With only a few kind words to say about The Hulk and feeling a little under whelmed from the hype that originally surrounded Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I was more than a little weary of walking into another Ang Lee movie. But if I saw any potential in either of those two films, which I’m pretty sure I just pointed out, all of it became fully realized with Brokeback Mountain. This is one of those rare movies that can truly wear the word “groundbreaking” without any hint of pretentiousness.
In fact, I can’t think of any movie to date that has tried to do as much as this movie does successfully. It gets high scores all around—from the acting, to the screenplay, to the cinematography. Ang Lee has directed a timeless movie, filled with tenderness and tension. With an execution that’s at times both quiet and bold, it cuts to the center of some very complicated social and psychological issues.
Yes, everything it says about gays will be picked apart, analyzed, and regurgitated by supporters and non-supporters (who may or may not have even seen the movie) ad nausea. But it would be a lie to say that this movie only warrants respect for the unapologetic way it explores its subject matter. I could editorialize. I could talk about how some of the conclusions it makes and the perspectives it gives are long overdue for a national discussion. But in the end, I walked away truly feeling that at every level, this movie deserves the Oscar nods that will undoubtedly get thrown its way.
The rest will be movie history.