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Is "Brokeback" still a movie that few people have seen?

by Anthony Kaufman
February 23, 2006 1:54 AM
3 Comments
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The mainstream press seems sold on the idea that "Brokeback Mountain" remains a small movie that remains outside of the zeitgeist. I wonder if this is somehow part of the insidious campaign to discredit the film as a Best Picture Oscar contender. Remember "Crash" was supposed to have tapped a national nerve? But if you simply look at the numbers, "Brokeback" has made close to $20 million more than that inferior film.

And yet, the the USA Today published a story: 'Brokeback Mountain': Milestone or movie of the moment? which starts with the premise: "Not that many people have seen it," and later, the film has been "seen by fewer people in the three months since its release than who saw 'Dancing with the Stars' on television last week." But there are hundreds of Hollywood movies that haven't been seen by primetime TV-level audiences. According to Box Office Mojo, "Brokeback" ranks 33rd at the annual box office so far at over $72 million, well above such mass-market pictures as "Guess Who," "Jarhead," "Red Eye," "Sahara," and "White Noise." It's also a drama, and as such, beats every other drama at the box office (except maybe Walk the Line.) And by the end of its run, boostered by a few Oscars, it will probably exceed "March of the Penguins," that other little movie that everyone said had captured the hearts and minds of Americans. So if that's the case, why can't the media just accept it: "Brokeback" broke through.

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3 Comments

  • E.R. Ewing | March 1, 2006 3:02 AMReply

    The writer who complains that the movie doesn't show "any positive aspects of homosexuality...no happy ending..." missed the point. The point being that the characters are trapped in a societal death-grip on homosexuality, and, as two uneducated,unwordly men, they have no escape or "happy" resolution. They simply have to meet when they can, and continue to hide the feelings they have. It was that way in l963, and, thanks to so many who feel they have the right to decide who can love, while they hate,it hasn't changed that much in 2006.

  • R.E. Morin | February 27, 2006 10:28 AMReply

    I thought the movie was acted well and filmed beautifully. I found the story lacking, as far as depicting any positive aspects of homosexuality. I found it hard to be sympathetic to the characters who met in the mountains to fuck, while perpetually lying to their pregnant, neglected wives. There was no story of courage, no catharsis for the characters, or redemption to their story, which really lacked in portraying any kind of healthy love. I just saw all the wreckage these two guys created, and there wasn't even a happy ending! I heard that the short story was a great read, but I don't see (as a gay, formerly married, father) where this movie merits culturally significant status.

  • gabe | February 24, 2006 5:49 AMReply

    Spot on analysis.

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