I’ll admit it, we really didnt expect to be writing so much about “Brokeback Mountain” this past week at indieWIRE. Friends who are fans of the movie have been gently teasing me about the amount of articles and while I don’t feel the need to apologize for the considerable amount of coverage, we were talking at the office today about how the whole thing actually caught us a bit by surprise. The recent success of the film quickly exploded into a series of stories we followed as they unfolded.
Trying to make sense of whats going on, tonight I reviewed our past week of coverage…we introduced a new “first person column” series last Monday, with Marcus Hu touting the movie, and the next day we published our Reverse Shot reviews of the film. The three of us from indieWIRE went to the film’s premiere on Tuesday night in New York, and being big fans of the movie we wondered how it might do in theaters and speculated about whether critics would embrace it. People at the premiere seemed mixed about about whether the film would attract significant awards and sizable audiences, but most were optimistic.
Surprisingly, “Brokeback” completey dominated critics group nominations over the weekend (including topping the LA honors), so we covered that story and then Monday the New York Film Critics Circle also named it their top movie of the year, then today the film led the Golden Globe nominations. I didn’t expect that hat trick and from my informal polling of insiders, many were equally surprised. Meanwhile, the film had a record setting opening weekend in limited release, as Brian reported in today’s box office column.
So what does it all mean? Hard to say, but friends tell me they are excited to see the film getting so much mainstream attention. Many people feel quite deeply about this movie and seem particularly invested in its performance. I haven’t witnessed such feelings about a film since last year’s release of “Fahrenheit 9/11” (and maybe “The Passion of the Christ”).
Someone asked me today to predict how much money “Brokeback” will end up making in theaters and as much as I clearly like the movie, I’ve been rather cynical about its mainstream prospects. Then again, I didn’t expect the film would have the sort of week its already had, so who knows?
[For what its worth, a Google News search of the words “Brokeback Mountain” tonight found 3,500 articles, while a search for “Memoirs of a Geisha” yielded nearly 2,700, and “King Kong” found 5,550 articles.]