Brokeback Mountain

, Romance

Director: Ang Lee Cast: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Randy Quaid, Kate Mara, Anna Faris, David Harbour, Scott Michael Campbell, Linda Cardellini

Academy Awards: Best Director (Ang Lee); Best Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana); Best Original Score (Gustavo Santaolalla)

Also Nominated For: Best Picture; Best Actor in a Leading Role (Heath Ledger); Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jake Gyllenhaal); Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Michelle Williams); Best Cinematography

I First Saw In: 2005

Synopsis: The story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys and their lives over the years.

Did You Know? Over 90% of the footage was shot within 70 feet of a road.

Quotables: JACK: You know, friend, this is a goddamn bitch of an unsatisfactory situation.

And now a Word from the Guise:
This is the Best Picture that never was. It was the favourite of many of the Academy voters and was the anticipated winner; so there was a palpable gasp for surprise when Jack Nicholson announced the disjointed Crash as the Best Picture of 2005. Nicholson was shocked by this dark horse victor, having, himself, voted for Brokeback Mountain.

This film was released when I was sixteen. At that point in my life, I hadn’t come out to anyone but my closest friends and immediate family. I didn’t really know any other gay people, so the only things I had to influence my identity were shows like Will & Grace and Queer As Folk, and the media’s exploitation of gay stereotypes as the brunt of jokes. However, I never really saw myself in any of those gay characters. But when I saw Brokeback Mountain for the very first time, I found that I was able to relate to both Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal).

I yearned for romance and love, like Jack, but I was fearful of the ramifications if the wrong people found out, like Ennis. As men, we’re taught from a very young age that emotional expression is wrong, and that we must always control the situation, by force if necessary. Because of this, when we find ourselves beginning to lose control of our emotions, we often express it with anger and violence. And this is exactly how Ennis deals with his emotions, and how he deals with this “forbidden love”. This film influenced my identity more than anything at a time in my life when I desperately needed it most.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233