Tom O'Neil tells us how Tony Curtis and his generation may be partially responsible
for the win by that other movie.One older academy member, an obviously disgusted Tony Curtis, told Fox News reporter Bill McCuddy that he had no intention of watching "Brokeback" and he knew lots of other academy members who felt the same way.
Looks like Curtis is still running away from what scared him in "Spartacus" when Crassus (Laurence Olivier) told his slave Antoninus (Curtis) with a sly smile that he likes both "snails and oysters." Antoninus, a somewhat effeminate poet, skeedattled out of there fast to sign up for Spartacus' manly rebelarmy.
Curtis' fury was the same thing I saw on lots of faces of academy voters when I asked them what film they chose for best pic. Most of the non-"Brokeback" respondees were obviously anti-"Brokeback" because, before they revealed that they opted for "Crash" or "Good Night, and Good Luck," they began their responsehuffily, saying, "Well, I'm not voting for 'Brokeback'!" No doubt some of them meant that they didn't feel the film was up to its hype, but it was obviousas heck that others had a problem with the whole gay thing.
Perhaps I've deluded myself so far thinking that those folks can't be homophobes. I just kept telling myself that they're probably thinking, "Oh, enough with all these gay persecution movies already!" But when you hear similar sentiment about a glut of Jewish persecution films, it doesn't seem to matterin the Oscar results.
O'Neil also rates Jon Stewart's Oscar-hosting performance a B-, going on to say he won't be asked back, but who knows; last year the immediate reception to Chris Rock was rather positive. Remember that? I bet Tony Curtis put in a call to the president of the Academy and, well...