'Brokeback' Author Rants at Hollywood

In the liberal British paper The Guardian, reprinted in The Sydney Morning Herald, Annie Proulx, the author of the short story that inspired "Brokeback Mountain," has lashed out at Hollywood and the Academy Awards.

She complains that Hollywood, ironically, is not liberal enough, which explains why they still hate "gays and fags."

On the sidewalk stood hordes of the righteous, some leaning forward like wind-bent grasses, the better to deliver their imprecations against gays and fags to the open windows of the limos - the windows open by order of the security people - creeping towards the Kodak Theatre for the 78th Academy Awards. Others held up sturdy, professionally crafted signs expressing the same hatred....

The people connected with Brokeback Mountain, including me, hoped that, having been nominated for eight Academy Awards, it would get best picture, as it had at the funny, lively Independent Spirit awards the day before. (If you are looking for smart judging based on merit, skip the Academy Awards next year and pay attention to the Independent Spirit choices.) We should have known conservative heffalump academy voters would have rather different ideas of what was stirring contemporary culture.... And rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash - excuse me - Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline. Next year we can look to the awards for controversial themes on the punishment of adulterers with a branding iron in the shape of the letter A, runaway slaves, and the debate over free silver....

The hours sped by on wings of boiler plate. Brokeback Mountain's first award was to Argentinean Gustavo Santaolalla for the film's plangent and evocative score. Later came the expected award for screenplay adaptation to Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, and then the director's award to Ang Lee. And that was it, three awards, putting it on equal footing with King Kong. When Jack Nicholson said best picture went to Crash, there was a gasp of shock and then applause from many - the choice was a hit with the home team since the film is set in Los Angeles. It was a safe pick of "controversial film" for the heffalumps.

Proulx ends her screed with: "For those who call this little piece a sour grapes rant, play it as it lays."