My thoughts on Brokeback

While Shakespeare's Sister and Paul the Spud were out enjoying 24 hours of the worst movies ever, I took Sio and two of her friends to see a good movie, Brokeback Mountain (now Nun Approved(tm)!)

I'm a notorious movie crier. My all-time record for crying at a movie was during In America - I started crying about 3-4 minutes into the movie and I never stopped. I even cried during Groundhog Day, people.

That being the case, I expected to be sobbing buckets during Brokeback Mountain. But I didn't. I did get choked up - when Ennis and Jack parted after their summer on the mountain and Ennis had that horrible, puking sort of cry - it was like an old, unused engine, sputtering into life, his repressed emotions suddenly coming to the fore. But my tears waited until the end of the movie, when Ennis visits Jack's parents. The clear understanding that Jack's parents knew what kind of man Jack was, and the way they felt about it - the spitting contempt from Jack's father, the silent understanding of Jack's mother...and then the scene in the bedroom, where Ennis finds his shirt tucked inside of Jack's. That killed me.

I'm a big fan of gay movies, in general. I have to confess, it's largely because of my prurient interest in gay sex. But Brokeback, while it contains a pretty realistic sex scene, was not titillating - it was very matter of fact, and I think it's absolutely true that the whole gay aspect becomes secondary to just wanting these two human beings who clearly love each other to be together. Because they are unable to be open with their love, they end up hurting other people - their wives and children, as well as hurting themselves.

The vistas presented in the movie were beautiful - wide shots of a huge sky, a slight mist coming up as a truck winds down a road surrounded by green fields - Sio and I both said we wanted to visit Wyoming (although apparently, we really want to visit Alberta, Canada, where it was filmed.)

Performance wise, I agree with the accolades that Heath Ledger is racking up. He was restrained and repressed, and you could feel how strong a wall he had to erect to protect himself from feeling anything. Jake Gyllenhall started to shine as the movie went on, as Jack's dissatisfaction with the few brief moments he got to spend with Ennis each year began to weigh on him. Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway were both terrific as the wives of Ennis and Jack.

I had just dried my tears from the scene where Ennis visited Jack's parents when the credits rolled, playing Willie Nelson's "He Was A Friend of Mine". And then the tears started up again. Luckily, the next song to run during the credits was by Rufus Wainwright, so I dried my tears and squeed like a fangirl (which, for Rufus, I totally am).

I have one big criticism for the movie. There is a scene towards the end of the movie where Ennis says "I'm only gonna say this once", and then he proceeds to say something I couldn't understand at all. And I didn't understand what Ennis said to Linda Cardellini's character that made her respond "girls don't fall in love with fun!" (paraphrased). So Ennis was a little too mumbly. That is my only criticism.

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