Site ColumnsBy Michelle
March 11, 2006 - 5:12 PM
I thought this year's Oscars had lots more energy this year than last, from the time Jon Stewart greeted "ladies, gentlemen and Felicity" and said of Capote, "Not all gay people are virile cowboys! Some are effete New York intellectuals!" In general I adored his political jabs ("Bjork couldn't be here tonight because she was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her," and calling movies about Good Night, and Good Luck a period piece because it was about journalists fighting to expose the truth). My kids were ecstatic when March of the Penguins won for documentary and the producers took the stage carrying big stuffed penguins. I howled at Stewart's comment when Cinderella Man lost best makeup to The Chronicles of Narnia: "Imagine the difficulty of making Russell Crowe look like he got into a fight! ...I'm going to get pummeled for that later." And I was glad both that Ang Lee won and that he talked about what the characters in his film meant to him.
While I am extremely sorry that Brokeback Mountain did not win Best Picture, I am a little flabbergasted at how many people I know who think there was an anti-gay conspiracy. I did not see Crash, so I have no way to assess the relative value of the movie, but I do not believe Brokeback was "robbed" any more than at least twenty better movies I can think of that did not win Best Picture and in some cases were not nominated. Brokeback won Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, which is one more major award than Kiss of the Spider Woman got in 1986 when Spielberg's watered-down but still worth-seeing The Color Purple didn't even get a director nomination. I think Brokeback Mountain is an excellent film and I really wanted it to win so that it would appear in all the Oscar's Greatest anthologies and the like -- it's a kind of legitimacy to win no matter how stupid the award system itself is. But the fact that self-absorbed L.A. people voted for a self-absorbed L.A. movie doesn't strike me as any sort of conspiracy.
I had to look up 1986 Oscars because I couldn't remember who won Best Actress (Geraldine Page in The Trip to Bountiful). What a year! In addition to overrated Best Picture winner Out of Africa, there were Spider Woman, The Color Purple, Ran, Witness, Brazil, Agnes of God, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Prizzi's Honor, Runaway Train, The Official Story, Jagged Edge, Murphy's Romance, Twice in a Lifetime, Mask...and even the "lighter" fare, Ladyhawke, Silverado, Cocoon, Back to the Future, are all very good movies. It's hard to talk about anyone being robbed when so much was so good. To me Brokeback's loss wasn't like when Shakespeare in Love wound up on top of a mediocre crop in 1999 (I was rooting for Elizabeth, but it was Cate Blanchett who was robbed, not the film). I see typical Academy stupidity but I just don't see a big homophobic conspiracy in a year where Ledger, Gyllenhaal and Felicity Huffman were nominated, Hoffman won, Lee won, McMurtry and Osanna won and Capote and Brokeback were both nominated for the top award.
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Trek Two Years Ago
These were some of the major news items from March 2004:
- Stewart To Step Up To Academic Role
Patrick Stewart (Picard), the new Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, planned his first official visit to the University to celebrate his Yorkshire roots.
- Dying As Kirk Better Than Dwindling, Says Shatner
"I thought was better for me to agree [to] play Kirk's death rather than let him dwindle," William Shatner said shortly after it was announced that he would join the cast of The Practice for the series' final episodes - a role that led to his starring role on spinoff Boston Legal.
- Park Ready To Grow, As Sato Or Not
Linda Park said that she felt Hoshi Sato had come into her own during Star Trek: Enterprise's third season, but she added that if the show was not renewed for a fourth season she would be ready to move on: "I'm at a point in my life where I'm very grateful for everything Star Trek has given me...but honestly, I feel like I'm coming to the end of some kind of cycle."
More news can be found in the archives.
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