These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
It's not really unapologetically. Okay well, maybe Jack but Ennis sure feels torn up and guilty about it. Plus, the reason we feel more sympathy for them than we would if Ennis or Jack were cheating on their wives with women (Which Jack says he is at one point although he might be lying and actually be sleeping with said woman's husband), is because Jack and Ennis cannot have a public relationship without fear of being murdered. They marry women and have kids basically to "keep up appearances" and the occasional visit is the only way they can be together at all.
And the blonde who notices Ennis after his divorce, practically harasses him into a relationship obliviously to his unconcealed lack of interest, introduces her new boyfriend to him and cries when he merely wishes her well. Congratulations, Ennis, you don't even have to do anything, some more drama finds you anyway, and you are presented as an insensitive douchebag again.
Award Snub: Movie critics generally see the decision to award Crash with Best Picture over Brokeback as one of the biggest Oscar mistakes of the decade, if not all time. It's become an even greater consensus in the years since, as Crash has not aged well compared to that year's other Best Picture contenders. The voters are commonly accused of wimping out by awarding a movie with the relatively safe message of "racism is bad."
Awesome Music: The music from the trailer ("The Wings") is very touching, and it became a staple of slashyFan Vids. But it's very cool on its own merits.
Best Known For The Fanservice: The way people talk about this movie, you'd think it consists solely of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal having sex in a tent, plus a part with Anne Hathaway topless.
Creator Backlash: Proulx was happy with how the film turned out, but while promoting a new book in September 2008 admitted her frustration with all the lousy Fanfic she's been sent since its release, largely because the writers are missing the point and trying to "correct" the story she wrote.
Double Standard: Jack and Ennis cheating on their wives? Jerk Asses, or a pair of guys caught between a rock and a hard place? One could argue that in a more accepting society, they would never have felt pressured to marry women in the first place, and thus never cheat on anyone. Especially seeing as there were clear examples where openly gay/suspected gay men would be killed off horribly.
Gays and lesbians in that era commonly entered into opposite-sex marriages. It was a social expectation, and homosexuality was in fact still a crime in most states. Between the threat of violence, the threat of prosecution and other problems there seemed to be little choice. Also, it was widely believed that homosexuality could be "cured" by making the effort to be with the opposite-sex.
Dramatic Irony: They didn't live together, they even met very rarely, but Jack was still killed off. The couple used for an object lesson at least got to grow old living happily together.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Ennis is alive at the end of the movie but Jack is dead. In reality, it went the opposite way.
Part of the reason for all the jokes about the premise (and the subsequent misinformation about the men's jobs) was a South Park gag from years before Brokeback Mountain was made about all independent movies being about "gay cowboys eating pudding"; there may not be any pudding, but otherwise... Matt Stone and Trey Parker in fact commented in an interview:
Stone: If they have pudding in that movie, I’m going to lose my mind.
Parker: No, if there’s pudding eating in there, we’re going to sue.
Jake Gyllenhaal's sister Maggie played Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight, in which Ledger played the Joker. Her character dies, too.
For that matter, Jake was apparently considered for the role of Harvey Dent.
For Batman, before Begins was in production. That would have put a whole new spin on Joker's line "You complete me." (...okay, maybe exactly the same spin.)
Internet Backdraft: At the time, whether this movie should have won over Crash was quite the debate-starter (to say nothing of those who think neither deserved to win). Now, while it's still not consensus that Brokeback was the best film that year, most film critics agree that Crash should not have beaten it.
Also, the battle-cry of all guys with man-crushes: "No Brokeback!"
The music of "The Wings," just put the music over clips with Heterosexual Life-Partners from pop culture like Star Trek, Back to The Future, Harry Potter, it becomes instantly gay. It's extremely popular for making Fan Vids.
"Playing Brokeback" has entered the modern Hong Kong vocabulary, meaning homosexual relationships.
Ennis' father knew he was gay. That's why he made him look at that dead gay guy.
But Ennis was NINE when that happened...
Kids get kid crushes. It's logical gay people would too, rather than bi/homosexuality always magically manifesting at adulthood. Not to mention that back in those days, people still had the attitude that something happened to "make" you gay (given the numerous attempts at "fixing" it with therapy and hospitalization). Even if his father didn't suspect anything at such a young age, he may have thought that making him see something like that would scare it out of him, just in case.