Monday, December 19, 2005

Saw "Brokeback Mountain" last night

It really did live up to the hype. It's devastating. It's also done without the word "gay" or "homosexual" being uttered once. I think "queer" comes up, once, early ("I ain't queer.") But then a lot of the movie is about just how much is said without words. In some ways I think it's about subverting the myth of the "strong, silent man" archetype as anything else. By the end you're aware of just how much soul crushing goes into the energy it takes to clench that jaw.

"You can't fix it, so you've got to stand it."

And there's nothing romantic about that stoicism, either. It's just awful.

It's possibly the first mainstream movie I've seen which lays out the profound damage that goes along with repressing such a fundamental part of your personhood--and not just to oneself, either. You can tamp down or even kill off your love and your longing, but you can't cherry-pick which parts of your heart will die in the process.

Also, brilliantly acted, stunningly shot--it was smart, and soulful. And sexy, very, even amid the starkness--in an adult, character-revealing way, too, I thought, het and homo scenes alike, which is very rare indeed. More of that, please, Hollywood.


Tuffy said...

Well, plus, hot boy-on-Jake-Gyllenhall-action, right?

Did you ever get around to seeing Narnia, Barbara?

belledame222 said...

I actually just saw it yeterday. I kind of liked it even though I can see how it'd be twee and silly for some people.

David Dalley said...

Great review. Hear hear to Hollywood taking a chance more often.

fastlad said...

I love that you focused on the literally (maiming) cost of that Marlboro Man stoicism, because I think Heath Ledger's performance and his characters personal disintegration are at the heart of the film.

I was horrified by the image of the old man in the ravine who’s been beaten to death and had his genitals ripped from his body. If we wonder what Ennis is running scared from, we should start there.

I loved that Jack and Ennis find each other on the Edenic mountain and then say goodbye for the first time in a depression era dustbowl, replete with tumbleweeds and the lonesome howling wind.

I think this film is about as good as movies ever get. Your review is one of the few that I've read that focuses on exactly what makes it so powerful. Well done.