CRASH REAMS BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN FOR BEST PICTURE OSCAR...
I'm completely indifferent to this supposed "Oscar Upset", due to Paul Haggis's Crash's fake Enya musical score being such obnoxious audial wallpaper that watching the film was like listening to all the characters try to speak above the Muzak as though Los Angeles is one giant elevator. I mean, really, remember that one episode of South Park when Stan Marsh's grandfather is trying to show Stan what it's like being old, and why Stan should support his assisted suicide wish, so he locks Stan in the room with him and turns up the Enya (what was essentially "Orinoco Flow", with a few notes changed for copyright purposes)? That was pretty much the experience of watching Crash for me. While he did have some criticisms of the film, I can understand why Rush Limbaugh seemed to have liked Crash a bit better than I did. Because he's mostly deaf and doesn't have to hear it!
I'm not completely anti-Enya, and I happen to somewhat like the aforementioned "Orinoco Flow" despite the South Park parody, but Enya's good in small doses. Too much of her at once gets depressing, no matter how uplifting the music is supposed to be. And Crash didn't even use the real Enya, just some Enya wannabe.
All that being said, though, what makes the Crash win totally worth it for me, as someone who really doesn't give a flying fuck either way, is all the message board schadenfreude that's "all upons" the Rotten Tomatoes forum in spades.
It's hard to pick a highlight, but here's the "best" line I found ("best" line meaning "most ridiculously melodramatic"): "We lost more than a statue. We lost our dignity as the human race…"
What's funny about Crash winning is that so many people came to Rotten Tomatoes to complain that the entire forum CRASHed several times. Not quite irony for those of you who get all nitpicky when you say something's ironic and it isn't, but certainly it was poetic justice.
Not that the angst over Brokeback Mountain's loss is limited to Rotten Tomatoes by any measure: there's much griping over it at places like Ain't It Cool News and Box Office Mojo (though Crash seems to get more love at BOM than it does at RT).
And Jack Nicholson's announcement of Crash's win so sickened the guy who runs the Fennec Awards Database that he claims that, after a decade of running the site, he's through. Only time will tell whether he's serious or just being a drama queen. My money's on the latter.
I don't know what happened to Brokeback Mountain. Is Crash the better film... well, if you're an Academy type? Are the bulk of the members of the Academy, mainly on the technical side of things, homophobic or at least uncomfortable with the subject matter? Did the Academy choose the relatively less controversial picture so that conservatives would quiet down about the Academy being "out of touch"? Was there "Brokebacklash" where so many entertainment writers assumed that, since it was winning most of the other awards that it would have to win the Academy award for Best Picture, and the Academy doesn't like being told how to vote? Is it an urban bias, where the Academy members, especially the large amount of them who live in the Los Angeles area, would naturally prefer the film set in the environment they're most familiar with? Did Lions Gate Film's sending a hundred thousand or so DVDs to not just the voting Academy members themselves but also their friends, associates, and relations have anything to do with it? Did Roger Ebert's endorsement of Crash sway enough voters to get off the mountain and onto the streets? I wouldn't say I think Ebert's completely responsible, but, with the Academy, momentum is everything, and it could just be that the momentum for Brokeback Mountain climaxed prematurely... erm, make that "peaked too soon".
I don't really have anything against Brokeback Mountain, and, like I mentioned before, I've actually seen gayer and more explicit arthouse fodder than what I've read Brokeback is like, but I still find the moaning on message boards that it lost grossly entertaining, almost like it's the movie fan version of what happened a couple of weeks ago on anime message boards, when 4Kids Entertaiment licensed Pretty Cure (and then, at the New York Comic Convention, 4Kids chief Al Kahn Jr. said something to the effect that he finds manga problematic because "kids don't read").
Oh, the tears of unfathomable sadness! Mm-yummy!