Skip to comments.Oscars Bank on 'Brokeback' to Grab Viewers (Delusional Alert)
Posted on 03/05/2006 12:00:21 PM PST by doesnt suffer fools gladly
Oscars Bank on 'Brokeback' to Grab Viewers
By DAVID GERMAIN
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The year of the small movie could mean small ratings for the Academy Awards, whose organizers hoped a new host and the cultural buzz over front-runner "Brokeback Mountain" would beef up viewership for Sunday's show.
The Oscars generally lure their biggest audiences in years when blockbusters such as "Titanic" or "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" are favored to win.
This year's best-picture lineup has been heralded as an artistic triumph of daring, character-driven stories, yet none of the contenders had the box-office clout to ensure viewers would tune in.
"Brokeback Mountain," though, has become a phenomenon far beyond those who have actually seen it, entering the pop-culture psyche with its tale of cowboys in love (best-actor nominee Heath Ledger and supporting-actor contender Jake Gyllenhaal).
Whether that will boost ratings is uncertain. ABC, which airs the show, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences assembled an A-list collection of Oscar presenters to help offset a relatively unknown cast of nominees that includes David Strathairn for "Good Night, and Good Luck," Terrence Howard for "Hustle & Flow" and Amy Adams for "Junebug."
The ceremony also had its second first-time host in as many years, Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" taking over from Chris Rock, emcee of last year's Oscars.
"Brokeback Mountain" won top prizes at earlier Hollywood honors including the Golden Globes and was expected to earn best picture at the Oscars and the directing trophy for Ang Lee, who would be the first Asian filmmaker to receive that award.
Yet the ensemble drama "Crash," featuring a huge cast of characters in multiple story lines playing out over a chaotic 36-hour period, was a strong dark-horse contender to pull a best-picture upset.
The other best-picture nominees were the Truman Capote saga "Capote," the Edward R. Murrow tale "Good Night, and Good Luck" and the assassination thriller "Munich."
Acting categories had clear front-runners, as well, with Philip Seymour Hoffman expected to win best actor for the title role in "Capote" and Reese Witherspoon the best-actress favorite for her role as country singer June Carter in "Walk the Line."
But with powerhouse performances across the board, underdog winners were possible in any of the acting categories.
The best-actor lineup was especially strong. Along with Hoffman and Ledger, the nominees were Strathairn as newsman Murrow in "Good Night," Howard as a pimp-turned-rapper in "Hustle & Flow" and Joaquin Phoenix as country legend Johnny Cash in "Walk the Line."
For best actress, Witherspoon faced strong competition from Felicity Huffman in a gender-bending role as a man preparing for sex-change surgery in "Transamerica."
George Clooney was one of the night's big stars, making Oscar history as the first person nominated for directing one movie ("Good Night, and Good Luck") and earning an acting nomination for another (supporting actor for the oil-industry thriller "Syriana"). Clooney also had a screenplay nomination for co-writing "Good Night, and Good Luck."
They'll forgive me if I don't tune in, right?
Grab em from behind.
Let me get this straight. They contend that its not grossing well, and yet they think it'll draw viewers?
Our house remains an Oscar free zone. Last watched in the early 70's.
Actually,it sets a new standard for gross.
"Let me get this straight."
You already started out this sentence wrong.
Lowest Ratings Ever !!!
Sorry. Tonite is the nite I hit myself on the head with a hammer for 2 hours.
"Walk the Line" was not nominated for best picture.
All the left weenie films were.
Did'nt see any of them .
What's an "oscar"?
Should have all the entertainment value of the Nuremburg rallies.
WTF cares about the oscars?
Anyone who wastes time watching this idiotic display of hollyweird self aggrandizement is a bloody fool of the lowest order. Better to watch paint dry...certainly more useful.
What's wrong with these people???
et tu brute?
So that means you will be watching the Oscar Meyers?
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
Is "Lara Croft, Tomb Raider" nominated for anything? :)
Oscars might turn out to be a Queer event..
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