By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson
It’s rare that a movie can make me so sad just by thinking about it. A movie that breaks my heart over and over again to the point where I know I’ll never be the same.
That movie is the 2005 Oscar-nominated classic Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee.
This movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal as the lovable cowboy Jack Twist and Heath Ledger as Ennis Del Mar, the quiet – but still absolutely lovable – cowboy. They embark on a summer job on Brokeback, a mountain in Wyoming. What starts out as an innocent job for the season turns into something much more romantic and erotic.
That’s only a fraction of what the plot actually is, which involves moving on from Brokeback while still trying to stay together. It’s a heartwarming tale that has moments of sadness, purity, love, and everything that makes a romance what it should be. The only catch was that it was two men.
Well, at least by 2005 standards it was a “catch”. Nowadays it’s significantly more common with movies like Love, Simon, God’s Own Country, and Call Me By Your Name. But at this time is was near-unheard of. Luckily, it was powerful enough to make a statement for the entire LGBT community with a community entering the cinema that rarely did so before.
Lee did an incredible job directing a masterpiece that was based on a completely unique story – by Annie Proulx – that touched so many bases. Lee absolutely deserved the Academy Award he received for Best Director that year.
If you ask me, it was practically an abomination that Brokeback Mountain didn’t win Best Picture. We definitely aren’t going to make a habit of talking about Crash, which won instead.
Ledger, Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Linda Cardellini all starred in the film, each doing as an actor should do. In fact, they went to extreme measures to be the best they could be. They developed relationships in the movie that impacted future collaborations and real life relationships that sparked afterwards.
Brokeback Mountain will always be in the top 5 of my LGBT cinema list because of everything it does. Starting such a crazy impact that would last for years and years, up even to the movies we see on a daily basis today, being constantly compared to the astonishment that was Brokeback Mountain.