Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”
After Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I didn't think Ang Lee would be robbed of the Best Picture Oscar yet again, but there you have it: The best film of the year settled for trophies for Lee and his writers. Maybe that's due to a red-state backlash by people who won't even see the movie, because those who do see it know that it's not really about two cowboys in love: It's about how any two people denied their feelings by society will see their lives decay, the same potent message conveyed by Lee's other films. Here is his purest and most heartbreaking distillation of the theme to date, as two men discover feelings they didn't know were possible and learn how to appreciate life to its fullest, and then have to pretend they don't know how to feel that good. There's little intellectual argument here and no agenda save the one we project onto it; the film succeeds solely by striking at the heart with powerful force. It's a majestic and profoundly moving epic for anyone who knows how good it feels to love.