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Director Claims ‘Discrimination’ Made ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Lose The Best Picture Oscar

Ang Lee believes this was because the story was about a gay couple.

‘Brokeback Mountain’ didn’t win the biggest award at the 2006 Oscars — Best Picture. Ang Lee recently shared his thoughts on why that happened.

Lee told Indiewire that the movie didn’t win because it’s about two men in love. He confirmed that some people at the Oscars didn’t like that idea:

“I think so, yeah. Back then, ‘Brokeback Mountain’ had a ceiling. We got a lot of support — up to that much. It has that feeling. I wasn’t holding a grudge or anything. It’s just how they were.”

He Had High Hopes at the 2006 Oscars

Lee was getting ready to celebrate because many people thought ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was going to win Best Picture. There’s a funny but sad story he shared about that night. After he won the award for Best Director, someone who worked at the Oscars told him to stay close because they thought he was going to win again. However, things didn’t go as expected:

“I got my award, which was [second to] last to the big one, and I was walking off the stage, they called me down and said, stay here. That’s your mark. Everybody assumes you will win, so stay at that mark. Right next to the stage was the curtain. The next was Best Picture. Stay here, just stay here. I saw Jack Nicholson’s profile, he opened the envelope, and I go, ‘Oh my god, oh my god.’ It took like 10 seconds before he announced, and then he went, ‘Crash.'”

‘Brokeback Mountain’ did win three Oscars that night, though — for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Director for Ang Lee. It was also nominated for several other awards.

Lee Says The Film Resonated With Him a Lot

Lee said he made ‘Brokeback Mountain’ because he liked its story a lot. It’s about feeling left out, and this is something he felt in his own life. Lee was born in Taiwan, moved to the United States, and has often felt like he didn’t quite fit in:

“In my upbringing, art wasn’t an option. Making movies was crazy. We were outsiders in Taiwan, then outsiders in America, then go back to China, we’re outsiders. I always feel like an outsider. Repressed characters, I suppose, those stories attract me. ‘Brokeback Mountain’ is just so beautiful. You’ve read the short story. I have nothing in common with Wyoming gay cowboys. But why did I cry? It’s haunting. It’s just a beautiful story.”

Even though not winning the big award was disappointing, Lee is not angry about it. He thinks it’s just how things were at the time.

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