BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
DECEMBER 23, 2013
“Brokeback Mountain” lives up to its expectations by being a highly homoerotic love story between two cowboys working as ranch hands for winter and the spiral that follows. Lead tremendously by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film is unforgettable because of the performances turned in between the two. Ledger plays the grisly Ennis Del Mar who is a cowboy through and through, with a growl in his voice and the main reason this love story cannot have a happy ending. Gyllenhaal then plays the more sensitive Jack Twist, whose feelings are not quite fully requited. Both men spend one winter together and on a night that gets extremely cold, they huddle together for warmth, and you can guess where that leads. When the sheep herding ends because of a cold snap, they go on with their lives, separately. Ennis gets married to Alma, played brilliantly by the talented Michelle Williams, and the two have kids together, while Jack marries professional horse rider and daughter of a wealthy farm equipment salesmen, Lureen, played by the equally exquisite Anne Hathaway. The performances brought out of the young actors by Ang Lee is completely commendable and sets this hard drama apart. I am in no way homophobic, but the film lingers on these heavy feelings too much and doesn’t explore the other relationships enough to care when things inevitably fall apart. Unfolding exactly how I presumed it would, “Brokeback Mountain” is a memorable film for many reasons, but sadly, most of those reasons are for remaining one of the only high profile homoerotic films to be released in the last decade, but which changing times ahead of us, I am sure that market will soon multiply.
December 9, 2005
by Annie Proulx
(for sexuality, nudity, language and some violence)