“The key to the success of Crash,” writes James Bates in today’s L.A. Times, “was that the film itself — and the carefully orchestrated promotional campaign undertaken by its distributor, Lionsgate √¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢√É‚Äû√É¬Æ appealed to actors, the academy’s largest voting bloc. With 22% of the voting members, the acting contingent is nearly three times as big as the next-largest group, producers. It was actors — specifically, those in Los Angeles — who were targeted to deliver votes. And judging by the upset, deliver they did. Crash likely…scored points with some actors because it was shot in Los Angeles at a time when runaway film production is a sore point. Crash was also set in Los Angeles, which probably gave it an additional home-field advantage. 78% of the academy’s voting members live in California — the vast majority of them in the L.A. area.” All of which is true, but downplaying or waving away the reported attitude-posture of who-knows-how-many-but-probably- more-than-a-few oldsters and old-liners toward Brokeback Mountain (couldn’t hack the pup-tent scene, wouldn’t see the film, resented the macho cowboy tradition being messed with) is a form of denial. All Bates will say on this aspect is that “much of the morning-after punditry and blog logic has centered on whether members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had trouble giving Brokeback Mountain a Best Picture nod because of its gay love theme.” As if it was some theory of celestial mechanics being floated in a scientific journal.