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Brokeback bitch

I've seen neither "Brokeback Mountain" nor "Crash," so I have no idea which movie (if either) deserved to win the Best Picture Oscar. Check back after they've come out on cable and I might have an opinion for you.

Meanwhile, however, I am of the opinion that Annie Proulx is an annoying harpy.

For starters, I was already a bit peeved that her publisher is now selling her short story "Brokeback Mountain" in book form for $9.95. Not "Brokeback Mountain and Other Stories," mind you, just "Brokeback Mountain." One story. Ten bucks. The "book" has 64 pages, and that's with some pretty hefty margins. I read the entire damn thing while standing up at the bookstore last week in about 20 minutes. Ten bucks for that. More in Canada. What a rip. Anyway, I figured the whole thing was probably her publicist's idea to begin with, so I gave her a pass.

Now, however, she's a whining, sore-loser crybaby, alleging sinister conspiracies and making crass, juvenille insults against the movie that won top honors.

And rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash -- excuse me -- Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline.

"Trash," tee hee. Gee, with witty wordplay like that, maybe she should've written the screenplay herself.

Classy, huh? Everyone loves a gracious loser. But then again, it's not like she even lost. She neither directed the movie, acted in it, nor wrote the screenplay. She merely wrote a short story that served as its inspiration, that she's now hawking copies of for ten bucks a pop.

Perhaps Hollywood needed to see "Crash." If you've read the short story, you'll know that three of the major characters (including Ennis) were Latinos, but Hollywood cast all the roles with white dudes. In a normal movie, you'd expect something like that to generate some controversy, right? Well not here. The story about "the love that dare not speak its name" has become "the movie that we dare not criticize."

Ironically, most of the effusive praise I've heard for the film so far has come from straight white liberals. And that's fine, I'm glad they liked it, but I'd be really curious to hear more reviews from gay people. If any of my gay readers want to weigh in, I'd love to hear your opinions. Was it a great movie? Was it a crime that "Crash" won? Do you think homophobia might have played a role in the academy's decision? Seriously, I'd like to know.


I wish I knew how to quit Cynical Nation...

Yeee hahhh!

man it's gotta suck to have Proulx for a last name.

But she's right on about Crash. It was a pathetic movie. Brokeback had to be better than that

...if you're into that sort of thing
...not that there's anything wrong with that...

It was a good film. Heath Ledger was excellent. The cinematography was beautiful. The musical score was perfect.

As a gay man I was pleased to see a mainstream movie with hot gay loving. Did it deserve the Academy Award? I thought Capote and Walk the Line were just as, if not more, deserving. I can't speak to Crash...the poor reviews I heard kept me from going to see it.

I also liked hearing Willie Nelson singing "He Was a Friend of Mine" as I left the theater...though I wonder if "You Show Me Yours (And I'll Show You Mine)" would have been more appropriate.

Was it a great movie? Yes.

Was it a worthy Best Picture winner had it won? Yes.

Was it the only one? No; four out of the five films were worthy winners.

Which was the weakest Best Picture nominee? Crash. Pretentious, self-important, with an obvious, hackneyed script and ridiculously over-the-top dialogue, it may be the most embarrassing Best Picture winner I can remember.

Do I think homophobia played a part? You betcha. I think that there are a number of older Academy members who were uncomfortable with the subject material of Brokeback and decided to skip it. As someone who used to receive some screeners during my OFCS days, and who used to be part of that not-so-esteemed organization and of another online critics group, I can tell you that getting screeners out has a HUGE impact on what gets awards.

The other big factor in the Crash win is the "Look, they're just like us" factor. As the Russian prostitute character said on Marc Maron's show last week, "They said 'Look, there's Laurel Canyon; that's where I live, let's vote for that one.'"

As for Proulx' publisher releasing the short story in book form, you can hardly blame the author for the publisher deciding to make a few bucks by releasing it as a book. I personally know one published author who would laugh his head off if I told him that authors have that kind of clout with their publishers; even established authors like Annie Proulx.

Have you read the story, Barry? Because I have and I don't recall the characters being explicitly Latino. I do know that Ennis Del Mar wasn't described as looking anything like Heath Ledger, but it wouldn't be the first time a character looked different from how he was described in the source material.

I would bet money that more Homo-Americans have been nominated and awarded Academy Awards than Afro-Americans even though the latter comprise somewhere around 12% of the population while the former comprise something like 2% to 4% of the population -- regardless of what George Clooney thinks about Hattie McDaniel's award!

BTW, I think Ayla Brown and Gedeon McKinney were way better than Melissa McGhee and Bucky Covington, but they got voted off anyway...and I'm pretty sure only one of them is gay.

I just realized that "Homo-Americans" may not have come across as humorously as I intended. If anyone is offended by it, I offer my apologies, and acknowledge my insensitivity.

"I just realized that "Homo-Americans" may not have come across as humorously as I intended. If anyone is offended by it, I offer my apologies, and acknowledge my insensitivity." (WF)

Oh my GAWD!

That is just so.....well...so GAY.

Sorry WF, but I just had to.

I mean c'mon what is "political correctness," if not tres gay?

As if the worst thing anyone could do is to "offend anyone else."

Believe me there are a lot worse things - disemboweling, beheading and setting on fire come to mind off the top of my head.

Now I'd say something like, "I'm sorry if my allusions to horrific physical violence offended anyone," but again, that would just be way too gay...so I won't.

I have heard Crash sucked too, but I didn't see it. But I was very disappointed by Brokeback the movie. If I hadn't read the story first, I might have enjoyed it more, but I still wouldn't have thought it was a great movie. The only thing that was good, besides some of the acting, was that theme song, which is beautiful, even if it has become a cliche. Direction, dialogue and screenplay sucked. I loved the short story, which I read in a 17 page PDF document, and took me 35 minutes to read because I savored almost every sentence. One of the best short stories I have ever read, (although there were a few bits that didn't ring true, from my perspective as a gay man). How they dragged that out to over 2 hours is amazing, and not in a good way. One of the best things about the story was how spare, focussed, and skillfully written it was. The movie was sentimental and schmalzy and unfocussed. The stuff about their kids and wives was badly written and just detracted from the real story. A good movie based on the short story should have been 80 minutes, max.
I think the build up for the movie also made for impossible expectations. I got so sick of gay men saying stuff about finally seeing their lives up on the screen. I've been in the closet and out, etc. But my life has had little else in common with those of any dirt poor, uneducated, isolated, rural farm hands half a generation older than me. The same goes for 99% of those gay men who "saw themselves" in the characters.

PS. The short story does not have 3 major characters, much less 3 Latino characters. Just because Ennis Del Mar and that Aguirre character had Spanish (or Basque) last names, and Alma had a Spanish first name doesn't make them Latino. A lot of Basques settled into the Rockies, and were brought there for their shepherding abilities. But they also married Anglo women and assimilated. Which was probably how Aguirre (bit character) got pronounced as Geary in the movie. Alma's maiden name was Beers, which sounds Dutch, and Alma was one of those old fashioned names that could have been given by parents of many different ethniciites. You have to figure Ennis Del Mar had some Spanish in him (or was intended to, but is Del Mar even a real last name?), but with a name like Ennis, he was obviously mixed. There was nothing in their physical descriptions that made them seem hispanic. Ennis was tall, thin and gangly. Not an image I conjure up when I hear the word Latino.
Proulx's use of names is weird. Alma means nurse. So "Nursing Beers" might give you a clue that about her. Ennis Del Mar was probably Island (Ir. Inis) of the Sea, to let you know he was very solitary. And who ever heard of Twist as a last name either? It reminds me of that Coen brother's movie Barton Fink where all the women were referred to as "twists".

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