This, for some of us, is a very big value in this year's nominations, and indeed it is very much an honor just to be nominated. Some of the best are those nominated, but not given the big prize.

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