I know I haven’t written in awhile and it is a sad statement on my life that something as petty as the Academy Awards has driven me from my slumber, but there it is.
First of all, I thought Jon Stewart did a great job as a host. He did appear to be nervous at the beginning, and who wouldn’t be, (have you seen the size of the Kodak theatre?) but he certainly got better as the night went on and I heard plenty of people laughing.
But according to reports, none of those people were the “stars” and therefore, the word out on the street is Jon Stewart was a “failure, on par with David Letterman and Chris Rock”. I would point out that you can do worse than to be lumped with David Letterman and Chris Rock.
The problem is that the stars cannot laugh at themselves. It’s a sad statement on Hollywood that they can mock, imitate and comment on every other race, culture, creed and nationality out there EXCEPT for those who share their zip code.
Secondly, I for one was very pleased to see that ‘Crash’ won for best picture. I saw that movie and it was a tough, uncomfortable view of people from different races and walks of life. I thought they did a very good job with the material and was more than a bit surprised at how much it affected me.
But according to the writers of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ the only reason ‘Crash’ won is because America can’t handle the idea of a gay-themed best pic winner (http://oscars.movies.yahoo.com/news/reuters/20060306/765.html):
The victory for “Crash” suggested Oscar voters were more comfortable with a tale that exploited the seamy underbelly of racial conflict in contemporary Los Angeles than with a heartbreaking tale of love between two married men.
“Perhaps the truth really is, Americans don’t want cowboys to be gay,” said Larry McMurtry, 69, who shared an Oscar for best adapted screenplay with Diana Ossana for “Brokeback.”
This is patently unfair. ‘Brokeback’ which won plenty of awards, including several best picture awards, was a perfectly fine move. It was well-touted in public, much discussed and rarely lamented. There were some comments/complaints, but you made a groud-breaking movie; you asked for it. Just because the Academy – who I remind you is primarily made up of Hollywood insiders – felt that ‘Crash’ was the better movie does not mean that America cannot handle homosexuality.
That being said, maybe Americans do have a problem with gay love. But you would think that these people, who should be advocates for gay rights, would focus more on the problem when laws are passed banning gay marriage, than when they are passed over for an award.