Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 film following a pair of cowboys who become involved in a romantic and sexual relationship together through their lives from the 1960s to the 1980s. It was based on a short story of the same name by Annie Proulx and starred the late Heath Ledger as Ennis Del Mar and Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack Twist. It was both a commercial and critical success, and received three Oscars, including Best Director for Ang Lee, as well as being nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Ledger), and Best Supporting Actor (Gyllenhaal). It is widely regarded as one of the most iconic LGBT films ever made.
I Wish I Knew How To Quit You
Of the film's most famous line, Gyllenhaal has said:
That line has moved, it has been mocked, it has been everything in between, but I remember coming out of that scene, off that ridge of the hill, and seeing a number of the crew, some of whom didn't even know what the movie was about, crying. When I first read that line, I was like, What is that? Now I realize that anybody who has loved knows what that feels like. The interesting part of casting us at such a young age was that we didn't completely understand what we were involved in, and that's the beauty of the movie as well.
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There is some controversy about the sexuality of the main characters, who have been variously described as gay, bisexual, and even straight. While most commonly described as "the gay cowboy movie," both Ennis and Jack marry women and it is left ambiguous whether they feel genuine sexual attraction to their wives or take them in an attempt to hide their homosexuality. In an interview with Details magazine, Gyllenhaal even stated that "I approached the story believing that these are actually two straight guys who fall in love."
The film deals heavily with issues of both external and internalized homophobia and sexual repression, and includes flashbacks to a gay bashing that Ennis's father participated in when Ennis was a young boy. Jack Twist's fate is left deliberately ambiguous - his wife reports that he died in an accident when a tire he was changing exploded, but Ennis imagines the scene as a gay bashing and it is hinted earlier in the film that Twist has become incautious about hiding his homosexual activities from homophobic neighbors and acquaintances.
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