The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

Crash-ed over Brokeback

Posted by Daniel on Monday, March 6, 2006

The Los Angeles social drama “Crash,” which interwove plots and characters from different racial and economic backgrounds in Los Angeles, won best picture honors despite favorite “Brokeback Mountain” winning virtually every other major award it had been up for leading up the the 78th Oscars.

The ensemble film, with a cast that included Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock and hip-hop star Ludacris, also won awards for best original screenplay and best editing.

“We are humbled by the other nominees in this category,” producer Cathy Schulman said in accepting the Oscar. “You have made this year one of the most breathtaking and stunning maverick years in American cinema.”

Haggis was still stunned when he came backstage to talk about the award.

“I didn’t believe any of that nonsense,” he said of reports that “Crash” was making a late run towards best picture. “We’re still trying to figure out if we actually got this.”

“Brokeback Mountain” director Ang Lee won best director for his film about the homosexual relationship that grows between two sheepherders in remote Wyoming.

“Brokeback” writers Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, and Gustavo Santaolalla took the award for best original score.

The film had been the odds-on favorite for top honors. But “Crash” had strong support for its willingness to address prejudice with its tangled tale of crime and bigotry in the Academy’s hometown.

Lee couldn’t hide his disappointment backstage.

“I don’t know the answer,” he said when asked why “Brokeback” didn’t end up as best picture. “I was backstage, enjoying the kind of buildup I was familiar with. It was a surprise this year for me.”

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