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Customer Review

20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important gay movie yet made., January 3, 2006
Yes, Ang Lee's love story is a great movie. It's a hearbreaking, visually stunning Western. It's really well acted, particularly by Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams, brilliantly written, original and incredibly moving. Most critics have acknowledged this. But what makes BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN such a revelation is because it's a gay movie. That's what makes the film important. That's where it breaks new ground. That's why it matters. A friend of mine says that the only reason the film is generating so much buzz is because it's gay, that if it were a straight Western romance it wouldn't garner attention. I told him he was right, but I told him it was because his "straight Western romance" had already been made. Many people have commented that the film's theme is universal, applicable to all audiences. Sheep herders Jack and Ennis find themselves in love in 1963 and don't have a context with which to deal with those feelings. Those who speak of a "universal theme" say that BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is about a romance that its lovers cannot deny yet cannot make work. This is all true, but I think it's unfair to the movie to say that it's really about "everyone." I am a gay man, and I couldn't divorce myself from that while watching this movie. Part of the reason I liked it is because I felt, while it was happening, like it belonged to me and spoke for me as a homosexual. I felt its impact, its originality. I wanted to nurture it and tell other people about it. I wanted to learn from it, and I wanted others to see it and learn. It's a story that I've been waiting for, even though I didn't know it. The documentary THE CELLULOID CLOSET, released several years ago, showed us Hollywood's history of how it subtly hid yet depicted homosexuality. If gay people wanted to see gay stories, they had to go into straight movies and "decode" the hidden gay themes. With BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, gay people are, for once, not the ones who have to dig in order to relate to the film's "universal" message. This is our movie, and it's a great one, a cause for celebration.
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Location: ATLANTA, United States

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