It takes me slightly more than a day to finally come to terms with the fact that while Hollywood, or most members of AMPAS, has not released its strains in fully accepting sexual differences on a big screen, it is good to note that rewarding a film about the city where the film industry stands its feet on is something worth being given a prize as well. Especially when it brings up a certain social theme that appeals to our common senses, in which we experience it on daily basis.
So you see, in the most politically correct manner, this year’s Academy Awards is a banner year in which subtlety of gay life is matched with the harsh reality of racial slur in a city of complex lives. Which one is better? They are of equal match, or should I say, they excel differently.
Crash, by all means, with its compelling storyline told through various kind of lives that seems to be in line with the famous series of Benetton ads in 90s, is an example of ensemble film which was executed superbly, something to be dreamed of by any living scriptwriters and directors in the world. On the other hand, Brokeback Mountain with its gentle treatment proves that no other director than Ang Lee can deliver a film that provokes our mind and shoots us to think thoroughly about the existence of love through many bumpy and painful roads, as what he has shown in his previous works.
Do they deserve their awards? Yes, they do.
Do they upset one another? If you are a stubbornly die-hard fan of one of them, then it’s your call to choose. But going back to the root of films which should be considered as a work of art that subjectively appeals to each and every individual in a darkened room, then an award is merely an award that will not intrude our opinion towards the films.
As much as I highly appreciate Brokeback, not to mention my dark horse favorite Good Night, and Good Luck., to see Crash winning a Best Picture is a testament that Academy, in such a rarity, finally puts its laureate on one smart, thought-provoking film, unaffected by shameless campaigns in any kind.
Seeing George Clooney winning for his less-than-distinctive performance in Syriana is a sentimental acknowledgement as he himself admitted, and that applies to Rachel Weisz‘s victory as well, in a different way, as other deserving actors with the likes of Maria Bello or Scarlett Johansson were not even nominated.
But to see a number of people whose works are rightfully rewarded (Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon, Paul Haggis, Gustavo Santaoalla) is a rewarding experience on its own.
And of course, having Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep doing arguably the best award-introduction ever is an experience unlike any other kind.
This is what I call a show, you’ll never know what you’ve got until the very end.
See ya next year!