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Brokeback Mountain (2005)
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Review Date: December 19, 2005
Director: Ang Lee
Writer: Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana
Producers: Dianna Ossana, James Shamus
Actors:
Heath Ledger as Ennis
Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack
Anne Hathaway as Lureen
Plot:
The year is 1963 and two young men are hired to tend to some sheep up in Brokeback Mountain. Over the summer, the men get a little closer, to the point that they’re naked, making out and doing all kinds of cool gay stuff to each other. When the season ends, both men return home and ultimately marry ladies and have kids. But, over the years, they don’t forget each other and hook up every now and again for some man-love. What ensues is a western romance involving two men, a mountain, sheep and cowboy stuff!!
Critique:
It’s not every day that Hollywood drops a movie into the mainstream featuring two gay cowboys played by two “name actors”, but with director Ang Lee behind the project, it was only a matter of time and the time, apparently…is now! So how is the film? Well, it’s a little too long for one. It also moves pretty slowly, a lot like OPEN RANGE did a couple of years ago. Then again, I loved OPEN RANGE! I actually didn’t really mind this film’s pace either, but it’s important to note for anyone who thinks this might be a “ride ‘em rodeo” on wheels. Ultimately, a film such as this relies on its story and characters, and in that respect, it delivers with two interesting lead characters grappling with a number of obstacles over their lifetime, including their secret homosexual-ness, but also a bunch of “regular” things like crappy father-in-laws, debts, work and managing marriages with kids in tow. You see, this isn’t simply a “gay cowboy movie” (although, believe you me, there’s plenty of that too), but a love story about two people who just can’t seem to connect, despite an obvious connection between them. I think we’ve all had that in our own lives, no matter what sex we appreciate more than the other. Another cool thing about this film was that it didn’t make these men-loving men the “stereotypical” over-the-top effeminate gay type, but rather simply…all-out cowboys who just happen to enjoy the company of men as opposed to the ladies (there’s nothing wrong with that!).

In fact, as cowboys, I found myself connecting and interested in their lives as they drank like fish, smoked like Marlboro Men, fought like drunk smokers and ranched like the cowmen ranchers that they were! I’m a wuss when it comes to the outdoors, but I’ve always respected the lives of real cowboys, and along with the gorgeous settings in this film (go Canada!), its essence was idyllically presented by Lee. But other than its runtime and the fact that Ledger mumbled a little too much for my taste (dude, I didn’t understand the film’s last line!!), I also didn’t connect entirely to the love story, despite it being reproduced so well, with a touch of emotion near the end, but mostly a distance – like I was watching the whole thing as a documentary. That said, I don’t think too many people watching this film can honestly say that they weren’t hanging by the edge of their seats waiting for these two great looking actors to jump all over each other and make out like the gay cowboys that they are in this movie…I know I was! (and make out they do…and do…and do). I think some of the “distance” that I felt had to do with the whole point of the film, which was a certain brand of incomplete love, but personally, I need to feel for characters like this – in fact, I want to get into their skin and cry like the man-child that I am, when the shit goes down. With this film, I felt a little tender here and there, but nothing truly grappled me by the heartstrings.

That’s not to take anything away from either actor, who both present fine performances here, particularly Ledger who (despite the mumbling) really builds a rock-of-a-man character who apparently can’t commit to anything or anyone, whether man, woman or anything else – typical man, right? The film also offers a handful of memorable scenes including one featuring Gyllenhaal, his awesome 80s mustache and a Thanksgiving dinner. A wonderfully presented awkward family moment. Ultimately, I enjoyed much of what the film had to offer as it was pretty to look at, presented a couple of solid characters with interesting lives over a period of two decades and I definitely appreciated the “twist” on the more typical western romance. Oh, and if you’re homophobic (or you just don’t want to admit that you’re gay just yet), stay tuned past the film’s man-on-man action as the two lovely actresses in the movie, Anne Hathaway and Ledger’s real-life love Michelle Williams, also present us with their nakedness. That’s right…the film has a little bit for everybody!
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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3:27PM on 12/08/2006
what the hell is wrong with you people how can you say you like a movie with a full gay buttsecks scene?
what the hell is wrong with you people how can you say you like a movie with a full gay buttsecks scene?
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3:26PM on 12/08/2006
what the hell is wrong with you people how can you say you like a movie with a full gay buttsecks scene?
what the hell is wrong with you people how can you say you like a movie with a full gay buttsecks scene?
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8:31PM on 08/10/2006

Good

A very well-made film with some great performances.
A very well-made film with some great performances.
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3:58AM on 04/15/2006
I had absolutely no plans of seeing this film, but tonight I broke down and watched it. All I gotta say is...nicely done. It's visual stunning, and the acting in this film is second to none, particularly from Heath Ledger. I've heard many people compare his performance here to the great Marlon Brando, and I certainly won't argue with that. Gyllenhaal was equally impressive, and the two actors had solid chemistry. I found myself involved in their lives, and that in itself was something I did not
I had absolutely no plans of seeing this film, but tonight I broke down and watched it. All I gotta say is...nicely done. It's visual stunning, and the acting in this film is second to none, particularly from Heath Ledger. I've heard many people compare his performance here to the great Marlon Brando, and I certainly won't argue with that. Gyllenhaal was equally impressive, and the two actors had solid chemistry. I found myself involved in their lives, and that in itself was something I did not expect. I could've done without all the make-out stuff, but I definitely appreciated their relationship, as well as the sacrifices each character had to make, and the emotional challenges that come with making those sacrifices.

As glad as I am to have witnessed Anne Hathaway's "children", and as glad as I am to see her finally shedding that "teenybopper" thing she's had going on, I'll admit, she didn't do much for me here. I did get a kick out of the "Thanksgiving dinner" scene with her family. Classic! Michelle Williams, on the other hand, really surprised me, but could have done with more development as well. The movie does run a tad too long, but the overall experience was much different than I expected it to be.
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2:53PM on 01/26/2006

Brilliant- Oscar Bound

The reason I went to this movie was actually cause of all the critics hype about how great it was, and do you know what I think of all there hype, its absolutley right. This is a great movie, its just a tragedy that the majority of this country is so homophobic, they can't get past the idea of two guys who fall in love.

This is a real great love story, cause this movie doesnt really focus on the idea of homosexuality, which there are some scenes of it, but at the heart is a story of love,
The reason I went to this movie was actually cause of all the critics hype about how great it was, and do you know what I think of all there hype, its absolutley right. This is a great movie, its just a tragedy that the majority of this country is so homophobic, they can't get past the idea of two guys who fall in love.

This is a real great love story, cause this movie doesnt really focus on the idea of homosexuality, which there are some scenes of it, but at the heart is a story of love, and the harsh reality that in life you have to sacrafice what you true want, because the world doesnt find acceptable.

Ang Lee, you know how to visually present a movie. I could just watch this movie with no sound and still enjoy the beauty of it. I havent seen such breath taking filming since the last samurai.

Closing comments, this movie will probably win best picture along with many of the major awards, and i would have no problem with that, cause this movie has everything Best Picture really means.
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7:53AM on 01/25/2006
I wasn't too concerned about the so-called gay themes when I went to watch this movie. I basically went to see the flick because of all the critical acclaims that have followed it whereever it goes and the fact that it'll probably be the Best Picture winner at the Oscars. I just don't see the appeal of it.

I'll give it one thing - it's beautifully shot. Ang Lee knows where to put a camera (and I'm not talking about the love scenes) as he frames not only the mountains and other scenery,
I wasn't too concerned about the so-called gay themes when I went to watch this movie. I basically went to see the flick because of all the critical acclaims that have followed it whereever it goes and the fact that it'll probably be the Best Picture winner at the Oscars. I just don't see the appeal of it.

I'll give it one thing - it's beautifully shot. Ang Lee knows where to put a camera (and I'm not talking about the love scenes) as he frames not only the mountains and other scenery, but his character as well. There's a really cool shot of Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams with fireworks blasting in the night sky behind them.

But the story, that being the love story between two cowboys was just hard to believe. I didn't have a problem with the gay aspect, I just didn't buy that one of them was in love some of the time. Jake Gyllenhaal's character of Jack Twist seemed to be looking for any piece of ass. In a bar after a rodeo, Mexico, another guy towards the end of the flick. Yes, Ledger's character, Ennis, was the main focus of his affection - but he seemed to be looking elsewhere also. Not much love there.

I think the heart of the story is more on how their lives are affected by their secret lives. That was the only time I was mildly interested in what was going on - Michelle Williams gives a good performance as one of the wives who discovers her husband doesn't love her as much as he says he does. There's a couple of good scenes between her and Ledger as their marriage fails and a confrontation after their divorce. While Anne Hathaway falls flat as Jack's wife, she does offer a little more for a second or two during a love scene - very nice.

The movie really falls into a lull towards the end as it gets a bit redundant. The two meet up, go back to their depressed humdrum lives, and meet again. The bookends really didn't tug at my heartstrings either. The beginning is slow with little to look forward to; I'll mention that the love scenes between the two main characters was a little tense and awkward - but I guess it's supposed to come off that way. And the ending was just about one of the characters, and a little predictable to a certain point. Overall, a well crafted movie - but if all the appeal is in the love story between two men, I didn't go for it.
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1:42PM on 01/24/2006

brokeback mountain

Okay, so i first heard about Brokeback Mounatin on the .v show Eaber and Roeper. It was on their top 10 list of movies and i was pretty intrigued. Not only because i was already in love with Jake but because everyone seemed so impressed with the movie. Unfortunately, at the time, the movie was not playing in any movie theaters near my house. But as the golden globe nominations were announced it started playing in more theaters. I was so excited i went to see it right away. Walking into the
Okay, so i first heard about Brokeback Mounatin on the .v show Eaber and Roeper. It was on their top 10 list of movies and i was pretty intrigued. Not only because i was already in love with Jake but because everyone seemed so impressed with the movie. Unfortunately, at the time, the movie was not playing in any movie theaters near my house. But as the golden globe nominations were announced it started playing in more theaters. I was so excited i went to see it right away. Walking into the theater i guess i expected to see a bunch of other girls my age going to see Heath and jake make out. But to my suprise there were all sorts of people, i saw 70 yr old couple, obviously gay couples, and of course teenagers. But jsut as i was suprised to be overwhelmed by the movie, instead of in dreamland, so were the other groups of people in the theater. I was amazed of how they showed emotions. I felt everything they felt. Heath, was of course, amazing, although i agree that his mumbling at some points were very irratating. Aside from that, he was great. His very "manly" character was usualy sad and very quiet. But when Ennis and Jack first reunite he glowed ... he was smiling and jumpy and you could just see the happiness. I was almost in tears. This movie was one of the bet movies i've ever seen and i feel attached to it. I Found myself yelling at people who called them "gay".. they aren't gay, they've fallen in love. The story made me wonder if i could ever love someone like that. It's jsut a work of art. And the score was so emotional even as i listen to it now i can see their faces ... i'm so amazed.
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10:37AM on 01/10/2006

I fought the cowboy and the cowboy won!

I wasn't interested in watching 2 men make out with each other either (Just doesn't do it for me) but the film interested me nonetheless so I checked it out.

What I found was a beautifully/artsy shot, wonderfully acted, often circumstancially funny (Gyllenhal rocked and so did his moustache), thought provoking and at times quite sad effort. If Oscar doesn't knock on Heath Ledger's door this year for his spectacular "Brando-ish" performance, than the industry is truly not fair. He owns this
I wasn't interested in watching 2 men make out with each other either (Just doesn't do it for me) but the film interested me nonetheless so I checked it out.

What I found was a beautifully/artsy shot, wonderfully acted, often circumstancially funny (Gyllenhal rocked and so did his moustache), thought provoking and at times quite sad effort. If Oscar doesn't knock on Heath Ledger's door this year for his spectacular "Brando-ish" performance, than the industry is truly not fair. He owns this film! I have an all new respect for the man as an actor.

My sole complaint is that I saw it more as a "lust story" than a "love story". I didn't feel that the affection/complicity between the two cow pokes was established strongly enough from the get go, hence I had trouble buying that these two lads would risk everything just to see each other as the film clocked forward. But that's just me!

Even with its minor shortcoming, the flick is still worth a smack on the ass though as it covered most of its bases firmly with talent and class. What about men kissing? How did my hetero ass deal with that stuff? Well it didn't turn me on and yes it took some getting used to, but no biggie. So you gonna break this cowboy's back while on top of his mountain or tell him to skip town? Your move partners!
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