Wednesday

Oscar Hype: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

Right now nearly every major critics group is proclaiming BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN as the Best Picture of the year, speeding up the inevitable backlash the film is sure to receive. BROKEBACK is already a major achievement in that it’s overcoming its label as “that gay cowboy movie” by being exceptional.

I keep imagining a production meeting where a think tank was challenged to come up with the least marketable idea for a movie, one that would certainly end in unwanted laughs and career disaster. Much like the plot of THE PRODUCERS, they settled on the worst possible concept. “Hey guys, I got it. Two words…Gay Cowboys.”

From there, the studio set about to find people with enough talent, artistry and (lets face it) big enough balls to make the pitch work. They hired the writer of “Lonesome Dove”, the director of SENSE & SENSIBILITY and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON and a bunch of good talented actors looking to risk it all for something special.
By putting the right combination together, out comes the year’s most touching love story. Don’t matter that it’s two dudes. This film has a romantic heart, which aches and breaks for 140 minutes.
I like the movie. For what it is, it’s about as good as a gay cowboy story can be. There’s a lot of human truth and romantic tragedy and just good ol’ great filmmaking. The film is slow, but mature and professional and respectful of the subject. Each scene taken individually is like a master class in good storytelling.
But I think the avalanche of praise has quickly over-hyped a good movie into a great one. (Remember LOST IN TRANSLATION?) The film has a deliberate pace, and I think more people will be put off by its lack of forward momentum then its pelvic thrusting. Even some of my favorite scenes could be removed because they add little to the plot, but the film takes a rich, iconic and emotionally detailed journey; not simply the most direct route from beginning to end.
I’m going to stick my neck out and predict that BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN will not win the Oscar for Best Picture, although it will receive several nominations and probably win a couple. I hate to call the Academy prejudiced, but I think they will pick a more conservative film, like MUNICH or CRASH, and there will be a loud protest that BROKEBACK lost because it was too gay.

As for me, I respect BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN more than I embrace it. This could have gone horribly wrong in a hundred different ways, but it doesn’t. I recommend you see it for the great performances and storytelling, but it will not be in my Top 10 of the year.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Munich is out of the running I wonder if you still think Brokeback is gonna lose.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Cutshaw said...

First of all, MUNICH is far from out of the running. I continue to run into people who appreciate and respect MUNICH more with each passing day. It has managed to stay under the radar (perhaps too much so), has survived the ititial wave of controversy and so far there's been no backlash.

That being said, I must applaud the marketing team behind BROKEBACK. The film is actually playing far better in rural areas than anyone imagined and it's Oscar momentum keeps going strong.

But there are new contenders. CRASH and GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK have gained considerable momentum and GOOD NIGHT still hasen't been tested in a wider market. A successful wide release could swing momentum in its favor.

I can no longer say without a doubt that BROKEBACK will lose Best Picture, but I still wouldn't call it the clear front runner.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? Brokeback was horrible... there was no foundation for their love affair... what was their relationship based on... certainly was not sold to me. And come on the acting was horrible.... if you were to put a heterosexual love in their instead this movie would never have been reviewed so well.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brokeback mountain is crime against the movie industry. For years now we have seen all sorts of trash put on the silver screen, but this just takes it way toooooo far over the line. Yes gay people exist but that doesn't mean it's ok. Homosexuality is not right, it's not ok, IT IS NOT GOOD!!!! Acceptence of gay people is getting more and more common. This is not right. A story about gay cowboys is not a love story. It is a story about the destruction of the natural order of life. People seem to think that nuclear arms will destroy the world, but it will be such sins (and yes it is as bad as murder and rape) that will bring about the ruin of man

2:25 PM  
Blogger Cutshaw said...

I debated deleting the prior comment, but that goes against what a website like "Strong Opinion" is all about. (And the opinion is certainly a strong one.) I wish that such severe homophobia didn't still exist in this world, but comments like the one above remind me that it does.

At least those of us with at part of a functioning brain can recognize that this person is deeply misinformed and politely ignore what he has to say.

And homosexuality is not only NOT as bad as murder or rape, it is also not as bad as people like the one above who spew such hatred.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you keep pushing this "gay" stuff at us....It is only causing people to be sick of their cause. We can't even watch our soaps, or prime time tv anymore without it being on our shows. It is awful. I hate it. I'm sick of it....and so is GOD

9:06 PM  
Blogger Cutshaw said...

I would not say that I am "pushing gay stuff" at anyone. I am simply showing tolerance for a lifestyle that is different from my own.

But I'm really glad to see that someone (who chose not to leave a name) apparently has had a conversation with GOD on the subject, and then was thoughtful enough to come to my little web site and share what GOD had to say.

Anonymous...if you read this, did GOD give any hint as to who's going to win Best Supporting Actor, because I'd really like to win the Oscar pool this year.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the Titanic of gay cowboy movies.

I'm gay, and I like a lot of gay movies, but I thought Brokeback was boring and dishonest. There was no chemistry between Gyllenhall and Ledger, they had no sense of being real people in love. The film was heavy, maudlin and overlong.

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brokeback Mountain in my opinion was a great attempt at bringing the exceptance of homosexuality into the mainstream public. I hope someday our society wont look at someone as being gay or straight, rather they would just see two people in love. because that is all it is... love.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just saw Brokeback and thought it was a good movie but not a great one. The scenery was beautiful but the movie itself moved a little slow. I do believe the Hollywood crowd loves this movie purely because of it's theme. By the way, I think everyone is entitled to feel the way they feel without being labeled. Thinking that homosexuality is wrong won't make it go away -- it is a fact of life -- but someone who thinks it is wrong shouldn't be called a homophobe and be insulted by insinuating they don't have a brain. We are all entitled to opinions.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous jr said...

I do not understand love or really know what the supreme creator had in mind to result from our creation.
I consider myself well educated with 46 years of life experiences and a doctoral degree but still don't know the answers. Despite not understanding love or purpose of my own life or human existence, I have experienced a deep respect of life itself and most fortunatly, a love with another that is overwhelmingly powerful and in this world probably quite rare. This love makes me happy and vulnerable but I would be lacking a great experience as a human being without having experienced it. My parents had a similar love for 46 years.
I think humans get tangled in this web or defining right and wrong and normal and abnormal to get to acheive some comfort level to feel good about themselves. Scared if they don't define it they won't fit into the definition. It is like defining the rules of the game so they can come out winners. If you strive to win and define winners or losers then you create a world of setting up people to lose so you can be on the winning/good side. It is very self inflating. Your actions/and intent should define good and bad, love and unlove not man made rules, ultimately. I am not talking about the laws governing a regulated society to deter crime, I am speaking of human love and happiness. I do not think the creator designed, in any realm or sect of religion wanted us to define the rules of love. Love is pure and good, needs no rules. Christianity, my faith, taught me, or at least I read and remember...love God and love your neighbor as yourself. I have not had the experience of God verbally talking to me. Love is the only avenue to happiness. When people define or defend right love or wrong love it is unfortunate and sad. The intensity and value of the feeling of true love and connection to another is always undefinable and right. When humans fashion a world with laws governing winners and losers in regards to a definition of "normal love" it results in tragedy. Love is patient, kind, unselfish and not boastful. Anger comes from fear. We don't understand and so we fear and get angry and make loud boastful statements of right and wrong and normal and abnormal-----After 2000 plus years---can we just stop?

JR

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What occurs when the characters of BROKEBACK do not speak is where the core of this story is. There are no car chases. There are no cheap thrills. And the only war that occurs in BROKEBACK is buried in the hearts of it's leading characters.
I find the perceptions on this page amusing due to their polarity. This site is proof of why BROKEBACK is the biggest contendor for best picture. We are in an age of analyzation. and looking at the comments on this page I can see a directors contraversial vision erupt. It isn't about GAY for crying out loud. It is about the shields and stereotypes that are placed upon people. We see through the eyes of ANG LEE a philosophical debate, just like the one of this page. BROKEBACK asks, "Why can't two men have more than a platonic relationship?". And why can't they? The Greeks and Romans had no titles of gay or straight. BROKEBACK is teaching American society a lesson. THINK OUTSIDE THE DAMN BOX PEOPLE AND QUIT USUING GOD AS YOUR PAWN TO PROMOTE YOUR HATEFUL VENDETTAS.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seriously can't believe someone associated rape and murder with homosexuality. Promote social growth SOMEBODY before another Holocaust begins...

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'M SICK OF THIS GAY CRAP TOOOO. IF YOU WANT TO SUCK A DICK, KEEP IT IN THE CLOSET AND AWAY FROM ME AND MY CHILDREN. also BROKEASS MOUNTAIN SHOULD NOT WIN ANYTHING. I USED TO LIKE WATCHING THOSE ACTORS IN MOVIES , BUT NOW I'LL NOT WATCH ANYMORE MOVIES THEY ARE IN!

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Gods sake, have some respect to gay people...

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Susan Gokey said...

Having just seen Brockback Mountain,I am appalled by some of the comments on this site. It always amazes me that people are filled with such vitriole that they spew their hatred about anything out of the main stream. I am a 56 year old woman, mother of 2, certainly not a person you would expect to embrace a movie with some of the content it contains. You need to look beyond the "gay"ness of the movie, it is simply a movie that is a love story, a wrenching, heart-breaking love story. To have the gall to speak as though one person has the moral compass always pointed north is to deny the ability of others free will or free thought. This film moved me in ways I was amazed by. You could feel the actors pain, reticence to accept what they were and the final moment of realization of a love lost forever. I found myself crying at the end because of the love story not because it was about two men who loved. Who cares! When love comes at you so strongly,does it really matter if it's between 2 men or 2 women or a man and a woman. Love is love. Accept it or be forever lonely.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Guillermo said...

Gay or not gay, Brokeblack Mountain was a great film! thank Lee!!!

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Boris said...

Stupid americans, when are you going to be more human???
Gay or Hetero, what is the different??? Just a little more respect to the others!
The world is not only Mickey Mouse!!!

1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the movie and only the thing I could said is we live in a world that people live in "what people will think about me doing this or that". I hope one day everyone can get along with each other and stop been in someone else business, is sad that lots of people can make judgments over this that , that don't have anything to do with them. Who are you to judge anyone? Only God have the power to do that not you (in general refer). Respect the person next to you no matter who they are. Live is too short to hate or hurt anyone that have different believes or point of view of life. The movies is ozone but sad adn the sadness is this is eventually true..........

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comment is probably too little and too late. But your description of how the film got made couldn't be further from the truth. No studio would touch it. Agents shunned it. Larry McMurtry's only hope was to produce it himself.

That said, I admired the acting, but I thought the film was not really a love story, but a story about fear and repression. Any love that might have existed between these characters was lost because neither had the courage nor conviction to do anything about it.

But, having seen the film and read many reviews, I gather that was the point. To me, however, the story was pathetic rather than uplifting.

Just my two cents.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comment is directed at the 'anonymous' writer who talked (well opened his ignorant mouth and let his belly rumble)about homosexuality being what is going to ruin our world and equated it to rape and murder.

Before I go on I would like to point out that I am an average red-blooded straight man.

One of the problems with the world is not that gay people exist, its that people like you exist. Small-minded and ignorant fools whose conceptions and generalities lead to others being afraid of who they are.

Human beings are all different and if people are gay then they are gay. The fact that you cannot accept them says more about you than it does them.

I sometimes pitty people that dont understand such concepts but, to be honest, you are not worthy of it.

I was going to ignore your idiot comments when I read them but I thought it the world has to suffer your moronic thoughts then I would balance it out with a more considered point of view.

I honestly think you are beyond help.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous movie links said...

I can understand why this movie craeted so much hype.I watched it long time ago.I really like the movie.All the characters in this movie are just perfect and good story make it excellent.

10:35 AM  
Blogger papaoftwo said...

I would have to say this would be an all time wonderful love story. Reason for this is, it had me explore all other movies based off of homosexuality. Nonetheless it had me on my seat and tears following from my face. This moving had sent me into a downward spiral of despair through weeks of depression because I once was out of the closet. Until I got a women pregnant and decided to do "the right thing". Bad mistake five years into this bad marriage, this movie came out and after I had came out of my depression I had told someone about it and then we started to have an affair for about a year. He was also married with three kids, and I was married with two kids. Towards the end of both our marriages I'm greatly thankful for this movie because now I can be open once again. The only problem is, now I have to live with the decision's I've made for myself. I'm not ashamed for who I am, I'm ashamed for what I've done. To make matters worse the man that I've had an affair with well he dump me the night when my ex wife had told me she wanted a divorce. Then his ex wife had told my entire family what we've done. Isn't that some BS. You know some times I still look for the perfect love of my life, however I don't know if I'll ever be ready to handle such a commitment. I wish there was more of these movies made out of America in lough of having to find them out of the country. Don't get me wrong I don't mind reading subtitles.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

11:08 PM  

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