Brokeback Mountain (2005)

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Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Postby hengcs » Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:01 am

Director: Ang Lee
Cast: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal

The official website

My thoughts ...
-- Wow, it is one of those films that you go for the acting and cast! Heath is excellent, but so are Jake and the rest of the cast ... go for it! It is one of those films that you go to FEEL for the characters (as the plot is simple enough and not many events happen) ... so please have an open mind ... if you feel for the characters, you will think it is an excellent film; otherwise, you will wonder why the pace is so slow and what all the hype is all about ...
-- I like the tagline "Love is the force of nature" ... well ... to me, it has a pun, their love are ignited by the force of nature (the external environment) as well as their own force of nature (their internal desire) ... excellent! Yet, their love are also bound by their external environment (time and place) as well as their own internal environment (feelings and emotions) ...
-- Despite being an independent film, it looks great cinematographically! wow ...
-- I also like the score and song ...

What could be better ...
-- Hmmm, the marketing ... frankly, it is not a gay cowboy film nor an old Western film ... cos it is much more than that ...

-- Highly recommended ... but please go with an open mind ... cos it is so much more than just a story about two gay cowboys ...

Re: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Postby Unregistered(d) » Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:09 am

Really great movie, I basically went to see this cuz it was by Ang Lee. But pleasantly surprised by the acting, Ledger's wife in the film, Michelle Williams has a great supporting role. But the king pin here is Ledger, we haven't seen a great stone face like this since, Anthony Hopkins' turn in The Remains of the day. And the movie probably has more in common with this film, rather than your typical western.

As for the marketing campaign. I think they have be totally up front about this, in heartland America homosexuality is viewed as a crime against God and nature.

Re: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Postby hengcs » Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:38 am

Interestingly, many reviewers forgot to mention that Ang Lee also had an earlier well known film about gays too ...

* drum roll *

The Wedding Banquet ...

Re: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Postby wpqx » Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:05 pm

Well my verdict is this, overrated. I wasn't surprised, I mean hard for any film given this much insane praise to measure up. People seem more interested in praising the subject matter than the actual film itself, just as I believe the Crying Game was vastly overrated. Ledger is good, but damn I was expecting something more. I think that Jake's got the harder roll, and when he pulls it off it is much more rewarding. Although my favorite moment in the film came from Anne Hathaway. When Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) finally tells his father in law off during Thanksgiving, you see her crack a very brief and subtle smile, she's loving it, and everyone in the theater knew it.

Michelle Williams' Alma seems downright tragic here, and she seems poised to burst into tears at any moment. It's a sadness I haven't really seen from her, and makes us sympathetic to her, even though Ennis is the main character here. He is a man of few words, but you get the feeling that he chooses his words wisely, and doesn't just open his mouth, as other character invariably seem to.

Now there are some things the film avoids. Most notably is a confrontation between Jack and Lureen, but you get the feeling that she knows what's been going on, just as you get the feeling that his parents know the truth. The only real confrontation comes from Alma, who confronts him years after their separation. It is a scene for dramatic effect, that I'm not sure I particularly felt.

Ledger has most of the best moments to himself, and I'd say the highlight of that comes from him visiting Jack's parent's house, and going in his old room, finding that old denim outfit still covered in his own blood from that fight they had the very first time on Brokeback. It is the one time where we really feel what Ennis feels, where his lack of articulation is appropriate. The film is full of good and inspired moments, but far from the best film of the year praise that it's been racking up.

Now perhaps the story is a little predictable. Love has to be tragic, especially gay love in movies. America doesn't take to kindly to queers and naturally these two had to pay. I figured both would be killed as was foreshadowed. Perhaps and Easy Rider like execution, but we weren't given that route. Instead a classic case of Hollywood moralizing came into play. Surely Jake's cowboy had to die, he was the promiscous one, and he was the agressor during that first night together. He started it, he was the "wicked" one so of course he has to pay with his life. It's all trivial nonsense and I think the film could have prospered without going that route, I also felt perhaps an AIDS reference would pop up, because his death does coincide nicely with the epidemic.

Grade B+

Re: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Postby Unregistered(d) » Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:55 pm

Quote:Now perhaps the story is a little predictable. Love has to be tragic, especially gay love in movies.

Actually, think about all the great film love stories ... you'll discover they're about loss.

And just off the top of my head, there's a gay couple in a current theatrical release: THE FAMILY STONE, which is anything but tragic.

Re: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Postby wpqx » Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:19 pm

Drama seems to be interchangable with tragedy when it comes to romance. You can usually avoid weepy moments in a comedy, which I assume the Family Stone is.

Re: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Postby A » Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:52 pm

I think our western civilization has been largely affected by the ancient greek concept of Drama/Tragedy.
But maybe our society`s just so @#%$ up, that happy endings are sparse when it comes to serious issues.

Re: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Postby hengcs » Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:27 am

Quote wpqx, "Now perhaps the story is a little predictable."

ha ha ha ... since the movie is adapted from a short story, I think neither the director nor the film should be discredited. They always have a tough job ... if they change too much or add too much, fans of the short story will be dissatisified ... if they do not change or add more, a short story is usually more focus and concise than a novel of many pages/volumes ... despite all these, I think the director and cast has done an excellent job in making a simple story compelling ...

Hmmm ... I have quite a few more things to reply (to those in filmwurld and foreignfilms, but like many other people here, I have too much backlogs and other commitments, on top of administrating the forum ... BUT BUT BUT, I will try my best ... ha ha ha

Re: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Postby trevor826 » Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:10 am

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Directed by Ang Lee

Starring Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway

A tragic love story about two people who can only steal precious moments with each other while leading ordinary lives, married with children. The major difference in this tale of illicit love is that the two people are both men.

The first thing that hit me on seeing the two principals was that it was obvious who would start the relationship, Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a slut, his nonchalant slouch speaking volumes. Sure enough on a night of temperamental weather, he instigates the relationship with Ennis (Heath Ledger), a relationship that will dominate the rest of their lives.

Both men sign on to take care of a flock of sheep in some of the most photogenic landscapes Ive seen in an American film. Taking it in turns to play husband and wife, one caring after the sheep, the other ensuring there are enough provisions, cooking the food etc. Slowly but surely they are drawn together despite Enniss statement of I aint no queer. At the end of the season they both head their separate ways, Jack returning home to help his father, Ennis to join his betrothed.

Ennis marries and has children, seemingly happy with his lot in life until four years later when he receives a postcard from Jack, they meet and straight away the love they had resurfaces and they head off on a supposed fishing trip together.

From then on these trips take priority over everything else, wives, children, work until tragedy strikes, leaving one of them pretty much alone in the world having virtually lost everyone he cared about.

History tells us that a great many gay men and women hid their sexuality and led what we consider normal lives while often having relationships with the same sex outside of their marriages. Being gay has until recently had a stigma attached to it, indeed there are still professions that find it intolerable, where being openly gay could lead to serious physical abuse and/or ruination.

The sex scenes within the film are negligible, most passion shown through heavy kissing and hugging, the acting is excellent and its nice to see Anne Hathaway doing something different from the normal disposable fluffy roles shes known for.

What did I like, the scenery at Brokeback Mountain, absolutely stunning. The acting, convincing all round. The story, had more than a ring of truth to it.

What didnt I like, the music, sorry but I cant abide Country and Western music. Anne Hathaways blonde wig, right for the film period wise but butt ugly, also Jake Gyllenhaals moustache, all I could think of was The Village People when I saw it.

Would I recommend it? Hell Yeah, Im sure some gay people might not feel it goes far enough sexually but it should attract a good mainstream audience which an overtly sexual film wouldn't.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC rated 15.

Re: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Postby wpqx » Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:21 am

I think the moustache worked. And that was the hip thing for questionably gay guys, having a moustache in the late seventies/early 80's. Besides, could you expect them to have the same look for 20 years, plus look at the evolution of the sideburns.

Anne Hathaway arguably has the prettiest eyes in movies, but yes that wig was hideous. For a much more "natural" looking Hathaway, I'd recommend Havoc, certainly a much more sexually charged role. As for the instigator of the relationship here, I'm not surprised either. From the outset Jack was the wild talkative one, so not surprising on that end. Hearing so much about Heath Ledger's performance, I'm actually a little sorry for Jake Gyllenhaal who's probably never been better, and may never be better.


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