Monday, March 06, 2006

oscar is straight

Oscar has spoken, and his picks come as a welcome surprise.

I was one of the few who didn't like Brokeback Mountain all that much. It was a good film, with excellent direction and good acting (Ledger), but the script (and actually how the entire thing played out) left me dissatisfied - as a creative writer. It's obvious to me how sexual politics played an important role in how people perceived the film, but to me, gender issues aside (because we do not say a film is great just because it deals with gay issues), it had its problems.

Having said that though, I think Ang Lee's film suffered the Oscar snub not because of what it lacked but because the voters weren't prepared to send the message that gay films are okay for the mainstream audience. If just to send that message alone, Brokeback Mountain should have won. But it didn't and the award went to the ensemble-acted (and helmed by a first-time director) Crash instead. Which, from a technical and creative perspective, I have no issue with (but Ian does, and thus we find ourselves on opposite sides of the fence on this matter).

At least Ang Lee got the Best Director nod, which he definitely deserves (his second since Crounching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

Brokeback's acting nominations also fell to the wayside. Heavily-favored Philip Seymour Hoffman got the nod for Best Actor (deserved, for Capote). George Clooney beat Jake Gyllenhaal (though my money was on Paul Giamatti for the otherwise boring Cinderella Man). And Dawson's Creek alumnus Michelle Williams lost the award to Rachel Weisz (sorry, but I did not enjoy The Constant Garderner one whit and thus have nothing nice to say about her acting).

Brokeback Mountain did pick up two more Oscars. One for Gustavo Santaolalla for his original score, which I really liked; and one for Adapted Screenplay, which I disagreed with (I'd have gone with Capote).


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