Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Crash v. Brokeback

OK, I know this debate is so over. But I just got around to watching Crash, the film which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. There's been a good deal of controversey--did it win over the front-runner Brokeback Mountain because of homophobia among (especially) the older, more concervative voting members of the academy?

Among the LGBT blogs and web forums I read from time to time the opinion seemed sharply divided: one camp which sees Brokeback as the greatest film ever made (or close to it) and Crash as "trash." The other group found Brokeback to be great in some respects but flawed, and Crash to be a terrific film, as profound and provacative in its own way as Brokeback.

Having now seen them both, I am in the latter group. Crash is an amazing film, and had Brokeback not shown up, I imagine many now proclaiming "Crash is trash" would be singing its praises. What film has captured the paradoxes of life, and of race relations, so well?

Brokeback, for all its power, struck me as overly melodramatic. I have to admit that I'm so sick of gays-as-victims movies that my perspective may be skewed. I'm looking forward to watching it on DVD and havingn a chance to reevaluate it.

In any event, I'm relieved that I liked Crash and thought it a worthy Best Picture opponent for Brokeback. I don't have to worry about some sinister anti-gay movement within the Hollywood power structure. After all, if it was homophobia that kept Brokeback from winning Best Picture, why didn't it keep Ang Lee from winning Best Director for the same film?

The most likely explanation to me is that it was a sort of tie, and the Academy gave BP to Crash and BD to Brokeback.

1 comment:

Edward Copeland said...

If you'd like to participate in my blog's survey of the worst choices for best picture of all time, please drop by. Details are here. I agree with you on Crash -- I liked it the best of the nominated films this year, but there are a lot of voters so far who really hate it.