Here’s Stanley Kaufman’s review of Brokeback Mountain. Kaufman, staff critic for The New Republic, is one of our finest film reviewers, and he has nothing but praise for the Ang Lee film.
I’m a big fan of Lee’s work (“The Hulk,” “Crouching Tiger”), and I think that I will have to see this movie.
Here’s Kaufman’s take on the controversy surrounding its theme:
Brokeback Mountain does not contain the slightest suggestion that its purpose is to chronicle a case or a social problem. (It has provoked a blizzard of articles on the subject of cowboy homosexuality, most of them paying little attention to the film’s art.) It simply treasures two human beings who, unlikely as we may have thought it for these men, find themselves fixed in a discomfiting yet thorough passion. They inhabit a world that vaunts macho masculinity; nonetheless they seem secretly fortified by their fate.
This last paragraph is great:
So in all the tumult about this film, the eruption of its subject into wide attention and the consequent revelations about cowboys’ lives in the past, let us–without forgetting the American sources of the screenplay–acknowledge the anomaly that the director is Chinese. Where his mind and imagination will take Lee next I do not yet know, but I certainly want to follow.