After all these years of humming and hawing, I finally just watched it.
A once hugely controversial film, Brokeback Mountain crossed a very touchy Hollywood barrier: can we allow blatant homosexuality on-screen? Screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana thought so after reading the short story by Annie Proulx. Though it took them a long time to find a director to actually shoot it, eventually director Ang Lee [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon] picked it up -and 'needed to make it'.
After its successful release with Focus Features in 2005, the film not only managed to offend an entire population of stay-at-home moms [who only watched it for the attractive male leads] but it officially broke the ground for thousands of screenwriters to write more 'edgy' films. It was raved about by art and film communities, laughed at by teenagers and beer-drinking men and cried over by such single women as think such things are touching and romantic.
Personally, I thought it looked hilariously bad, and mocked it a lot.
However, against my better judgement, I finished my science homework early yesterday afternoon and plopped myself behind my television with a mug of tea, a critical eye and a vow to 'give this infamous movie a chance!' Surprisingly, as the film played out, my firm bias against it began to dissolve at a disturbing rate. Ang Lee's directing gave the story a realistic, raw feel that drew me into the characters and their problems; sweeping aside all the hype and 'lawl gay cowboys' that swam in my head. It became more than all that as the story unfolded.
To add to this strangely effective storytelling was a great cast, beautiful cinematography, interesting shots, subtle [but gripping] dialogue and acting which told more with silence than with words.
In conclusion, once the film was over [and I had put aside the graphic, hard-to-take sex scenes which found me squirming and giggling immaturely behind a pillow], I discovered the horrifying and humbling truth: I did not hate Brokeback Mountain!
With that shocker being said, I don't actually recommend that you watch it. In fact, I don't recommend that you do anything at all. The purpose of this post was to make something clear: sometimes films that you thought would be terrible can take you by surprise.
Even if the characters are gay cowboys.