and Receive Oscars Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Pre-Oscar buzz dubbed 2005 the year of the queer, with LGBT-themed films screening in more mainstream venues than ever before. Movies such as Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Transamerica garnered multiple Oscar nominations and awards and also awards from other media and entertainment organizations.

Summary of Event

The year 2005 was heralded as a turning point for films featuring lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual stories. Sources that track box-office information, such as Box Office Mojo show that films with LGBT-related content played consistently at theaters throughout the year, and were major draws. Many of these films made the transition from art houses to suburban multiplexes, and several were nominated for various industry awards, such as the Golden Globes, Golden Globes Independent Spirit Awards, Independent Spirit Awards and, most notably, the Academy Awards, or Oscars. [kw]Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Transamerica Receive Oscars (Mar. 5, 2006) [kw]Capote, and Transamerica Receive Oscars, Brokeback Mountain, (Mar. 5, 2006) [kw]Transamerica Receive Oscars, Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and (Mar. 5, 2006) [kw]Oscars, Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Transamerica Receive (Mar. 5, 2006) Academy Awards Transamerica (film) Capote (film) Brokeback Mountain (film) Film;and Academy Awards[Academy Awards] [c]Arts;Mar. 5, 2006: Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Transamerica Receive Oscars[2830] [c]Cultural and intellectual history;Mar. 5, 2006: Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Transamerica Receive Oscars[2830] [c]Organizations and institutions;Mar. 5, 2006: Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Transamerica Receive Oscars[2830] Hoffman, Philip Seymour Huffman, Felicity Lee, Ang Ledger, Heath Gyllenhaal, Jake

Poster for TransAmerica (2005).

As the Oscars approached, Brokeback Mountain, the most honored film of 2005—and definitely the most talked about—had already won several awards, including best picture from BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), British Academy of Film and Television Arts the Golden Globes (Hollywood Foreign Press Association), the New York Film Critics Circle, New York Film Critics Circle and the Satellite Awards Satellite Awards (International Press Academy). With eight Oscar nominations, Brokeback Mountain was considered a frontrunner for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film, which centers on the long-term and, ultimately, tragic relationship between two Wyoming cowboys—played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal—spurred much controversy and discussion over its subject matter. Conservatives disapproved of the gay relationship between the two main characters, while LGBT groups criticized the film’s marketing, which omitted gay references, and its lack of LGBT people in production and performing roles. However, many other filmgoers commented on the universality of the motion picture. The uproar over the film, plus its many nominations and awards, generated widespread interest, which went from a modest opening in only five theaters to its wider release in more than two thousand theaters. To the surprise and chagrin of many, Brokeback Mountain lost the Best Picture Oscar to Crash but won in three other categories: Best Director (Ang Lee); Best Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana); and Best Original Score (Gustavo Santaolalla).

Another critically acclaimed film, Capote, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. A biographical film (biopic) about gay American journalist and writer Truman Capote, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, the story focuses on Capote’s research for his “nonfiction novel” In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences (1965). Hoffman had been recognized for his work as Capote by BAFTA, the Golden Globes, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild among others, and he continued his winning spree by receiving the best actor Oscar for his amazing performance. Hoffman’s award was the only Oscar that Capote received. Many noticed, however, that Hoffman did not acknowledge Capote in his acceptance speech.

Transamerica, starring Felicity Huffman, who also has a lead role in the popular television series Desperate Housewives, earned two Academy Award nominations. Huffman, as a male-to-female (MTF) preoperative transsexual, earned critical praise and many best actress awards, including a Golden Globe, an Independent Spirit, an award from the National Board of Review, and an award from the International Press Academy; the Oscar, however, went to Reese Witherspoon, who one the award for Walk the Line.

Other Oscar-nominated films with LGBT characters included The Constant Gardener and Mrs. Henderson Presents, bringing the total number of Academy Award nominations for LGBT-related films to twenty-one. Other motion pictures released in the United States in 2005 with LGBT-related themes or characters include (from the United States) D.E.B.S., Dorian Blues, The Dying Gaul, Eating Out, The Family Stone, Happy Endings, Heights, Loggerheads, Mysterious Skin, Rent, Saving Face, and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang; from the United Kingdom came Breakfast on Pluto, Imagine Me and You, and My Summer of Love. France offered the films Crustacés et coquillages (Cote d’Azur, U.S. title) and Le Clan (Three Dancing Slaves, U.S. title), India produced My Brother Nikhil, Israel offered Lalehet al hamayim (Walk on Water), and Thailand had Sud Pralad (Tropical Malady, U.S. title) and Beautiful Boxer.

Although LGBT-themed films became more mainstream, starring roles continued to go to straight actors, or to actors believed to be straight. Neither of the Academy Award-nominated actors or actresses of the films discussed above was an out LGBT person during the productions or screenings of the films. No major Hollywood actors have come out at the height of their fame; rather, many LGBT actors chose to remain in the closet for fear of compromising their careers, a situation that scholar Larry Gross characterizes as “an unmistakable tinge of minstrelry…when gay actors are locked into the closet by their own ambitions and the paranoia of the industry, and audiences must be firmly assured of the heterosexual credentials of those playing gay for pay.”


Films with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender or transsexual focus and characters have had wider distribution and have received more critical accolades and awards. While many of these films were, and will be, independently produced, their success will likely encourage more major studios to produce and finance similar projects. Academy Awards Transamerica (film) Capote (film) Brokeback Mountain (film) Film;and Academy Awards[Academy Awards]

Further Reading
  • citation-type="booksimple"

    xlink:type="simple">Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • citation-type="booksimple"

    xlink:type="simple">Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “And the Award Goes to. . . .” http://www.glaad .org/eye/nominees.php.
  • citation-type="booksimple"

    xlink:type="simple">_______. “Brokeback Mountain” Resource Guide. .php.
  • citation-type="booksimple"

    xlink:type="simple">_______. CineQueer: GLAAD’s 2005 Guide to What’s LGBT in Film.
  • citation-type="booksimple"

    xlink:type="simple">Gross, Larry. “Year of the Queer: Hollywood and Homosexuality.”
  • citation-type="booksimple"

    xlink:type="simple">Holleran, Andrew. “The Magic Mountain.” Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, March/April, 2006. A review of Brokeback Mountain.
  • citation-type="booksimple"

    xlink:type="simple">Scott, A. O. “A Complex Metamorphosis of the Most Fundamental Sort.” The New York Times, December 2, 2005. A review of Transamerica.
  • citation-type="booksimple"

    xlink:type="simple">Taylor, Ella. “Chameleon.” LA Weekly, September 29, 2005. A review of Capote.

1930’s-1960’s: Hollywood Bans “Sexual Perversion” in Films

March 7, 1967: CBS Airs CBS Reports: The Homosexuals

1979-1981: First Gay British Television Series Airs

1985: GLAAD Begins Monitoring Media Coverage of Gays and Lesbians

1985: Lesbian Film Desert Hearts Is Released

July 25, 1985: Actor Hudson Announces He Has AIDS

1988: Macho Dancer Is Released in the Philippines

1992-2002: Celebrity Lesbians Come Out

March 21, 2000: Hollywood Awards Transgender Portrayals in Film

September 7, 2001: First Gay and Lesbian Television Network Is Launched in Canada

Categories: History