|Brokeback Mountain (HD DVD, 2007, HD-DVD/DVD Hybrid) (HD DVD, 2007)|
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|Brokeback Mountain [HD DVD], Excellent DVD, David Harbour, Anna Faris, Scott Mic|
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|Brokeback Mountain (HD DVD, 2007, HD-DVD/DVD Hybrid)|
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|Leading Role:||Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Anna Faris, Linda Cardellini|
Average review score based on 255 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
Love has no rules. It happens when we least expect it, often when we don't want it, many times when we can't handle it. It often times scares you, surprises you, shakes you down to your very core. Ennis Del Mar (a remarkable Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (an emotionally available Jake Gyllenhaal) find themselves thrown together because of a job: forced to spend many hours together alone in the wild, tending to sheep in a remote region of Wyoming....on Brokeback Mountain. They fall in love: a love that they soon realize only lives and breathes on the mountain.
It's 1963, pre American involvement in the Vietnam War, post Korean War: a time in the USA when life was simple, straightforward and the lines between the sexes and sex roles were crisply drawn and severely delineated. It was a time when men and women were pigeon-holed into unrealistic modes of behavior and anyone who ventured outside of these boundaries was thought of at best, weird at worst... perverted and in many states, criminal. Ennis himself, at an early age was witness to the ugly, disgusting results of a hate crime perpetrated on a Wyoming farmer who had lived many years with his partner. In most societies he would be venerated but in 1950's Wyoming... he became a target.
Director Ang Lee begins this film as both Ennis and Jack are waiting outside of a building, both looking for work, both down on their luck, both avoiding each other's eyes. We know, or those of us who have read the story know, what is to happen and so unfortunately we read more into that simple scene than there really is. But with all that aside, this scene of Ennis and Jack avoiding each other, dodging each others looks, staring at the ground, kicking up the dirt is nonetheless rife with sensuality and tension.
Ennis and Jack are inexorably drawn to each other through their proximity, loneliness and through a shared lack of tenderness and emotion in their lives: they are emotionally, physically and psychically bonded almost from the start. It is inevitable. It is Fate.
And so begins a Love affair that transcends social mores, time, marriages, children, extra-marital affairs and divorce.
Despite all that is going on in their lives, Ennis and Jack meet several times a year up on Brokeback mountain and rekindle and thereby re-ignite their emotional and physical attraction: there is no one around, they are free from their regular lives...they can love.
Much has been made of Heath Ledger's performance as Ennis and he gives what is without a doubt one of the finest performances of this year. Ennis is a quiet, stoic man and he is troubled and frankly scared by how deeply he feels for Jack. As he showed us first in "Monster's Ball," Ledger is capable of digging way deep down into his gut and imbuing his performances with an unflinching frankness and truth that we can neither ignore nor help to be moved by.
Gyllenhall's Jack is the younger of the two: he's fun, he's a little crazy and unfortunately he wants a lot, lot more than Ennis is able to give him. Gyllenhaal's hang-dog, frisky puppy of a performance is full of warmth and light: the kind of transcendent light that shines out from a soul full of love, understanding and acceptance.
"Brokeback Mountain" is devastating in both its presentation, its performances and its tragic denouement. This movie is not for everyone. But if you are willing to open up your heart and mind a bit to let in its beauty, emotionality and sensuality you will not be disappointed. In fa
Ennis tells Jack about something he saw as a boy. "There were two old guys shacked up together. They were the joke of the town, even though they were pretty tough old birds." One day they were found beaten to death. Ennis says: "My dad, he made sure me and my brother saw it. For all I know, he did it."
This childhood memory is always there, the ghost in the room, in Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain." When he was taught by his father to hate homosexuals, Ennis was taught to hate his own feelings. Years after he first makes love with Jack on a Wyoming mountainside, after his marriage has failed, after his world has compressed to a mobile home, the laundromat, the TV, he still feels the same pain: "Why don't you let me be? It's because of you, Jack, that I'm like this -- nothing, and nobody."
But it's not because of Jack. It's because Ennis and Jack love each other and can find no way to deal with that. "Brokeback Mountain" has been described as "a gay cowboy movie," which is a cruel simplification. It is the story of a time and place where two men are forced to deny the only great passion either one will ever feel. Their tragedy is universal. It could be about two women, or lovers from different religious or ethnic groups -- any "forbidden" love.
The movie wisely never steps back to look at the larger picture, or deliver the "message." It is specifically the story of these men, this love. It stays in closeup. That's how Jack and Ennis see it. "You know I ain't queer," Ennis tells Jack after their first night together. "Me, neither," says Jack.
Their story begins in Wyoming in 1963, when Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) are about 19 years old and get a job tending sheep on a mountainside. Ennis is a boy of so few words he can barely open his mouth to release them; he learned to be guarded and fearful long before he knew what he feared. Jack, who has done some rodeo riding, is a little more outgoing. After some days have passed on the mountain and some whiskey has been drunk, they suddenly and almost violently have sex.
"This is a one-shot thing we got going on here," Ennis says the next day. Jack agrees. But it's not. When the summer is over, they part laconically: “I guess I’ll see ya around, huh?”Their boss (Randy Quaid) tells Jack he doesn't want him back next summer: "You guys sure found a way to make the time pass up there. You weren't getting paid to let the dogs guard the sheep while you stemmed the rose."
Some years pass. Both men get married. Then Jack goes to visit Ennis in Wyoming, and the undiminished urgency of their passion stuns them. Their lives settle down into a routine, punctuated less often than Jack would like by "fishing trips." Ennis' wife, who has seen them kissing, says nothing about it for a long time. But she notices there are never any fish.
The movie is based on a short story by E. Annie Proulx. The screenplay is by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. This summer I read McMurtry's Lonesome Dove trilogy, and as I saw the movie I was reminded of Gus and Woodrow, the two cowboys who spend a lifetime together. They aren't gay; one of them is a womanizer and the other spends his whole life regretting the loss of the one woman he loved. They're straight, but just as crippled by a society that tells them how a man must behave and what he must feel.
"Brokeback Mountain" could tell its story and not necessarily be a great movie. It could be a melodrama. It could be a "gay cowboy movie."
I love this movie very much. I actually finished it a few minutes ago, so I'm writing the review while it is still fresh in my mind.
Before I begin, I would like to say that I bought it because 1.) "Brokeback Mountain" is my favorite short story of all time, 2.) I wanted to see how one of the greatest screenwriters (Larry McMurtry, "The Last Picture Show") and directors (Ang Lee, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") would adapt it to the screen and 3.)I am a Heath Ledger fan.
This is a love story that will never grow old. All of the passion, love, heartbreak, conflict and the loneliness that made the movie a masterpiece that is very much alive and well in this day and age.
Heath's performance of Ennis and Jake's portrayal of Jack were phenomenal, and should have won the Oscars(R) for their roles. All of the talent that have was used so well and passionately for this film (and yes, Michelle Williams as Alma and Anne Hathaway as Lureen did a fine job, too). The love was real and the chemistry was electrifying, which spoke for itself.
There were also so many subtle actions in the film that spoke louder than words. Moments like that stick out in my mind, especially with the irony that Ennis is alive at the end and not Jack at the end of the film, while, in real time, Heath is now dead and Jake is still alive. In this way, it is a sad moment that will linger in my mind for a long time.
Now the technical aspects of the film from the Oscar(R)-winning standpoint. The screenplay had most of the same dialogue as the short story, but also made the women a little more prominent, as well as adding in little bits and pieces that didn't detract from the story but fleshed it out a bit. Also, Gustavo's score carried on the story and highlighted the main points with subtlety accompanying the silent actions of the story. Ang Lee's control over the film showed that he wanted it to be like a real and complex love story that you would usually see with a man and woman, only that this was between two men that found each other to be special and knew how to treat each other right unlike the women that they were married to. Rodrigo's cinematography of the film showed the important "actions speak louder than words" moments, which really impressed me.
"Brokeback" is one of the best films I've ever seen, and I am glad I can watch it over and over again. Five stars.
Contrary to what many people think, this is not a "gay cowboy" movie. It happens to be much more than that. It shows the trials and emotions of an impossible love situation, and the problems with having to keep it secret.
The two lead actors, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, are superb. They seem so natural and convincing in their roles, and you come away almost believing these characters are real. Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway are superbly cast as their wives.
I was a bit sceptical about watching the film in the first place, but soon put any reservations aside. It is unusual for me to get emotional when watching a film, but I was almost in tears in places. The scenery is stunning, and adds a certain amount of romance to the story. I feel the film wouldn't have worked as well if it had been set elsewhere. The climate and weather is skillfully included in the picture, and plays a vital role in the storyline.
I believe this is one of Ang Lee's finest films. He handles the subject matter with great sensitivity. Annie Proulx should be congratulated for the origonal short story, and Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana have done an amazing job in writing it into the screenplay.
Although I did infact find that the second part of the film dragged on somewhat, and some of the speech was difficult to hear, I think overall it is one the finest films to come out of America in recent times
I just watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time last night after renting it on DVD and thought it was excellent. I was surprised by some plot twists which I hadn't heard previously, such as Ennis' wife discovering her husbands feelings for Jack when they (she and Jack) first meet. I also didn't realize that Jack is murdered in the movie. Overall, the acting was superb, especially that of Heath Ledger. It's easy to see why he was the front runner for the Oscar for so long, and actually it seems to me that he created a character from nothing whereas Philip Seymor Hoffman more or less did a good impersonation of Truman Capote (and really, what actor couldn't get mileage out of an easy person to imitate like Capote?). I think the gay theme of Brokeback scared the older Academy voters, who could vote for Best Director and Screenplay, but were fearful of rewarding the movie in the acting categories (Jake Gyllenhall, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway were exceptional) and as Best Picture. Crash was an engaging movie but far more flawed than Brokeback. The only real glitch I found in Brokeback was Ennis' sudden bravado when he first sees Jack years after their inital meeting on the mountain: Ennis is so guarded about everything he does, yet he wantonly risks being seen kissing Jack in the open at their second meeting, which of course his wife witnesses so easily from their apartment window. It would have seemed far more natural for Ennis to wait until he and Jack were alone, which they were less than an hour later. I think his lifelong fear of being discovered would have easily overrode his elation at seeing Jack again, especially when he knew they would be spending quality time alone after he introduced Jack to his wife. But overall, the movie is deeply rich in depicting the good and bad of human nature and in telling both a joyous and sad tale of two people in love who are forced to live in the shadows of society by ignorant mores of the day.