Brokeback Poutin': Annie Proulx's Oscar gripe

Annie Proulx sure is bitter over the film version of her short story ”Brokeback Mountain” losing the Best Picture Academy Award to Crash, or as she calls it, ”Trash.” Even Brokeback partisans who are still smarting from Crash‘s victory last week will wince at her astonishingly petty rant.


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  • pitchmeister

    wow – we are just a bit bitter aren’t we. I am glad that Crash won – it was a better movie anyway – and this coming from a Gay Northeasterner.

  • jim

    I feel your pain, Annie. They were wrong and you have a big rooting interest. But, the long-term benefits and accomplishments of this story and movie will last longer than ONE award Brokeback Mountain didn’t win.

  • Ep Sato

    Somewhat sour gripes, er grapes from an author who’s use of 5 dollar words would imply a slightly greater sense of dignity. Or maybe expecting maturity from a grown up author is asking too much somehow.
    Plenty of unmasked snobbery, looking down on others and petty ranting about a movie that garnered more accolades. Sorry no one can live up to your oh so high standards Ms. Proulx, maybe we’re not smart enough to rent your movies.

  • professor74

    The thing that really bothered me was how she trashed Three 6 Mafia and Hustle & Flow. I mean, talk about being intolerant (maybe she should have watch ‘Crash’ a little more closely – j/k). Don’t get me wrong, “Pimp” is not exactly Shakespeare, but it was terrible either.

  • cecil

    I thought her article was quite funny. This is my kind of pop journalism, it’s so much more interesting to read a scathing satire from an insider than it is to read fawning sycophants gush over stars and their dresses.

  • justin

    well said jim, Brokeback has won more in people’s hearts than any number of Oscars…

  • MJ

    I agree with Cecil. Proulx’s piece was an insider’s look at the Oscars with a jaundiced eye. A well-written one at that.
    Are you all aware that the Kodak Theater is in a shopping mall? The Academy Awards are presented directly above a Virgin Megastore.

  • Tricia W.

    Boy, I’m so glad Ms. Proulx is so much smarter than everyone else that she can stand in judge of the artistic and entertainment merits of the nominated films and actors.
    Hey there LADY. It’s YOUR opinion that Brokeback was better than Crash. And, excuse me, you are a littled biased don’t ya think?!!!!
    And, isn’t it funny that when people like Ms. Proulx want to rant about something happening in culture or in the news in America, they run to a British tabloid?!!!!

  • daisyj

    True, it’s nice to read something that isn’t a puff-piece, but harder to take when it’s so clear that all of her dislike for the Oscars stems from the fact that her movie didn’t win (the Independent Spirit Awards, on the other hand, are “funny” and “lively”, and they just happened to shower it with praise). Petty is the right word for this article, and no one comes off looking worse from it than Ms. Proulx. I’m not saying that ‘Crash’ deserved its win but, ‘heffalump voters’? Really?

  • nessa

    Get out of the bitter barn and roll in the hay….

  • John

    While Ms. Proulx’s comments do seem a tad simplistic (Hollywood is bad) and even mean-spirited, she does bring up an interesting point that I have maintained all along; which is easier, mimicking a real (albeit dead) celebrity or creating a fully realized human being from scratch? Phillip Seymour Hoffman has been one of my favorite actors for years, and I for one think his performance transcends mere mimickry. But I also think that Heath Ledger’s performance was more heart-wrenching, and technically more difficult. Hoffman’s performance was, in a word, glitzier, plus he is known as an “actor’s actor,” and Hollywood loves to shower these lesser-known but undeniably talented actors with “gimme” awards–even in years when there are better performances.
    As for Crash, it seems to me an obvious choice for Los Angelenos to choose a picture with a theme of racism over a theme of unrequited love–homosexual or not–for much the same reason; it’s flashier, and despite what you may hear in the news–affects more people even in Hollywood than does homosexuality.
    What bothers me about the loss is this; Brokeback Mountain needed to win Best Picture in order to transcend it’s “art house” or “genre” status. Now it can too easily be discredited as “that gay cowboy movie” than if it had won. Best Picture would have given Brokeback Mountain legitimacy in the eyes of the public at large.

  • Jill

    While it does seem that her opinion is based on the fact that her movie didn’t win, she has some good points. There is a large part of the academy that is quite old, and loyal to the westerns that were made decades ago. I personally know that many members didn’t even view BBM.
    I think that Crash had amazing acting performances, but the script was so condesending and it beat you over the head with its agenda. Because of this it was VERY predictable. Brokeback, however, was a delicate study of human nature. I think that the details make all the difference, and Brokeback had soooo many nuances that added up to brillance.

  • Jaime

    Ugh, I’ve seen this circulated around the internet for a while now. The only thing more upsetting than the fact that what she’s saying is petty and snobby is the fact that for the most part, I agree with her. BM was a far superior movie to Crash. But I’m more or less sick of the entire debate.
    This is why art shouldn’t be pitted against each other in awards; one viewer’s “trash” is another viewers treasure. It’s impossible to compare.

  • Laura

    Funny, I don’t see Martin Scorsese writing hateful, petty rants about the SIX Best Director Nominations he has lost…

  • sickofLA

    Crash was a stupid movie. It relied entirely on coincidence and stereotype. Brokeback was vastly superior in every way,not even in the same category. Of course, the Crash win (cringe) proves what America never gets anyway – Hollywood is deeply CONSERVATIVE and always has been. Not to mention blue collar and unsophisticated.
    Annie, you are a great writer.

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