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Ang Lee revealed Oscars stage manager indicated Brokeback Mountain would win Best Picture, but it lost | Hollywood

Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain lost the Oscar for Best Picture to Paul Haggis’ Crash, in what is still considered a memorable upset. In a new interview with Indiewire, director Ang Lee looked back at the night of the 78th Academy Awards, where he was told by a stage manager to remain backstage after winning Best Director because Brokeback Mountain was also expected to win Best Picture. Then, it lost. (Also read: Cillian Murphy’s childhood school is ‘super proud’ of him, declares ‘no homework day’ as he wins first Oscar)

Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain released in 2005.

What Ang Lee said

It was Jack Nicholson who presented the Oscar for Best Picture to Crash. In the interview, Ang said, “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, his 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.’”

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The director further admitted to the suggestion that Brokeback Mountain perhaps did not win because of homophobia back then. Adapted from the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain revolved romantic relationship between two American cowboys, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

More details

“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 added in the interview.

Brokeback Mountain also starred Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams in pivotal roles. The film also won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Original Score. Apart from these awards, it also won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Ang Lee went on to win a second Best Director Oscar for Life of Pi in 2013.

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