Wanted to bring the hateration but I can't – Brokeback Moutain is an excellent movie. I was concerned about seeing it as I tend to be allergic to movies that make an aesthetic out of flattering the tolerances and cultural superiority of it's perceived audience of art-house regulars and/or Oscar judges. But I didn't get any of that. It's a simple, tragic love story that is one of the more finely crafted movies America has put out in some time.
It reminds me a bit of Vanity Fair referring to the book Lolita as "The only convincing love story of our century." Hundreds of movies are churned out each year cast in the genre of "romance" or "romantic" and yet the best love story I've seen from the US is about two gay ranchers who hook up on fishing trips and, over decades, become paunchy and start to bicker like an old married couple (or more like the two old guys in the Muppet Show balcony if you'd prefer). Sandra Bullock should be ashamed of herself.
I do find it amusing how, even in a movie about gay cowboys, director Ang Lee leaves his mark. At times it feels more like his Sense and Sensibility than the actual honky tonk cattle ranching atmosphere where it's set. Everything from the skylines to the clothing to the landscape is so picturesque that if the acting didn't hold up (which thankfully it does) the whole thing may have dissolved into an modeling shoot or gay camp.
And the modeling shoot aspect of it is funnier when you consider that in the original short story the characters are unabashedly white trash. Consider what is said during the 'climax' of their first time together:
They went at it in silence except for a few sharp intakes of breath and Jack's choked "gun's goin off," then out, down, and asleep.
It would have made for a more interesting movie if the phrase "gun's goin off" was used during the romantic scenes, but sadly it was taken out. Go ahead and believe the hype and see this.