Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain ★★★★½

What powerfully quiet, heartwrenching film, filled to the brim with career-defining performances, and breathtaking cinematography to boot.

As I watch this for the first time (also, HOW AM I JUST SEEING THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME?), I also think about how much has changed in regards to queer representation in media in the past 13 years. Going into this, I initially thought about the controversy and mockery of this film upon its initial release. I was raised Mormon in a bafflingly sheltered and conservative suburban area of Las Vegas. The first time I had even HEARD the word 'gay' was when I heard people bashing this movie.

It is heartwrenching to think of media personalities mocking Heath Ledger after his untimely death for playing Ennis. I'm personally embarrassed to have read the Wikipedia article for the film and found that a movie theater in my current home state was threatened with a lawsuit by Focus Features for pulling out of their contract at the last minute to screen the film, because it was deemed "dangerous" to screen. And at the same time, seeing the influence of the film and its rightful legacy as a milestone contemporary drama and landmark work of queer cinema, I feel like we have progressed greatly since then and can only move forward from here.

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