September 7, 2008
AfterElton.com - first annual poll of the best gay male movies of all time:
1. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Ferragamos or Birkenstocks? Mojitos or good ol’ beer? Gay men don’t seem to agree on much. But by a wide margin of nearly two-to-one, you chose Brokeback Mountain as the greatest gay movie of all time. And how could it be otherwise? “It’s not ‘gay,’” said some, trying to broaden the film’s appeal, “it’s a ‘universal love story’!”
But is it really? Plenty of heterosexuals have had the experience of hiding a love affair, but how many of them know what it’s like to be forced by society to deny themselves the very possibility of love? This is the daring and fundamentally “gay” question at the heart of Ang Lee’s 2005 masterpiece: can two men simply allow themselves to love each other? And though the movie is set in the past, it is, ultimately, the very choice that every gay man still must make.
Jake Gyllenhaal is flawless as Jack Twist in arguably the movie’s most difficult role. But Heath Ledger’s heartbreaking portrayal of Ennis Del Mar, a walking cautionary tale of homophobia’s logical end result, is a revelation — a total acting transformation made all the more tragic by Ledger’s death earlier this year. But the indignities and injustices that Jack and Ennis faced did not end at Brokeback Mountain’s closing credits. Upon the film’s release, the movie’s makers and fans were subjected to a six-month orgy of tasteless jokes from clueless comedians and bile-filed commentary from right-wing pundits. All of this negativity culminated when the movie, long considered the Oscar front-runner, lost Best Picture to a fine but unremarkable movie called Crash, perhaps the most egregious upset in Oscar history and almost certainly the result of lingering homophobia in Hollywood’s old guard.
But that fusillade of ridicule and outrage is already fading into the gloom of a bigoted past while the movie’s artistry and quiet power shines brighter than ever. Let’s face it: this isn’t just the greatest gay movie of all time, it’s one of the greatest movies ever.
Source: AfterElton.com, The Fifty Greatest Gay Movies!