Annie Are You OK?

Annie Proulx writes at The Guardian about “how her Brokeback Oscar hopes were dashed by Crash”, and is in general a bitter, pontificating, reductionist cow. It’s rather pathetic.

“Roughly 6,000 film industry voters, most in the Los Angeles area, many living cloistered lives behind wrought-iron gates or in deluxe rest-homes, out of touch not only with the shifting larger culture and the yeasty ferment that is America these days, but also out of touch with their own segregated city, decide which films are good. And rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash – excuse me – Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline.”

Thanks for the newsflash Annie, but I kind of abandoned the idea that award shows like the Oscars or Grammies actually reflected what I thought was good at around the age of fourteen. For your reference, that was also about nine years after I stopped doing kindergarten-level snarks like the one you just did about Crash. Here’s a tip for when you become a big girl – decide whether or not you care about Hollywood’s approval before it hands you a result you don’t like, and maybe then your bitching and whining might be worth something.

“There came an atrocious act from Hustle and Flow, Three 6 Mafia’s violent rendition of “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”, a favourite with the audience who knew what it knew and liked. This was a big winner, a bushel of the magic gold-coated gelded godlings going to the rap group.”

This is quite amusing. One, the last sentence is hilariously, Bulwer-Lyttonesquely, bad. Two, the entire excerpt sounds like the sort of statement that would come from, say, someone living a cloistered life behind wrought-iron gates or in a deluxe rest-home, out of touch with the shifting larger culture and the yeasty ferment that is America these days.

10 comments

  1. The sheer bulk of movies that were snubbed by the Academy which have gone on to achieve true greatness (loosely defined by me as being remembered and loved years on) is, IMO, enough evidence that the Academy often talks out of its arse.

    That said, I do think it’s poor form to castigate something after you’ve been snubbed by it, if only because it smacks of sour grapes.

  2. “For those who call this little piece a Sour Grapes Rant, play it as it lays.”

    I posted before I read Proulx’s article in its entirety. Got to give her credit for recognising how it looks, at least (even if she does have a point, which would probably have been viewed differently had it come from somebody without a personal connection with the movie).

  3. Nat: The Academy definitely talks out of its arse a lot, whether it be snubbing movies/directors/actors which go on to achieve greatness (only 1 Oscar for Citizen Kane, and that only for Best Screenplay), or lauding movies which will soon be forgotten for their inconsequentiality (TITANIC).

    It’s just that there’s all this tripe going round about how Brokeback didn’t win Best Picture *because the Academy voters are homophobic*, which rather neglects the fact that plenty of sophisticated film viewers (like, say, Roger Ebert) just really thought Crash was better!

    I don’t actually give much of a shit either way (my best movie, best actor, best ensemble cast of 2005 were all in Downfall), but reading that Annie Proulx article just filled me with utter contempt. I also think it’s awfully written.

  4. There’s a lot of criticism out there in regard to Ebert’s views as well, though on this occasion he actually turned out to be right. I haven’t seen Crash so can’t comment either way, and also don’t have any facts to back this up, but I got the impression that he was championing Crash all the way through, even though the majority of film critics’ awards were going to Brokeback. So either he’s finally been vindicated or it’s just a coincidence that he finally happened to get it right (take your pick!)

    (P/S: Oh look, if you can’t turn on the comments for that other post, I seem to be turning your post into a commentary on Brokeback so maybe those comments would be at home here too ;) :P)

    (P/P/S: I hate Titanic. “Do you trust me?” Yes, as far as I can throw up *bleurgh*)

  5. At first I wondered what a ‘beer infection’ was, but then decided that that was applicable in any case.

  6. Mich: I’ve actually just watched Downfall tonight – it’s been on my ‘I want to see that’ list for a while now and your comment prompted a trip to Blockbuster.

    Very powerful.

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