This is me, not watching the Oxcars®©™.
There are a lot of reasons why I have no interest in them any more. It used to be fun to critique them afterwards, but they’re so pathetically introverted now that it’s no fun.
I was particularly unimpressed with all the pre-Oxcar®©™ hype on Ang Lee and his oh-so-avant-garde gay
cow sheepboy movie, Bareback Mountie.
Fooey. Anglee had it easy. These days anybody can make a movie in any genre with overtly gay characters, and to the extent it causes a fuss, the fuss is free publicity.
Back in the old days, directors had to be real subtle with their closet caballeros and homo Hondos, but nobody gave Sergio Leone an Oxcar®©™ for the gay gunslingers in his spaghetti westerns. Leone hired Clint Eastwood, the most butch actor available, to camouflage the gay-romantic triangle, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly between the tragic Tuco (Eli Wallach) and his two lovers, Angel-Eyes (Lee van Cleef) and Blondie (Eastwood). Those in the know cried as Tuco discovers, too late, that Blondie has killed Angel Eyes out of vengeance and is abandoning him for his infidelity.
Eastwood continued to play repressed gays, notably in the campy musical, Paint Your Wagon, and as the dark, mysterious stranger in High Plains Drifter. How obvious could it be, what with him being so nice to the midget Mordecai and so anxious to play the overt hetero by raping Sarah Belding (the future Mrs. Vernon Wormer).
But Clint’s closeted capers weren’t confined to Westerns. He portrayed a queer WWII lieutenant, demoted to a private after being caught enflagrante dilecto , bent on revenge by bucking the Army and leading the more obviously gay, longhaired tanker Oddball and his fellow merry men to steal German gold in Kelley’s Heroes. His Dirty Harry series pushed the über-macho character to the limit as he sublimated forbidden desires by using his huge .44 magnum as a violent Freudian substitute. And in a few years when Hollywood has further lowered America’s mores, recall that Clint was ever at the forefront of loves-that-dare-not-speak-their-names with Every Which Way But Loose and his disgusting orangutan-love movies.
And what about John Ford? He took on the challenge of using the formidably macho John Wayne as his gaytagonist in dozens of movies. So often the code was a trusted sidekick like Victor McLaglen’s Sgt. Quincannon in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (the film’s coded acronym is “SWAYR”) or a young upstart – or several young upstarts – as in The Cowboys (the film’s tagline: “The youngest was nine. There wasn't one of them over fifteen. At first, he couldn't stand the sight of them. At last, he couldn't take his eyes away.") Yeccch.
Wayne wasn’t the only one who used a “second-banana” to codify his latent-love in a long string of films – the venerable Roy Rogers and Andy Devine as “Cookie” and “Jingles”. Really, I’ll never go to Arby’s again.
The list goes on and on – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (which won four Oxcars®©™ for, among other things, Best Music and Best Original Score); The Magnificent Seven (nominated for Best Music), Guadacanal Diary… even The Seven Year Itch – who else but a fairy’s gonna pass a chance with Marilyn Monroe?
No, Anglee is a poser who's merely gleaning low-hanging fruits where others have blazed the trail long before him.
[Crickets, My Left Foot!]