Director Ang Lee
fielded congratulatory calls on Brokeback Mountain's
leading seven Golden Globe nominations from his lonely
hotel room in Minneapolis on Tuesday. "The
hardest thing for me is to stay calm," said the Taiwanese
director, who is known for just that. "This is great news
for us. It's a wonderful feeling."
Lee was nominated
for his direction, while actors Heath Ledger and
Michelle Williams were also cited. The picture also picked
up nods for best drama, screenplay, score, and song.
What made Lee happiest was knowing that after a strong
opening weekend and support from not only the Globes
but also the New York and L.A. film critics, the gay cowboy
romance will now reach a wider audience.
"When we started
making the movie, we assumed it would have a very
limited release," he said. "It will be interesting to see
how it plays when it goes wider, out of the art
houses. We don't know what to expect. We have had
great response. Maybe there was so much love put into
the movie that in the nicest way, people embrace the movie
and encourage other people to see it."
The Golden Globes
will help bring attention to the film around the world,
Lee said. "Usually cowboy movies are not a popular genre
outside the U.S., but we are learning every day how
people respond. It's a love story, so it shouldn't
have any boundary." Lee will continue on the promotion
trail he has been on since the Venice International Film
Festival in August. "Every other day I'm in a different
city," he said. "We still have some ways to go. The
film has just been released, so we still have some
follow-up to do. They don't teach you this in film
Brokeback Mountain, a tale of thwarted love
between cowboys played by Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, earned
almost $550,000 from just five theaters during its
first weekend. "The numbers are telling us that
someone walking on the sidewalk in front of a theater
playing Brokeback Mountain is likely to be
vacuumed inside," said James Schamus, copresident of the
film's distributor, Focus Features. "Brokeback
Mountain was a movie made so modestly that as of 3 p.m.
yesterday afternoon, we were in profit."
Brokeback is performing well without the
firestorm of controversy many predicted. "The amazing thing
about the controversy is, there is no controversy,"
Schamus said. "Media folks are waking up, trying to
figure out how to write up a controversy story where
there is none." (Reuters)