I am impressed.
And he's right. It's not a gay movie. It's not not a gay movie either. It's a movie about being human and fallible; it's profoundly inclusive in its specificity. And the critics who can't see that, I'm afraid, are suffering a failure of vision.
Which is not to say it's an easy movie to sit through. There's no gloss of honey over these characters: they do what they do because it's what people do, and sometimes it's noble, and sometimes it's not very nice. These are not self-aware, alienated, posturing characters; they are people who don't always understand their own motives. living out their lives circumscribed by a gorgeous and terrible sky.
The overall effect is disquieting and stark, unflinching, though that's a very tired and overused word. In short, it does not suck.
There's an Akira Kurosawa quote that I love. "To be an artist means never to avert one's eyes."
Ang Lee's finally matured as a film maker. Because man, that son of a bitch was not looking down.
The only thing I've seen recently to compare in impact and craftsmanship is A History Of Violence--and honestly, I think Brokeback Mountain is the better film, because there are false notes in HoV, and I really can't think of any in the present film. Before that, the last film that left me this profoundly thoughtful was The Cooler, which I actually saw in theatres, so that tells you how long ago that was.