L.A. Racism Wins Over Gay Cowboys: Inside the 78th Annual Academy

I am the type of person who hates the Oscars, yet watches every minute of the event every year. As far as Oscars go, this year was quite boring on the surface, besides the two surprises of the night, ‘Crash’ for Best Picture and Three Six Mafia winning Best Song. Here is a the play-by-play analysis and things you may have missed on Hollywood’s big night.
‘Crash’ over ‘Brokeback Mountain’: Everyone seemed to consider this to be the big upset of the evening, yet somehow every critic I’ve read has claimed that they had ‘Crash’ as their Best Picture winner. It was, however, a big loss for my prediction ballot (I was 14 for 24).
When I think ideally of the ‘best picture,’ it should be the movie with the least number of what I guess I would call flaws: aspects that make it a worse movie. Sure, every movie has its faults, there is no perfect film and personal preference comes into play. But the Best Picture should strive to have the least amount of suck factor.
‘Crash,’ in my mind had the most flaws of all the movies (even ‘Munich,’ a film I thoroughly disliked) including a lack of subtlety, pretentious intellectualism and overwhelming coincidental occurrences.
The worst part about ‘Crash’ and the people who are now celebrating Paul Haggis’ Los Angeles drama is how the movie is spoken of as a movie that really tackles the race issue. What exactly does ‘Crash’ say about race that is so eye-opening? Does it teach us that race causes old Iranian men to blame the locksmith for a break-in, that white people become scared of minorities after they get carjacked and that hitchhikers get shot by white cops when they try to show their driver something in their pocket without thoroughly explaining what it is?
The thing I loved most about ‘Brokeback’ was how real it felt. Haggis and ‘Crash’ both need to explore the concept of realism, and subtlety for that matter.
Steve-O: This was without a doubt the most memorable event of the evening. Too bad I didn’t know about it until the next day. I missed the preshow, so I don’t know how much coverage this received. But Steve-O (‘Jackass,’ ‘Wildboys’) stumbled onto the red carpet and proceeded to undress completely and take a piss on the iconic entrance to the event. Check the Internet for the pictures, they are priceless.
Jon Stewart: I am still not sure how I feel about Jon Stewart as a host. His intro was mildly clever, but nothing spectacular. His introduction monologue was even worse; trying to be safe, funny and slightly political is a terrible combination.
Throughout the show, there were several Daily Show-esque bits featuring fake campaigns by some of the nominees. These were by far the funniest parts of the evening. But though I usually care about this type of stuff, I couldn’t help but feel that these pieces were out of place, despite being the funniest moments of the almost four hour evening.
At the end of the evening, however, I felt like Jon Stewart did an all right job of actually hosting, which I guess means segueing presenters—not exactly the hardest task. But he’s just a very affable personality and I would rather have him segue than most people.
Three Six Mafia: Yeah, I guess it is cool that these guys won an Oscar and were embraced by the whitest, most notoriously racist awards ceremony on television. But I couldn’t help notice how shitty this song is when performed out of the context of the movie. I was kind of rooting for Dolly Parton, despite her freakshow of a body.
Everyone messing up their lines: How is it that people who speak words that other people write for a living be so terrible at exactly that? Even Morgan Freeman messed up his lines! And that guy is a pro. I would blame it on the booze, but everyone seemed so nervous that I am even doubtful of that. Jake Gylennehall looked like he was going to piss his pants.
My overall assessment of my feelings toward this Academy Awards and all others is anger. This will not stop me from thinking about it for another month before wishing for next year’s to come sooner.