Monday, March 06, 2006

The Flip Side

So the fact that Crash beat Brokeback is supposedly indicative of Hollywood's lack of courage or something, but another way to look at it is that Brokeback's legacy is now safe. Practically every movie that wins a Best Picture honor eventually crumbles under the weight. People realize it's maybe good, but not that good. The consensus becomes that it's overrated, backlash kicks in, and a few years later everyone kind of hates it because they feel like they were duped.

See American Beauty or Titanic. Does anyone really even think about Chicago these days? Think about how many people look back on the year Forrest Gump beat Pulp Fiction and say that Pulp Fiction got robbed. Wouldn't you rather be the movie that got robbed that everyone still loves, rather than the movie that makes everybody wonder what they were so excited about?

If Brokeback is actually a good movie, in a few years everyone will still think so, and it will be free of the increased scrutiny that will doom it to severe backlash. In fact, it's likely to be viewed with extra charity since it was an overlooked gem (a massively hyped overlooked gem, perhaps, but overlooked nonetheless). Meanwhile, the Best Picture Oscar virtually guarantees that viewers will eventually realize that Crash is an empty shell that flatters people into believing they've seen something important.


Zack said...

Wait, people hate on Forrest Gump? Never mind that Pulp Fiction literally put me to sleep. Why would somebody hate Forrest Gump?

Lydia: "Forrest Gump was great."
Zack: "YEAH"

Lydia: [singing] "Fo-rest Guump, Fo-rest Guump..."

I have nothing but kind words for Forrest Gump. Words like these:

Hey, I thought Forrest Gump was really good.

Lydia: [still singing] "Fo-rest Guump, Fo-rest Guump"

Forrest Gump loves you. Why you no love Forrest Gump?

Kenny said...

People totally hate on FG. I like it too, though. The only Tarantino movies I like are Kill Bill. But that just proves my point that when you win an Oscar people are harder on you.

Simon said...

Forrest Gump hating is what film snobs do to prove themselves.

If you're a marine, you probably have to prove yourself by climbing over an electric fence or paragliding without a harness or something cool like that.

If you're a music snob you have to prove yourself by saying you hate the beatles. And if you're a film snob, you've got to take a flying shit on Forrest Gump and call it meaningless, audience-warming trite (extra points for making references to the much darker nature of the original book).

Steve said...

I didn't care about either Brokeback or Crash, but I love the fact that people are insisting the only reason the Academy like Crash better is because it's full of ultra-conservative homophobes. Because if there's one thing Hollywood is known for, it for not being liberal. I wonder if Brokeback won if people would be insisting the Academy is full of ultra-conservative racists.

Regarding Forrest Gump, I don't hate on it, but I didn't think it was that great. I feel the same way about Pulp Fiction. Of the movies nominated in 1994, I'd say The Shawshank Redemption deserved to win.

My favorite movie of 1994 was True Lies, but I wouldn't expect the Academy to agree with me on that one.

C said...

I don't get the whole ultra-conservative angle either. That freaking pimp song won. I was sure it wouldn't. Poor Dolly, she doesn't have that many good years left.

I'm pretty sure I'd hate both Crash and Brokeback, if i were to actually have seen any of the nominated movies. Why don't people like happy movies anymore?

matt said...

Wait, Kenny, you're using "Kill Bill" to refer collectively to Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vil. 2, and then using a plural verb? Can you do that? Can I say "Back to the Future are good movies"?

Kenny said...

I just invented that you can. Thank you for noticing.

Kenny said...

Although I think it works better with Kill Bill since it was conceived as one movie (although I think the movie(s) work(s) well, probably better, as two).

Kenny said...

A-ha! And this comment further proves my point!

Regarding Forrest Gump, I don't hate on it, but I didn't think it was that great. I feel the same way about Pulp Fiction. Of the movies nominated in 1994, I'd say The Shawshank Redemption deserved to win.

You feel good about liking Shawshank now best of all because at the time it was even more overlooked than Pulp Fiction (which was pretty overhyped, actually). It's an underdog and will forever be considered an underrated classic. Had Shawshank actually won Best Picture, we might now consider it as trite as Forrest Gump.

Steve said...

Until I started looking up Oscar history, I didn't even remember that Forrest Gump won best picture, or that Pulp Fiction didn't, or that these movies were both in the same year as Shawshank. I had no idea when Shawshank came out, since I saw it on video many years later.

So I don't think you can use this as evidence for your theory.

Also, in five years I doubt anyone will remember *any* of the 2005 nominees.

Zack said...

I'm still grappling with the idea of Forrest Gump hate.


What the fuck?

Kenny said...

Steve, I don't remember when Shawshank came out either. I only know the Gump/Pulp thing because the film geeks Simon mentioned always bring up the comparison as an example of injustice. But I would guess that one of the reasons Shawshank impressed you as much as it did on video was because it had flown under the radar theatrically and not gotten a whole lot of hoopla.

I could be wrong, you could have caught the wave of people telling you that Shawshank was great, once people discovered the movie. But that was the circumstance in which I saw it and after all the hype I thought it was just pretty good.