“Sunday’s selection of Crash over Brokeback Mountain for Best Picture was the first time in memory that fear seemed to be the guiding impulse for awarding Oscar’s top prize,” says Toronto Star critic/columnist Peter Howell. “Faced with the choice between a feel-good movie about the evils of racism and a troublesome film that challenged prejudices about homosexual love, Academy voters grabbed their security blankets and starting sucking on their thumbs. They figured they were being progressive, but in fact they shunned anything that smacked of subversion. In an era of cowboy conservatives they wanted real Marlboro men, not sensitive males who collected dirty shirts as love mementoes.”