The Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan, writing on their "Envelope" website, vocalizes eloquently exactly the way we feel about last night's "Crash" win. We were expecting it, and even resignedly picked it on our ballot for the Oscar pool at our party.
"Sometimes you win by losing, and nothing has proved what a powerful, taboo-breaking, necessary film "Brokeback Mountain" was more than its loss Sunday night to "Crash" in the Oscar best picture category.Despite all the magazine covers it graced, despite all the red-state theaters it made good money in, despite (or maybe because of) all the jokes late-night talk show hosts made about it, you could not take the pulse of the industry without realizing that this film made a number of people distinctly uncomfortable...
"So for people who were discomfited by "Brokeback Mountain" but wanted to be able to look themselves in the mirror and feel like they were good, productive liberals, "Crash" provided the perfect safe harbor."
The whole article is dead-on and a really good read. But we think it misses another point: People really DID like "Crash." People like Oprah, Joel Seigel, and Katie Couric. And it wasn't because it was good - it wasn't. It was obvious, cliched, boring, and formulaic. Frankly, it was patronizing. It shouldn't have even been nominated (the actors, perhaps, but not the film). The problem is that a film doesn't need to be GOOD (like "Brokeback"), it just needs to be about something important.
What we basically mean is that we've finally realized the Academy voters are just dumb.
Which has left us feeling, right now, the way we felt when we found out that bears indeed DO shit in the woods.