Crash. A word will live in the hearts and minds of the American and International community that watched this years Academy Awards. Our community, and others, were hoping to hear something else read when the award for Best Picture was made. Instead of hearing Brokeback Mountain, we heard a loud and resounding CRASH. Since the announcement, there has been a lot of debate over the merits of each film. The proponents of each film are stating their cases, each trying to win over the hearts of the opponent. But why the backlash? Why all the drama? Let us look.
Brokeback has been called many things this year. It has been heralded as the gay community’s acceptance in the mainstream America. It has been heralded as the bridge that will span the gap between the hetero and homo worlds. It has been called many things and most of them positive… well in our community and a select set of heterosexuals.
We have read numerous articles and opinions of people who are self-identified heterosexuals who have called the movie wonderful, uplifting and a new and fresh look into the struggles and life of closeted gay men. It is a look into a gay community that we do not normally hear about. The world of the cowboy, gay cowboy, which is never seen nor talked about. However, was this move a true depiction of this community?
More than twenty years after the founding of the Gay Rodeo, is this movie a real portrayal of those men? Some say yes, while others say no. They say that seeing this on screen is nothing new to them, and that many of them even struggle to find themselves in the movie, for it is no longer representative of their lives. They say a lot has changed since the Jack and Ennis years (the movie covered the lives of these men from 1960’s to the 80’s).
For most Americans this movie represents all their preconceived notions of what being gay is. We wreck homes. We are all about sex. We cannot fight the desires of lust and sin, and instead act on it while breaking up the American Family. They see the way Jack and Ennis marry and have kids, yet still hook-up for sex every so often. They do not see the inner struggle. The turmoil the characters go through while coming to terms with whom they are and whom they love. They do not see the love that exudes in this movie. Simply put, they could not move beyond the blinders that they have been taught to wear all their lives.
So was America ready for this film to win Best picture. Unfortunately NO! Nevertheless, one good thing that will become of this is that more Americans will go to see the film. The buzz behind the loss will fuel the need and want to see the film everyone was cheering on and lost. You know what they say... the underdog tends to win. In the end, while Brokeback lost to Crash, I think Brokeback will win. I know I will keep watching it, and wish I had not spent that 7.50 on a stupid movie like Crash that really did not make any sense.
Jason P. Ruel
BellaOnline's Gay Lesbian Editor