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Brokeback Mountain


Hibi
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It's a good film.  I can't recall what else was nominated for best picture that year but i recall that there was some negative sentiment for BM when it was released and that it was Hollywood pushing a gay cowboy movie when it wasn't the type of film the general audience cared for.  My own father, who is a bit of a cowboy, who doesn't watch many modern films, did actually watch it after i pointed out that Larry McMurtry, who wrote Lonesome Dove, wrote the script.  I'll admit i was a bit skeptical when i was going into my first viewing, but it is a really good story and directed and acted well.

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In the intro to the movie, because it was part of the "reframed" theme, there was some of the usual back-and-forth about whether it was appropriate for straight actors to play gay roles. I'm gay and I suppose it's my job to be on board with that, but I never bought it then and I don't buy it now. Heath and Jake did an excellent job of telling the story, which I always saw as being about the deadly, crushing power of the closet. I wasn't yet an adult in 1963 but I was fully aware of the pressure to keep secret something which, at that time, could still destroy lives, careers and reputations and result in a permanent, life-long criminal record. Jake's character was readier to break away, but I thought Heath did a masterful job of showing the numbness which could envelop someone facing his own forbidden feelings. The flashback scene where his father took him as a child out to a ravine in the back country to show him the bloodied bodies of two older men who had "set up together" was chilling, especially since the father's knowledge of the location probably meant he was at least partly responsible. It totally explained how a man could be as shut down and unavailable emotionally as Heath's character was. That performance in particular rang true for me. Great film.

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11 hours ago, Hibi said:

I'm sure that sentiment factored in the balloting. Some members were just resistant to voting for it.

I think it was the Reds (1981) syndrome, resurrected 25 years later.  Reds is a magnificent film and should have won the Best Picture Oscar. Warren Beatty won for Best Director. But Chariots of Fire, a lovely but inferior film, won for Best Picture.  I think in the early 1980s, Oscar voters, perceived as pinkos, were leery of a film that seemed to glorify Communism. (In reality, it was a love story set against a tumultuous backdrop).

In 2005, Oscar voters were leery of voting for a film with a gay theme, because people associated Hollywood with queers. 

Reds and Brokeback Mountain won Best Director. Both films won other Oscars as well, but not Best Picture.

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8 hours ago, Swithin said:

I think it was the Reds (1981) syndrome, resurrected 25 years later.  Reds is a magnificent film and should have won the Best Picture Oscar. Warren Beatty won for Best Director. But Chariots of Fire, a lovely but inferior film, won for Best Picture.  I think in the early 1980s, Oscar voters, perceived as pinkos, were leery of a film that seemed to glorify Communism. (In reality, it was a love story set against a tumultuous backdrop).

In 2005, Oscar voters were leery of voting for a film with a gay theme, because people associated Hollywood with queers. 

Reds and Brokeback Mountain won Best Director. Both films won other Oscars as well, but not Best Picture.

Yep. Plus there still is a conservative old guard in Hollywood.

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8 hours ago, Swithin said:

 

In 2005, Oscar voters were leery of voting for a film with a gay theme, because people associated Hollywood with queers. 

 

And still do.  I know plenty who think ALL men and women in the movie business are gay.  Both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.  That AND that all in "the biz" are bleeding heart liberals.  Except maybe by black actors who cry racism by the Academy whenever they don't get an Oscar nomination they felt they were somehow entitled to.  But I digress...

I liked and saluted BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN  mostly for the risk the film makers and cast were wiling to take in making the movie.  That it was well written and superbly acted didn't hurt either.

Sepiatone

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I had never seen Brokeback Mountain before, though  of course  I remember all the controversy when it first came  out. An  impressive

film on every level. The bleak western landscape, beautiful in its  own way, is still kind  of spooky and forbidding. To me it definitely

is  a fitting backdrop to the story of  two men who are basically trapped in something  they can't get out of.  I felt  sorry for both of  them,

especially Ennis, a  forty year old living  in a crummy trailer  with little hope  for the future.  That's a bit depressing  for anyone whatever

their  sexuality. Have  to also feel sorry for the two women they married too.  To me a pretty realistic story  of two gay men and how they had

to live for  twenty years with little chance  of things changing in society.

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Sorry to talk about Reds in the Brokeback Mountain theme--Brokeback being a much better film--but Reds didn't win the Oscar for a traditional reason: it wasn't the box office hit that was expected when it was first released. See America America and various other films. If it had been doing great box office, it would not only have won the Oscar, but Hollywood would promptly have cranked out six more films featuring romances between dedicated Communists of yesteryear. 

Reds does come to life, and to excellence, when Maureen Stapleton is on screen (and I am usually not a fan of hers) and when the interviewees hold forth. The Beatty/Keaton love story is cornball (see the cute doggie!), and overall the film is long and dull, though the cinematography is nice. It was enlightening to learn that the Russian Revolution happened just so it could bring Beatty and Keaton back together again. I remember rolling my eyes at the scene where Beatty has a heart attack. 

Had Reds won the Oscar, for forty years people would have been moaning about how Chariots of Fire was robbed. 

Now Brokeback Mountain really was robbed!

 

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But don't you see?

The ACADEMY always claims winning an Oscar isn't SUPPOSED to be about being a "box office hit".   Just like the Grammy folks claim(or try to) that record sales never and don't have anything to do with who wins a Grammy.  

I didn't know Warren Beatty had a heart attack in REDS.  I thought it was his CHARACTER who did.  I thought Beatty did a fine job in it's replication.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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The only thing I really remember about Reds is that there was a fight outside the theater because someone  apparently got in line ahead of someone.  That happened back in the day.

Can't recall the theater, but it was on Third Avenue across from Bloomingdale's.  Such a long line!  We actually lined up for such things.

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3 hours ago, Roy Cronin said:

The only thing I really remember about Reds is that there was a fight outside the theater because someone  apparently got in line ahead of someone.  That happened back in the day.

Can't recall the theater, but it was on Third Avenue across from Bloomingdale's.  Such a long line!  We actually lined up for such things.

The good old days before multiplexes!

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14 hours ago, King Rat said:

Sorry to talk about Reds in the Brokeback Mountain theme--Brokeback being a much better film--but Reds didn't win the Oscar for a traditional reason: it wasn't the box office hit that was expected when it was first released. See America America and various other films. If it had been doing great box office, it would not only have won the Oscar, but Hollywood would promptly have cranked out six more films featuring romances between dedicated Communists of yesteryear. 

Reds does come to life, and to excellence, when Maureen Stapleton is on screen (and I am usually not a fan of hers) and when the interviewees hold forth. The Beatty/Keaton love story is cornball (see the cute doggie!), and overall the film is long and dull, though the cinematography is nice. It was enlightening to learn that the Russian Revolution happened just so it could bring Beatty and Keaton back together again. I remember rolling my eyes at the scene where Beatty has a heart attack. 

Had Reds won the Oscar, for forty years people would have been moaning about how Chariots of Fire was robbed. 

Now Brokeback Mountain really was robbed!

 

I actually enjoyed REDS  quite a lot.  I resisted watching it because of the long running time, but when I finally did watch the movie I found that it held my interest.

Diane Keaton is wonderful at making written dialogue seem to be happening spontaneously.  I'm not talking about ab-libbing.  I am very familiar with the text of MARVIN'S ROOM  and know that she was speaking the lines as written, but they sounded as if the thoughts were coming to her as she was speaking.  I don't see this happen to that extent in movies very often. 

By the way, are you the same King Rat on the Silver Screen Oasis?

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4 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

But don't you see?

The ACADEMY always claims winning an Oscar isn't SUPPOSED to be about being a "box office hit".   Just like the Grammy folks claim(or try to) that record sales never and don't have anything to do with who wins a Grammy.  

 

Reds at least got much of its budget back. There wasn't much love at the Oscars that year for films that really did lose their shirts at the box office like Pennies from Heaven and Ragtime; the latter just might have made the Best picture lineup instead of Raiders of the Lost Ark if it was a hit. And I was reading just last night that Hollywood itself was stunned in early 1943, when the much-mutilated The Magnificent Ambersons scored a Best picture nomination in spite of its complete box office humiliation.

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