I have to admit that the more hype that built up about Brokeback Mountain during the past few weeks, the less inclined I was to go. Perhaps it was my Mom seeing it first that tipped me over the edge, or maybe it was the good reviews the movie has been getting. I also have to admit that when Americans are “voting with their feet” and making it a blockbuster (on a per theater grossing basis), I am influenced by that.
I also am glad to have read GayPatriotWest’s posting this morning about the review by Gene Shalit and the subsequent outrage by GLAAD. I completely agree with Dan, and many commenters, that the GLAAD reaction was over the top. And as Dan has so eloquently stated, his review was certainly not “anti-gay” as GLAAD is now charging.
That all being said, I was a bit biased toward the idea that Jake’s character might be a sexual predator when I sat down in the packed and sold-out Manor Theater this afternoon. (All shows yesterday were sold out in the one Charlotte theater showing the film!) But I cannot for the life of me see what Shalit saw in Jake’s character, Jack Twist. In fact, there is quite a good argument in my mind that it was Heath Ledger’s character, Ennis, who was more of the physical aggressor…. at least initially. I frankly didn’t see either one of the cowboys as victims in this movie so I don’t give much stock to Shalit’s view of Jack Twist-as-predator.
Now to my personal thoughts on the movie. Frankly, it was quite sad and depressing and not the kind of movie I would normally find enjoyable. Nothing about it was uplifting and hopeful at all. I am finding I agree with a lot of what Dan said in his review and what many of our commenters said today in this posting.
(Note — some spoilers will be included after the jump and potentially in our comments)
One of the (several) reasons I have long since stopped reading Andrew Sullivan’s blog (which was once the first blog I read every day) is that, shortly after the president announced his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment (support we have repeatedly criticized, here for example) , his posts have become increasingly emotional and less and less responsible. On February 24, 2004, his response to the president’s announcement more closely resembled a child’s temper tantrum than it did a rational response to a bad policy.
It seems the Andrew’s overly emotional responses to bad policies and bizarre comments on gay issues is par for the course for gay activists. I noted here how “easily outraged” the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force was when they pitched a fit at the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts. That group’s hyperbolic rhetoric obscured its valid criticism of the Vatican’s proposed “instruction” preventing the ordination of gay men as priests.
The reaction of some gay activists and media types to Today show movie critic Gene Shalit’s description of Jack Gyllenhaal’s’ Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain as a “sexual predator” seems similarly hyperbolic. The more I think about that description, the odder it appears. As the comments section to my previous post on the topic indicate, it appears that way to a number of our readers as well.
That said, given Gene Shalit’s past writing on his gay son, it’s clear this film critic does not harbor anti-gay sentiments. Yet, both GLAAD and Advocate, the magazine which first published Shalit’s piece, both defined the remarks as anti-gay. Odd word choice, yes, but anti-gay, no. After all, there are gay sexual predators (just as there are straight sexual predators). Identifying someone as such is thus not per se an anti-gay statement.
Hi gang. I want to apologize for the terrible technical issues we’ve had here lately. First, there were some problems with WordPress sending out spam emails…. then lately there has been a server problem with PowWeb who hosts this blog. And now it looks like Blogrolling is having problems.