|Brokeback Mountain, the film adaptation of a short story of the same name from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx's collection Close Range: Wyoming Stories (Scribner, 1999) took three Oscars at the 78th Annual Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2005. The wins came in the categories of Director (Ang Lee), Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana), and Original Score (Gustavo Santaolalla), after having received nominations in eight categories in total. The Awards Ceremony was presented at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and televised live by the ABC Television Network on Sunday, March 5, 2006. Last year, Million Dollar Baby, a film directed by Clint Eastwood based on the short stories of the late F.X. Toole from the collection Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner won four Academy Awards.
Brokeback, a 13-million dollar film otherwise known as "the gay cowboy movie," is the story of two cowboys who maintain a turbulent, hidden love affair over the span of 20 years. Set in Wyoming during 1963 and filmed in Calgary, Canada, the picture features Heath Ledger as ranch hand Ennis Del Mar while Jake Gyllenhaal portrays rodeo cowboy Jack Twist. The film has garnered many awards in addition to the Oscars, including Golden Globes in the categories of Director, Motion Picture, Original Song, and Screenplay, as well as the 2005 Venice International Film Festival Golden Lion for Best Picture.
Adapted for the screen by the team of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry and screenwriter Diana Ossana, Proulx's original short story was an award winner itself, garnering a 1998 O. Henry Short Story Award and a National Magazine Award through its publication in The New Yorker.
Proulx, who lives in Wyoming, began working on the 11 stories collected in Close Range: Wyoming Stories in 1997. In addition to the recognition received by the collection's "Brokeback Mountain," the story "The Half-Skinned Steer" was selected by Garrison Keillor for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories 1998 and by John Updike for The Best American Short Stories of the Century. Proulx's first short story collection, Heart Songs and Other Stories, appeared in 1988, followed in 1992 by the novel Postcards, which won the 1993 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. She is also the author of The Shipping News, which won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Her other books include the novels Accordion Crimes and That Old Ace in the Hole, and most recently the story collection, Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2 (Scribner, 2004).
The film originally released to theatres nationwide in the United States on December 9, 2005