'Brokeback' vs. 'Crash': State your loyalties

15493__crash_l_1Okay, everybody, line up. Team Brokeback on the right; Team Crash on the left.

Folks rooting for Paul Haggis’ ensemble drama about L.A. race relations (starring, among countless others, Terrence Howard, pictured) had to be elated when it sprang the upset and won Best Picture last night. And conversely, Brokeback junkies — myself included — were left wondering: ”What happened?” (Heck, if not Brokeback, I would’ve voted for Good Night, and Good Luck.) Indeed, Ang Lee’s tale of forbidden love between two strong, silent cowboys had been considered a near-shoo-in by most Oscar prognosticators.

So did Crash pull off the win because it’s an L.A. kind of movie? Was there a case of Brokeback burnout among voters? And most importantly, how are you feeling this afternoon, now that another long Oscar season has come to a close? Feel free to share your feelings with your fellow PopWatchers in the comments section below.

addCredit(“Crash: Lorey Sebastian”)


Comments (321 total) Add your comment
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  • daisyj

    You know, in retrospect this should have been obvious. Anyone who has ever driven in LA should know how much Angelenos love a good multi-car pileup.

  • Todd

    When Jack announced “Crash” as the winner, I think my mouth fell open for a solid minute. I thought for sure he read the wrong name. I know “Crash” has been gaining ground, especially after that SAG win, but come on, “Brokeback” was a major shoo-in. I liked “Crash.” It was just dandy. But it wasn’t “Brokeback Mountain.” Watching the clips during the show, I was struck by how much I remembered how good “Crash” was and how much I wanted to pay another $10.50 to go see “Brokeback” in the theater. Sorry “Crash,” you’ve got “Brokeback’s” Oscar.

  • Fatima

    1 vote for Crash. I think Oscar voters were probably upset with everyone assuming that Brokeback will win and the entire film ensamble got pretty cocky by the end. Ang Lee said something about “Getting really used to hearing the movie getting called.” That and its overhyped. However, Brokeback fans shouldn’t be such sore losers here.

  • Tim L

    Robbed is how I feel this afternoon. I truly don’t understand how a film that virtually swept every other award show could go away empty handed. Honestly…is it because Crash was safer? Was it because the Academy would essentially be endorsing Gay relationships if it awarded Best Picture? I am so enraged at the voters right now. Hopefully it was close, very close cause I proudly hang my Brokeback one sheet on my wall and I will hold the masterpiece in my heart for ever. Stupid Crash….I hate you!

  • Tom Brazelton

    I don’t want to drag homophobia into the mix… but I secretly wonder if because the Academy voting block skews older that “traditional values” may have reared their head to give the win to Crash.
    Hollywood is a pretty liberally permissive town, but even old-school Hollywood was very paranoid about homosexual relationships. I wonder if they thought a Best Picture win would have equaled an endorsement?
    It’s hard to be mad at the outcome. Honestly, any of these movies would have been great choices. With the exception of Walk the Line, it was a very socially concious year and I think that’s cause for celebration all around.

  • Danielle

    Only saw “Crash” of the best pic nominees, but I saw a dozen better movies this year. And I adore Ang Lee. So, yeah, there’s some controversy going on over here too.

  • William K. Scurry Jr.

    Stunned — ‘Crash’ was a ridiculously facile piece of liberal guilt, a clumsily written polemic about how Angelenos can’t stand one another. Apparently, it’s an L.A. I’ve never seen in all my time there. ‘Brokeback’ wasn’t stunned over homophobia, but merely the Academy voters’ simple and base motivations for their unworthy best picture votes, i.e. ‘Million Dollar Baby’ over the superior ‘Sideways.’

  • GoddessLu

    I didn’t see Brokeback (waiting for DVD) but did see Crash (also on DVD) and Crash was a great film, very thought provoking. The scenes from Brokeback looked compelling as well but let’s face it–perhaps the subject was too hot for the Academy.

  • Jp

    Dude, was I the only one really watching Crash?! It was a silly, insipid movie-of-the-week. And I WANTED to like it when I saw it last summer, but at the end I felt violated. Different elements of Crash are good, but the sum of its parts are too much – too overwrought. This is like Dances With Wolves beating Goodfellas.

  • James

    The LA Times has a great article on why Crash won and Brokeback lost. I think it is the best analysis out there. Check it out on-line. I don’t know if I can post links on here…?

  • GOB

    This is hardly the tradegy of Shakespeare in Love vs. Saving Private Ryan from a few years ago. SPR was clearly the finer film, but Miramax campaigning swung the vote over to the silly love story. Good picture, yes, best picture, um, hardly.
    Crash and BBM are both deserving films. Neither is miles above the other. It was a close race, and Crash won. Get over it.
    And to Tim L who said BBM went home empty handed… a film that takes best director, best screenplay and best score categories should not pout about being empty handed. This was a movie that could have tanked BIG TIME, and it’s been a huge success, so stop whining.

  • Mike

    I knew it was inevitable, but Good Night and Good Luck came away empty handed? Munich got shut out? Again, I was pretty much expecting these two excellent movies to get spurned, but seriously folks…Syriana got more Oscars than Munich? To me, that’s wrong.

  • boocrash

    I was never a pro-Brokeback person, but anything had to be better than the tripe that was Crash. I mean it was the most infantile, intellectually offensive, white-liberal-guilt-coddling movie I have seen in a long time. I was already rather depressed that Crash was destined to win Best Original Screenplay (despite what you think of Crash, the screenplay is by far its worst aspect) but to have it win Best Picture was more than I could handle. From a film perspective, Brokeback Mountain wasn’t that great aside from its commendably honest and straightforward treatment of gay romance, but there was nothing bad about it and I could handle it winning Best Picture. Crash is quite possibly my least favorite Best Picture winner I can remember for a long time.

  • Erik

    The Oscar outcome just reaffirms what a sham the Hollywood apparatus is and how little these awards mean. The voters were fickle, the reporters and certain partisan critics (you know who you are, Roger Ebert) made a game out of pushing for an upset, and no one ended up caring if the best film won. “Brokeback” was the best, and “Crash” was one of the weakest films of the five nominees. It was overwrought, one note and maddeningly repetitive. However, it felt like the safest choice. The Hollywood elite couldn’t put their support behind a movie that dared to show love between two men who were real men, and who were poor to boot. The only gay performance that won was the over-the-top, effeminate and rich urban gay male character (Hoffman in “Capote”). It seems the only way that Hollywood can accept a gay presence is if it is something worthy of “The Bird Cage.” Admittedly, Heath Ledger did not do himself any favors by appearing quasi-comatose in most of his pre-Oscar public appearances, but his searing yet quiet portrayal of Ennis del Mar was a performance acting students will probably look to a long time after they have stopped ceased to dwell on Hoffman capturing Capote’s cartoonish lisp. Felicity Huffman’s portrayal of a poor, haggard transgender person was off-the-charts interesting, but this was not a character many would want to mentally engage for too long, and so it lost to Reece Witherspoon’s spunky yet supporting presence as a star in Walk the Line. How truly sad the outcome – if one bothers to care anymore. What should really offend the middle-of-the-country people is not that there are gay people being portrayed (face it, there have always been gay people, and there always will be). What is most offensive is that an achingly heartfelt portrayal of small-town poor folk so easily gets swept aside in favor of “Crash,” which is basically the story of how a lot of rich people in Los Angeles are forced to interact and deal with racial differences whenever they have to step out of their Range Rovers. Puhleeez. “Crash” is a film by the rich for the rich, and guess what — the rich were the ones who voted it in. Big surprise. Big crock.

  • Stacy

    I’m already sick and tired of people saying that ‘Brokeback’ didn’t win because hollywood is homophobic. Do they people go to the movies at all? I’ve seen plenty of movie with gay characters. Rarely do i see a movie that deals with race in the profound and pretty much unbias way that ‘Crash’ did. Just because the “gay cowboy” movie didn’t win the best picture doesn’t mean that hollywood is homophobic. It means that they thought ‘Crash’ was a better movie, which it was!
    I for one am so excited that ‘Crash’ won best picture. We are not living in a world were racism isn’t an issue any more. Its more dangerous now because people try to pretend it doesn’t exist. I’m glad that the movie won because i think that it showed that everyone has racial biases that play into their everyday lives and that no one is all good or all bad. ‘Crash’ showed the different levels of people’s feelings and for that deserved the best picture award. I say “CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!”

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