I don't know which was better: the fact that Rusty rented Brokeback Mountain for me as part of our Mother's Day Eve festivities, or the fact that he (er, I mean "young Master Sam") gave me a box of handmade chocolates from a local chocolatier to eat during the movie, or the fact that he agreed to wear a cowboy hat during it.
No matter. It all added up to a pretty rockin' night. Or as rockin' as things get at the ol' Doppelganger homestead.
I didn't think Brokeback was the best movie EVER (despite the fact that at one moment in the film -- I'll leave you to guess which -- I did lean over and whisper to Rusty "This is the best movie EVER"), but I thought it was really good. Heath Ledger did a fine job of portraying an awkward, taciturn, romantic hero, and Jake Gyllenhaal did a fine job of making me wish I were ten years younger.
I can't say whether the movie was denied the Oscar or not, largely because I haven't seen most of the other nominees. To be truthful, I don't think most movies -- neither winners nor also-rans -- deserve any awards. If I had my way, they'd give out prizes only when a movie comes along that really, really deserves recognition... say every seven or eight years.
What Brokeback does deserve, though, is props for providing a solid example of independent filmmaking at its best, in which, due to a (relatively) small budget, the script, the landscape, and (gasp) the acting are trusted to do the work. I haven't seen the film version The Shipping News, a book I liked, because my understanding is that it suffered from Pulitzer Syndrome, wherein a book wins a major literary prize and suddenly all the wrong big-name actors are hired and the movie gets hyped all out of proportion. Poor old The Shipping News. I still think it could be a great indie film, but I guess that ship has sailed.
Funniest moment of the evening: when Rusty, out of nowhere, said, "Being a cowboy is hard." I don't know why, but I had to hit the "pause" button for a couple of minutes to laugh that one out.