It's the most Oscar-nominated film this year, won major awards in the Golden Globes, been praised by most critics (the mainstream ones), earned over fifty million dollars in the US alone (costing only $14 million to make); you can arguably say it's the single most successful gay film ever made. Ladies and gents, I give you Hollywood Discovers Homosexuals--better known as Brokeback Mountain.
A good look at the picture will give you an idea of what it takes for a film--gay, independent, ethnic of any kind--to break into the American market and win the awards horse race. The film's got to be safe--or if it has a controversial subject matter, got to present its subject in as unthreatening a manner as possible (you can pat yourself in the back for being courageous without really rocking the boat). The film's got to be free of any in-your-face sex, especially between men (women-on-women are a different matter--can't have enough of those). The film must not hint at any anger, just a sense of the general futility of it all, and if a gay man dies, the death should be mourned in an elegiac manner--no defiance, no hate directed at anything except maybe at The Way Things Are. Good taste, above all, must prevail.