60/60 Extra: Brokeback Mountain.

I want to start off by saying that, although I live in Texas, I am not homophobic in any way, shape, or form. I fully support the GLBT community. The only reason it has taken me this long to see this movie is, well... I just never got around to it. That being said, let's get into the review. It's almost pointless to talk about the plot, because everybody knows what this is just by the title. Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) are two cowboys who get a job wrangling sheep on Brokeback Mountain one summer. They grow close--very close. The job ends and they move on to their normal lives, having relationships and building families. Ennis marries Alma (Michelle Williams), and Jack hooks up with Lureen (Anne Hathaway). But their relationship with each other rekindles, though it slowly destroys both their lives.

I know this film won 3 Oscars (including adapted screenplay, as it was adapted from a short story) and was nominated for more. But... I just couldn't get into it. I didn't find it all that interesting. Now, the idea behind it is interesting--two guys share a romance that tears apart their personal lives during a time when such relationships are forbidden. There's room for great conflict, great drama, and great character development. But I wonder if the fact it came from a short story and was turned into a 2+ hour movie is a bit telling. I don't think there was enough plot to stretch it into such a long movie. Because of this, I was mostly just bored.

What saved the movie was the acting from the two leads. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are fantastic. Ledger, though, was the standout to me between the two, which makes it even sadder to me that he's gone. I didn't care for the female leads, though. Michelle Williams seemed awkward and forced, like she wasn't quite sure she knew what she was doing. And Anne Hathaway almost felt out of place. Apparently Anna Faris was in this movie, too, but I must have blinked, because when her name came up in the credits at the end, I did a double-take.

Overall, I appreciate what this movie did for the GLBT community, and I really liked the two male performances. However, it could have been trimmed down, as I mostly just found it rather dull. I mostly blame me not caring for Ang Lee, though. This is the fourth film of his I've seen, and only one of those four I didn't find particularly dry--which is funny, considering it was the one based on a Jane Austen novel. (Crouching Tiger was good, but rather slow at times itself. Don't even get me started on Hulk.) So I'll just leave it at that.

Stop Saying OK! OK.


  1. I love this movie a ton. Ang Lee is a great dramatic director. You should check out THE ICE STORM and LUST, CAUTION if you get the chance. Yes they're generally slow burn films, but so good.

    PS. I find it odd that a lot of people when talking about movies like this they always have to defend their sexuality and their perception of others'. Odd... I would sense that it would come out in the response and tone of said response to the film or any film like it.

  2. I'm not defending my sexuality. I didn't feel as if watching this movie made me one way or the other. I just didn't want some Anon asshole to come and tell me I didn't like this because I hate gay people, which isn't true.

  3. Yeah, I get that. There is an entire group of people who will hate this movie strictly based on the homosexuality and on nothing else. It does feel like you need to justify why you don't like something with this sort of message.

  4. Fine review Nick :)
    I quite like this movie. It's a bit slow but I still could enjoy it without fast-forwarding it (and i am known for fast-forwarding slow movies). It was amazing to see such devotion in doing their role.

    It is a sad thing if people hate the movie because of the sexuality issue.

  5. I'm in total agreement with you, Nick. By the time I got around to it (maybe a year after the Oscars) it had been far too overhyped to live up to any expectations. The production values, acting and core story are very good, but it does drag on too long.

    Though I disagree about Williams: I thought she was great. But Hathaway was truly awful out of the main quartet.

    And I agree with Andrew: see The Ice Storm. Loved it!


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