Saturday, February 18, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

It's hard to imagine that I could write anything about this movie that hasn't already been written.

Is the hype true? Mostly. Is the movie worth seeing? Definitely. Will it break your heart? Oh, yeah.

Everything is perfect about this movie, from the set-up, to the scenery, to the acting. The epic quality is something we rarely see, especially in relationships. It seems most movies these days just give us a taste. A taste of this relationship is pretty much all Jack and Ennis get through 20 years of wondering when they'll go "fishing" one more time. And why is that? Because life, and the world, is complicated. And that's just the way it is.

One surprise here is Randy Quaid, who plays their trail boss, the guy with the sourpuss in the trailer. I'm so glad Randy has stopped playing a parody of himself. That got so tiring. The man is a stellar talent when he wants to be, when he's given the chance, and this small role offers that to him.

Another surprise is Anne Hathaway. You might hear volumes about Michelle Williams -- and, oh, yes, she's very good -- but Hathaway targets and hits the Texas housewife in so many true ways, from the blonde hair to the vacant stare as she ages.

A lot of gay friends have urged me to see the film. I'm probably one of the last to see it, although the only thing that kept me away was lack of time. I see why the movie affects them so deeply, as it's a testimony for how hard it is, living this life. Especially in 1968.

I'll end by saying that Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal have found the roles of a lifetime even though they're very young in their acting careers. To think that Ledger, the slow-talking word-slurring American cowboy, is really Australian is mind-boggling. Both he and Jake have taken radically different roles right before or after -- perhaps to get away from type-casting? More likely, from the jokes. Thankfully, the world is recognizing this movie, and their acting, as a solid, haunting legacy. Let's just hope their careers can keep ahead of the inevitable Brokeback jokes.

Thumb's up for one of the best movies of 2005.


At 5:56 AM, Blogger catattack said...

This from John: "Linda, I couldn't agree with you less. Two whiney gay cowboys in heat. Unrequited love as a topic for a story? Now, there's a breakthrough. At least they had their fishing trips. That's more than a lot of people get out of life. Too bad that it was set in the 60's. Otherwise, through computer dating, they could have been matched up with one of the sheep and probably lived happily ever after. It was grueling."


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