Brokeback Mountain isn’t quite ten years old. It popped at the 2005 Telluride Film Festival (i.e., on or about Labor Day) and opened commercially on 12.23.05. But that isn’t stopping Variety from revisiting the film for its Marriage Equality issue. I think it goes without saying that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision and the alpha vibes that have followed that if the whole Brokeback Mountain-vs.-Crash competition had never happened a decade ago and that if both films were set to open this fall…I don’t think there’d be any question that Brokeback Mountain would be the decisive industry favorite.
It might still lose the Best Picture Oscar because…well, because The Revenant or Steve Jobs or The Danish Girl might win. But if 2015 was to somehow shake down into the same kind of face-off, Brokeback would be on top. The geezers who either voted against it or even refused to see it ten years ago would be far less influential, in part because a lot of them (including Tony Curtis, who once declared that “Howard Hughes and John Wayne wouldn’t like it”) have passed on. You have to let this stuff go, of course. Major cultural events happen in their own time and for their own reasons and you can’t reconstitute those circumstances, but I’ll never get over the Best Picture loss of Brokeback Mountain…not entirely.