I saw Brokeback Mountain this afternoon with my good friend Stephen, part of a wonderfull day we spent together, and even though my expectations were very high the film exceeded them tenfold.
"Come on now, you're sleepin' on your feet like a horse."
I know there is a huge chorus of us praising this film (especially we big ole Internet 'Mos), but this really is a beautiful, intensely moving and very important film. You won't find a dissenting voice here.
I sort of don't know where to begin to wrap all my feelings about the film up into one neat bundle for a post. First it is a strikingly beautiful movie; the scenery is gorgeous, the sense of place in the small towns and wide open country is beautifully captured, and the two leads are charismatic and handsome without tipping over into pretty-boys in cowboy drag.
I absolutely believed in Ennis and Jack (and Alma too) as living breathing people. The performances are truly stunning. The chemistry between Jack and Ennis is astounding, and the actors really have to be lauded for fleshing out these two men so beautifully. When Jack strokes Ennis's cheek it's a gesture that's simple and believable, yet also intense and loaded with meaning for these two men who are sharing something powerful that nobody else can even begin to understand.
Jake as Jack Twist
I know I'm gushing, but I was really swept up in the film and very moved by it. I think the movie has something for everyone in it, and it really does have universal themes that most people would be able to relate to. Love, attraction, loss, missed opportunities, fear, needing and wanting to fit in. Obviously it resonates very deeply for many gay people, and seeing the 'love that dare not speak it's name' given such a sensitive and moving treatment is special. It's a beautifully made and beautifully acted movie.
Go and see it. It is more than just a "gay cowboy" movie, it's a movie about human love and human fraility.
Oh, and marvel at the physical beauty of Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack Twist. My goodness.
Michael has posted a thoughtful review over at Pipedreams. Here's a collection of photos tagged 'Brokeback' on Flickr, including lots of movie stills. The movie also has an official website.
Seen it? Care to share your thoughts?