461 of 492 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2006
First off let me just say, wow, everyone was right, as a straight male I can truly say this movie touched me in a way no other film ever has. BBM definately deserved the Best Picture Oscar, and what makes me mad is that I really liked Crash, but thanks to the Academy I cant watch it without thinking, how could they choose this over a masterpiece like Brokeback.
So most of you already know the story so I'll tell you about how this film affected me. My girlfriend wanted to go see this movie last week and I was actually pretty excited. I saw the previews and thought wow finally something original from Hollywood after a year full of crap. So we went and after the movie was over there were of course people crying but I didnt know what to feel, I thought the ending sucked but the acting was pretty good.
Then I found myself thinking it over on the ride home, and all night I dont think I said more than two words to my family, and then as I was getting ready to go to sleep I started to tear up, I called my gf and she had the exact same reaction. Brokeback is a movie that definately touches you, not because its a gay romance, but because its a beautiful parable about loneliness, love, and what it means to be a man. I was reading a review about BBM and what it said was true. BBM was needed because the gay community has become a joke in this country, sure shows like Will and Grace and Queer Eye are out there but it just reinforces the stereotype that all gay men are fashion obsessed, feminine, and funny. Well I have gay friends, and most of them are just like me, theyre regular guys who do manly things and who just so happen to be attracted to other manly man because God made them that way. BBM definately does a lot of good in showing a more realistic side to the gay community.
So like I said I hated the ending at first, then I went back to see it this week because I couldnt stop thinking about it, and it was even better the second time, I realized that by ending the way it does BBM shows the courage and strength that gay men have to go through to come out. I found myself asking that if I were gay would I have had the courage to give up everything I ever knew to be with the person I loved. Honestly I dont know if I could, I can sympathize with Ennis because I grew up in his situation, my father and mother have always preached against the sins of the world, including homosexuality, I dont know how Id ever be able to tell them if I were gay. Likewise almost everyone has that doubt that Ennis has, that wish that you had done something to make you happy instead of making everyone else happy, wheter its pursuing a relationship, career, or dream, we all have our regrets in life. What gets to me the most and what caused me to become one of those weeping audience members at the end of the second viewing was that Ennis does what he does in order to protect Jack, and unfortunately it kills him. I truly believe it wouldve been different had Ennis & Jack bought that ranch.
The acting is phenominal, Heath Ledger gives one of the greatest screen preformances in history as Ennis Del Mar. Phillip Hoffman won the Oscar this year and I really liked his preformance, but Heath has so little to work with and yet is so heart wrenching. He's able to convey so much by just saying "Jack, I swear" than most actors could show in a whole film. Expect this role to pop up on AFI's list of greatest preformances sometime very soon. Michelle Williams is also a revalation, that scene where she sees Ennis and Jack kissing and essentially sees her world crashing down is so powerful without being showy, and Academy I have a serious complaint, Rachel Weisz, WTF? To say that her preformance was better than Michelle's in Brokeback and Amy Adams in Junebug, you have got to be kidding me, guess being pregnant buys you some serious points doesnt it. Now as for Jake Gylenhaal, the first time I saw BBM I actually didnt understand him, he didnt seem to have any sadness at seeing Ennis go that summer except for when hes in his truck, than I realized why, he was being strong for Ennis, he was essentialy saying im your rock. Its a tough preformance that you have to see more than once to truly appreciate but Jake nails it perfectly. Anne Hathaway as Lureen isnt really given much to work with, but that phone call with Ennis shows shes way more than just a one note actress.
Yes, im rambling but its because BBM touched me so much its hard not to praise this film. For all those giving it one stars, you obviously havent watched the movie, because its so much more than two guys having sex, which by the way probably consists of 30 seconds of screen time and almost no nudity save for a shot of Jacks butt which if you cant handle that than how did you ever get through the gym class locker room. Also for all those saying homosexuality is a sin, and BBM glorifies it, the characters end up heart broken and alone, if anything its an anti-gay film, or at least would be if the scenes between Jack and Ennis didnt show that these two men obviously love each other completely, and I was raised Catholic, I believe god loves every one of us and gay people are born that way, and I think theyre put on this earth to teach us what real love is.
Brokeback is definately an instant classic, and will go in my DVD collection right next to Citizen Kane and Million Dollar Baby as my all time favorites. And for those who felt it got shafted at the Oscars, dont worry, Citizen Kane, the greatest movie of all time got 1 Oscar for its screenplay, theres no doubt in my mind that BBM will be remmembered far longer than Crash, and that it will be way up on the AFI's list of the greatest movies of all time.
76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
I want to mention two things about this movie. First, how brilliant it is. And second, how beautiful the blu ray transfer looks.
1. It's been six years since Brokeback Mountain hit theaters, and although I've watched the film countless times since, if I had only seen it once, I can promise you I would never forget it. It is a storyline that you dream about, relate to, cry over, reflect upon, write about, and become haunted by. I watch a lot of movies and enjoy plenty of them, but never has a film inspired me to analyze its story so deeply and to read books on it by film critics and touched fans. The fourth time I watched it at the theater, I took a notebook and filled pages with notes on the beauty of the poetic transitions and the development of characters. But even during my 20th viewing (or however many times it has been now) I discovered new richness and depth in the story.
Without going on and on, I suppose I should just say that I love this movie. But before I talk about the blu ray, I just want to point out that this is not strictly a "gay" movie any more than Titanic or Romeo and Juliet are straight movies. Love is a force of nature, as the tag-line says, and it is not bound to one sexuality or another. The movie is, simply put, a human movie about human life, desire, hate, mistakes, and many other universal emotions that make up us all. I recommend you see it and after it's over, I recommend you see it again. Like Shakespeare, the story is endlessly multidimensional and deserves multiple viewings to truly grasp it all. Obviously Annie Proulx's original short story is also required reading (I would suggest reading it before watching, but either way is fine) as it contains endless brilliance as well. The overall talent involved with this project is stunning.
But let's move on and talk about the blu ray.
2. The first thing I should mention is that this "100th Anniversary" new packaging from Universal Studios doesn't mean that there are any new features or remastered transfers that are different from the already available Brokeback Mountain [Blu-ray]. It does come in combo-pack format, however, which includes a DVD and Digital Copy of the film if that interests you.
As far as the picture quality goes, I feel pretty confident when I say that I was blown away by it. I saw the movie in theaters, on DVD, on TV, and just about anywhere else I could find it. On Blu Ray, it was a whole new experience. You can read labels on soup cans, feel the richness of the grass, and see foam in the spring waters. Without question, this is a scenic movie. It DESERVES to be seen in 1080p. If you have the DVD, great, it's pretty good too, but this is so worth the upgrade. The picture is so beautiful, sometimes I just pop it in the player on mute and let it run as a "screensaver."
The audio is also a joy. Gustavo Santaolalla's score is a masterpiece in itself and all the more beautiful in lossless DTS 5.1. Not to mention Heath Ledger's character is a bit of the shy type who mumbles as much as he speaks. I never had a problem understanding him, but the speech is noticeably clearer now for anybody who found that to be an issue.
As far as the special features go, they are just repeats from the DVD release and admittedly not very exciting. Worth watching, sure, but not especially noteworthy. In some ways I think that's a good thing, though. As much as I would love Ang Lee to do a director's commentary, this type of movie will effect people in different ways and consequently I don't know that I would feel comfortable if the artists behind it revealed too much. That can easily frame the story in a certain way and ruin it for those who are touched by it in other ways. As I said, this is a universally human story, and it's a great movie for fans and scholars to discuss and compare experiences, but when the film-makers themselves start talking it...it can potentially ruin things.
OVERALL: A+++ movie that will, without question, go into the Love Story Hall of Fame where it will stand next to other classics like Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and so many other touching classics, gay and striaght alike. As far as the Blu Ray, it also deserves an "A" rating for its beautiful HD transfer that is everything a fan could ask for and more. I highly recommend purchasing it.
And, if you are like the many who can't stop thinking about the movie and want to dive deeper into the literary genius of the story, here are some books that inspired me: Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay,Reading Brokeback Mountain: Essays on the Story and the Film,On Brokeback Mountain: Meditations about Masculinity, Fear, and Love in the Story and the Film,The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon, and Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film.
1,667 of 1,827 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2005
Love has no rules. It happens when we least expect it, often when we don't want it, many times when we can't handle it. It often times scares you, surprises you, shakes you down to your very core. Ennis Del Mar (a remarkable Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (an emotionally available Jake Gyllenhaal) find themselves thrown together because of a job: forced to spend many hours together alone in the wild, tending to sheep in a remote region of Wyoming....on Brokeback Mountain. They fall in love: a love that they soon realize only lives and breathes on the mountain.
It's 1963, pre American involvement in the Vietnam War, post Korean War: a time in the USA when life was simple, straightforward and the lines between the sexes and sex roles were crisply drawn and severely delineated. It was a time when men and women were pigeon-holed into unrealistic modes of behavior and anyone who ventured outside of these boundaries was thought of at best, weird at worst... perverted and in many states, criminal. Ennis himself, at an early age was witness to the ugly, disgusting results of a hate crime perpetrated on a Wyoming farmer who had lived many years with his partner. In most societies he would be venerated but in 1950's Wyoming... he became a target.
Director Ang Lee begins this film as both Ennis and Jack are waiting outside of a building, both looking for work, both down on their luck, both avoiding each other's eyes. We know, or those of us who have read the story know, what is to happen and so unfortunately we read more into that simple scene than there really is. But with all that aside, this scene of Ennis and Jack avoiding each other, dodging each others looks, staring at the ground, kicking up the dirt is nonetheless rife with sensuality and tension.
Ennis and Jack are inexorably drawn to each other through their proximity, loneliness and through a shared lack of tenderness and emotion in their lives: they are emotionally, physically and psychically bonded almost from the start. It is inevitable. It is Fate.
And so begins a Love affair that transcends social mores, time, marriages, children, extra-marital affairs and divorce.
Despite all that is going on in their lives, Ennis and Jack meet several times a year up on Brokeback mountain and rekindle and thereby re-ignite their emotional and physical attraction: there is no one around, they are free from their regular lives...they can love.
Much has been made of Heath Ledger's performance as Ennis and he gives what is without a doubt one of the finest performances of this year. Ennis is a quiet, stoic man and he is troubled and frankly scared by how deeply he feels for Jack. As he showed us first in "Monster's Ball," Ledger is capable of digging way deep down into his gut and imbuing his performances with an unflinching frankness and truth that we can neither ignore nor help to be moved by.
Gyllenhall's Jack is the younger of the two: he's fun, he's a little crazy and unfortunately he wants a lot, lot more than Ennis is able to give him. Gyllenhaal's hang-dog, frisky puppy of a performance is full of warmth and light: the kind of transcendent light that shines out from a soul full of love, understanding and acceptance.
"Brokeback Mountain" is devastating in both its presentation, its performances and its tragic denouement. This movie is not for everyone. But if you are willing to open up your heart and mind a bit to let in its beauty, emotionality and sensuality you will not be disappointed. In fact... you will be renewed.
88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2006
Brokeback Mountain is the tale of two cowboys, Ennis and Jack, who ranch sheep together one summer in the 1960's. One cold night, the two men huddle together in a tent to keep warm, and an explosive physical relationship erupts. They both agree that the night was a "one-shot deal," but somehow the two men keep finding one another again, throughout the summer. After the ranching gig ends, both men nonchalantly tell each other goodbye, but the separation is painful for both. Cut to four years later - the men have gone their separate ways, married, had kids. But when they happen to see each other again, old feelings almost violently assert themselves, leading to a 20-year relationship that is by turns passionate, furtive, and tortured.
First of all, performances by Heath Ledger (Ennis) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Jack) are unbelievable. I cannot adequately describe the performance work in this film. Ledger, who I'd only seen in fairly superficial roles - teen movies, not-so-great romantic comedies - totally transforms himself for this role. Tight-lipped, sun-baked, and shamed, his Ennis provides the tension in the film that powers the plot through to its final, saddening conclusion. Gyllenhaal plays Jack, the more honest, self-accepting of the two men, with an emotion that is strong enough to be real but restrained enough to epitomize the tough guy image of a Western. Both lend a haunting quality to the various ways in which Ennis and Jack try to live their lives, denied of the one thing they truly want.
At the end of the day, Brokeback Mountain is a love story, the tale of two people who love each other but can't be together. This is not untrod territory in Hollywood. However, hanging this familiar storyline on a less-than-mainstream social topic for the movies - homosexuality - proves to be very powerful. The intensity of the two men's feelings for one another, and the delayed gratification that is the bedrock of their relationship, bring their experience into sharp focus for the viewer. Beautiful scenes of mountainous countryside and a strong, simple acoustic guitar accompaniment add to the poignancy. I just cannot recommend it highly enough. It will haunt you. It will make you think. It will move you.
Fair warning - there is one brief sex scene between the two primary characters. If you don't warm to that idea, I recommend getting the film on DVD and fast-forwarding through that part. It is not worth missing the movie over.
111 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2006
"Brokeback Mountain" is the story of two all-man cowboys that find love in each other. The film is unique because it is not the typical gay stereo-type; perhaps it is the first mainstream film ever made on this topic?
Ennis Del Mar (played by the very talented Heath Ledger) is a very quiet and rough around the edges kind of man. He doesn't show his feelings very well and is somewhat of a loner. Jack Twist (played by the equally accomplished Jake Gyllenhaal) is more vocal about his feelings and emotions, but can still be pushed around (although I did enoy it when he stood up to his bigoted father-in-law).
What makes this tale so bitter is that their's is a forbidden love. It is reminiscent of "Titanic" or Romeo and Juliet. Please keep in mind that the picture took place during 60's, 70's, and early 80's, in Middle-America where no one was openly gay, much less a cowboy. But, despite all their differences and personal demons both men loved each other more than life itself.
Anyone with connected eyeballs can tell that Ennis and Twist were deeply in love (this was not an affair, rather it was a serious relationship that lasted over two decades). It was proof that Twist loved Ennis when they were on the hill getting ready to leave after he playfully lassoed and punched Ennis. Twist looked so sad to have intentionally inflicted pain on his lover. But Ennis holed off and punched him, because no one was gonna make Ennis his fool. And it was evident that Ennis loved Twist when he sobbed like a baby on the street after they departed Brokeback Mountain separately.
The cinematography in this picture was absolutely stunning. The soundtrack is also amazing. I am certain that this picture is very Oscar-worthy.
I saw this movie about a month ago and I still can't get it out of my mind. It is a very full-toned and haunting picture. To say that it was the very best film that I have ever seen would simply trivialize it, because it is much more than just a movie.
62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2006
Both my parents were Pentecostal ministers. My father was gay and my mother's mission in life was to save/change him. At one point around the age of 14 or 15 I babysat for my father's boyfriend's son. My father died a deeply depressed, broken unfulfilled man still blaming my mother for protecting me from him and preventing our relationship. The marriage was what they thought God wanted... a marriage of duty not love. I came out to my parents at 18. My father knew I was gay but never sat and talked honestly with me about his situation. Around the age of 26 I became depressed and my mother swooped in hoping to succeed where she had failed with my father and talked me into entering a (teen challenge) sponsored program that claimed they could change gay men. For one year I worked hard, did as I was told, read or viewed nothing from the outside, memorized scripture, abstained from sex of any kind, fasted for 11 days while cooking for 16 people and prayed. After one year they told me I was changed and released me into the world. I was being encouraged to marry a girl from my parent's church but no one asked if we were in love. After a few months of honest reflection I ended the relationship and went on my way to live my life as intended.
Gay people are accused of having an agenda. Just read the above and tell me honestly who really has the agenda. The gay agenda is to end the lies, hate, bondage, brutality and destruction.
I went to see Brokeback Mountain last weekend. At first I was stunned... then overwhelmed with sadness as I saw my father's life decisions repeated in front of the world. The sadness turned to empathy and understanding of the terrible anguish my father went through trying to change. My thoughts then turned to my mother's pain caused by her misguided mission of beating her head against the stone wall of my father's orientation. Again the sadness set in as I realized what a destructive force this misguided agenda to suppress gays is to entire families. Then I felt something lift from me realizing that so many people would see the destructive forces at play in our society. The rug is being lifted and the dirt of silence and oppression underneath is being exposed. There was a time when mixed race love was treated the same way. Thank you E. Annie Proulx, Ang Lee and all those with the courage to be involved with this project. Thank you for exposing the truth and wreckage.
I am 52 now and have been in love with and living with the same man for 27 years. There are many things the laws and lack of equal rights deny us but nothing can keep us from loving each other. Jack Twist was right... It is possible to be gay, in love and happy.
107 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2006
This review might contain spoilers.
This movie is brilliant. The first time I saw Brokeback Mountain, I left the movie theater in a dazed state, trying to digest what I just had seen. Wondering through some crowded streets of NYC on a cold, windy winter night, I never felt more alone. I hurried home. Many movies have left me excited, intrigued and sad. But none have left me as emotionally devastated as Brokeback has. It's as if the movie insinuated itself around my very soul and wrapped its grief around my unsuspecting heart - leaving it heartbroken ever since. The beauty of this movie is that it makes the characters seem so real, so live and their pain so raw, that the sorrow that permeates the story - hinted at first in the display of the most beautiful desolated sceneries, together with a melancholic music score, sneaks in your head, and unknowingly but quite forcefully takes hold of your body and soul and never seems to let them go.
A few weeks later, after countless sleepless nights, unable to shake myself off this stupor, I saw BBM again. This time I left feeling better because it became clear to me that what I had just witnessed was one of the most beautiful love stories ever told. It doesn't matter for me that it happened to be between 2 men. Because there is something so refreshing, so innocent, so lovely about how the story unfolds, that it literally turned this quite jaded, a bit cynical New Yorker, inside out. But I gather that this movie is not meant for everyone. Considering the state of our world today, how we are brought up to fend for ourselves and how we are taught to never let our guards down, we shield our fragile selves from any hint of perceived emotional threats. And we shut down. But I guarantee 100% that if only you could keep the cynicism at bay for the length of this movie, it will transform you. Like I mention before, this movie really makes you hurt, a heartbreaking SOB of a love story that just kills you, but it can be life changing.
Both Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger are phenomenal. Period. This movie wouldn't work if either one of them didn't give his heart and soul completely. What a remarkable screen performance these two give - a performance dug directly from the heart. Amazing. Some criticize that the characters don't develop enough rapport before that first scene in the tent. Nonsense. Haven't you ever heard of something called instant chemistry? And both Heath L. and Jake G. deliver throughout the movie. I bow my head to these guys. Of course the movie wouldn't work either without the great, touching performances from Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway and Roberta Maxwell.
This was a wonderful work from Ang Lee. To portray this movie in such a delicate, sensitive way merits all ovations it gets. During an interview, Ang Lee said that when casting, he decided to go after young and innocent. That choice has really paid off here because in a way that's why the movie works: because to find love when one is so young, so innocent, that is the purest kind of love. When tragedy hits later on the movie, and somehow we kind of expect that from the start, the only thing that remains out of this now flawed, resentful relationship is a sense of love. But Jack and Ennis' souls have been irremediably broken.
Alas, this is the price these doomed individuals pay for living a life denied and full of lies. The soul dies first before physical death occurs. We see it happen in Jack's case, his soul dying, so touchingly captured in his mournful, dead blank eyes at their last fateful meeting when he watches Ennis' truck speed away. He bitterly tells Ennis: "We could've had a good life together...but YOU didn't want it...so Brokeback is all we got" finally letting all his resentment spill out on their most unsatisfactory relationship. To which Ennis replies, accusingly, angrily: "It's because of you Jack...that I'm like this...I'm nothing...I'm nowhere" before collapsing to the ground as if the weight of this impossible affair suddenly becomes too heavy a burden for him to carry. Jack rushes back to comfort him, and they hug mightily, desperately clinging to one another for they know that they have reached some crossroads in their hearts - their relationship hanging by a thread, they cannot help but watch it slip away.
To his part, Ennis fares no better. When we last see him, alone in that empty, desolated trailer, surveying those shirts that he now tenderly guards, he swears love to a man that no longer exists but in his dreams and memories - a late cry of acknowledgment for what he always had felt but never dared to verbally express during those long 20 years. And like the emptiness of his trailer, Ennis' soul, so long tormented about a crime he saw as a child and so terrified by the notion that the love of his life was another man, cries in despair for a love forever lost, and it is now destined to wither away in solitary confinement.
Thus, the tragedy and paradox of Brokeback Mountain: Love can help save a man from destroying a life that could have been but a man cannot save himself if love is left buried and hidden in the deepest corner of the human heart. Something has to give. So Jack and Ennis: if only I should come to feel a love like that, God help me, but I for one will not hold back. Thank you for showing me the reason why.
74 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2006
"Brokeback Mountain" is not a movie that offers scenes after scenes of exciting action or those lame, comic situations to give instant gratification. It is made not to entertain, but because it is "a story that has to be told". It doesn't line up with the usual box office hits, so I'm quite surprised that it has been as well received by the general public apart from the film critics. To do Ang Lee's films justice, one needs to sit back and remain focused on the screen. It requires more work and patience than most movies.
Following the typical Ang Lee approach, "Brokeback Mountain" is an extended film that begins with a languid pace, tracking the relationship between Ennis and Jack that spans twenty years. It refrains from hammering a message into the viewers' head, but allows the story to unfold and speak for itself. Silently, the film reaches out and seeps under your skin, and before you know it, "Brokeback Mountain" has found the rawest part of your heart and pierce right through it.
"Brokeback Mountain" is a heartbreaking love story made more tragic by the extra dimension of homosexuality. While other star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet have to struggle with external pressures of filial loyalties and social boundaries, Ennis has been taught to hate the very core of his own identity. His self-loath has petrified his ability to love. His self-deceiving denial of his true feelings causes him to lash out in bouts of violence. Gradually, Ennis alienates the people who care for him and pushes himself towards the edge.
More tragically, there is a chance that Ennis and Jack could've spend their lives together in happiness, although it would mean severing their ties with the world. But Ennis is too afraid of society and of himself to seize it. Only when he has lost Jack does Ennis realize how much their relationship means to him, and that he would've risked it all to build a life with Jack. But by that time, it is too late.
Most of us can recall those ineffaceable regrets we now have from choosing the easier path, the "what ifs" that come back to haunt us during a sleepless night.
But Brokeback Mountain also offers hope and redemption in the finals scenes. The now-famous blood-stained shirts worked together as one is a powerful symbol of their love that cannot be denied. Jack's mother, who invites Ennis to visit Jack's room and discover the shirts, shows that she has known about their relationship and chooses to accept them despite the hateful hostility of her husband.
Finally, we witness the evolution of Ennis, who is empowered to slowly reach out to those who love him. Though he initially tries to bail out of his daughter's wedding, he steers himself in the opposite direction and accepts her invitation even if he has to quit his job. The very last moments of the film, which I'll not reveal here, is simply genius.
I encourage viewers to see the movie at least twice. One can better appreciate the many nuances and acting after you know how the story develops. For those who are willing to open themselves to "Brokeback Mountain", it will tell you a beautiful love story that lingers with you as you leave the cinema. Perhaps it will inspire you to reconnect with your own heart and soul and become better people.
66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2006
The last thing I expected to find on a Monday night was a small, indie movie theatre sold out of tickets to see what has been termed the "gay cowboy movie". Yet, when I went to see Brokeback Mountain last night, I found myself one of the last moviegoers to find a seat in a theatre overflowing with people from all walks of life.
Upon first hearing of this movie, I considered it laughable to have an entire film set around two cowboys falling in love, for it seemed, at best, to be a chick-flick with a political agenda. However, my predication's were quickly discarded. This film is much undeserving of it's "gay cowboy" stereotype, as it cannot convey the emotional aspect which will inevitably overcome the most callous of moviegoers. For what this movie provides is a heart wrenching tale of two thoroughly complex men, struggling with societal pressures and their desire to be themselves.
The story told in this film is of two men, who meet while working one summer herding sheep on top of, what else, but Brokeback Moutnain. Ennis Del Marr (played by Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) find themselves with idle time and only each other to fill it. They spend days riding around on horses and nights sitting around a campfire, talking and drinking whisky. Ennis rarely speaks, and when he does, his words are simple. Jack, on the other hand, is more outgoing in nature. At this time, his spirit seems playful, yet experienced, making for a sharp contrast with that of Ennis. In a surprising turn, for both the viewers and the characters themselves, Jack and Ennis find themselves filled with a primal urges which fuels their first sexual encounter which is void of seduction. They next morning,they both assert that they are not "queer", yet continue with the relationship, never speaking of their bond, perhaps because they knew no words to define it. When it comes time for them to part, you can see anguish on both character's faces, believing that they will never see the other again. Both characters marry andestablish families before they meet again. When they find each other four years after their work on Brokeback Mountain, they are instantly drawn together again and establish a relationship where they meet a few times a year, for fishing trips where no fish is ever caught. Their story spans 20 years, culminating in a hauntingly tragic ending.
Credit must given to the actors in this film, who truly gave the meaning to each and every character. Much attention should be paid to Heath Ledger, an actor with potential who could never seem to break away from the teen demographic for which his prior films have been marketed. His portrayal of Ennis Del Marr is heartbreaking. With few words, he was able to reveal a array of emotions. With just one look, he could communicate more then words could ever describe. His performance is the reason I cannot get this film out of my mind, a full day since I was present in the theatre. Ledger has found the small intricacies which make this character come to life. The low, rasping voice which seems to come from it's disuse, as well as the slight hunch which hides Ledger's height and conveys his characters venerability. A simple shot of Ledger's soulful eyes can tell the viewers all they need to know about his emotional duress, and will surely leave every onlooker teary-eyed. The way in which he clings to a shirt of Jack's, still upon it's hanger was able to say all that Ennis could not express with words, and was one of the most poignant scenes in the film. In supporting roles, Michelle Williams (as Alma), Anne Hathaway (as Lureen), and Jake Gyllenhaal all do incredible jobs as well, each bringing an intense believability to the roles in which they portrayed. The melancholy nature with which this film concludes, does so, in part because of the exquisite changes each actor brings to their character.
It has been a day since I experianced this movie, yet I can still feel it's ramifications churning in the pit of my stomach. The heartache felt by Ennis Del Marr has yet to leave my being, as my mind reels. This film brings to life a story which will not quickly leave me, one which was so realistic in manner I feel almost as if I had experianced it all myself. Do not be quick to write this movie off as just one of "gay cowboys," or a movie with a political agenda. This is a movie with heart, compassion and lose. This is a movie not to be forgotten
894 of 1,034 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2005
After watching this movie friends and I spent the next few hours discussing it. It is a well done film no matter the subject, it is the story of two people in love who ache for each other and yet are forced to be apart. Add to that the fact that both are men and the time is 1963 and you get the added story that makes this film particularly wrenching. Jack and Enis meet when they are both hired to spend the summer up on Brokeback mountain tending to a herd of sheep. Enis is quiet to the point of seeming almost mute and Jack is the more lively of the two. One frozen night when huddled in the tent from the cold their supressed passion for each other becomes an irrisistable force and the two spend the remainder of their time on the mountain happy, or at least as happy as Enis's character can be. Their summer ends with Jack saying that they could still be together and Enis being overcome with rage at the mere suggestion. They last see each other as Jack is driving off and Enis is nonchalantly walking down a dirt street. It is after Jack is gone that Enis breaks down in an unexpected and powerful scene, hiding in an ally-way so nobody will see. Over the next several years they both marry and become fathers. The scene of their reunion 4 years later has so much emotion, longing and passion that it will take your breath away. They way they look at each other and that first kiss is one of the most powerful I've seen onscreen and I have to comend both actors. This movie however is not just about Jack and Enis, but also shows the effect on their wives, Michelle Williams of Dawsons creek does an amazing job of playing the wife of Enis who discovers his secret but stays quiet because she sees no other option and Anne Hathaway saying Good-bye to her Princess Diary character with a flirty agreesive character and a topless scene as she sets her sight on Jack. I won't go into the ending other than to say that the scene where Jacks parent are introduced is nearly as moving as their reunion scene and will leave you feeling wrung out.
This is a film that will keep you invloved until the last credit on the screen goes blank and kudos to Ang Lee for putting such a memorable film onscreen.