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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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02/04/2006 Archived Entry: "Movie review: Brokeback Mountain"

Brokeback Mountain
Directed by Ang Lee

Reviewed by Lene Taylor

I know, you're all wondering why I haven't reviewed this movie sooner. Cowboys, hot gay sex, handsome men with impenetrable accents, angst, gorgeous scenery - it doesn't get much better than that, does it?

I admit, I'm a sucker for gay westerns, and I wanted to see the movie as soon as I heard about it. But I also wanted to wait and see it in the company of an actual gay man, just to make sure I got everything there was to be gotten. The final score (from both of us, me and my friend): a good movie, but not a great one. Neither of us cried, although we agreed that the ending was very sad and emotionally touching. But I felt like the director, Ang Lee, was keeping me at arm's length throughout the movie and I never got caught up in the way I am in, say, The Wizard of Oz. (I mean that.)

I'm not going to rehash everything you've already read in 8000 other reviews, except for two things: the "reunion kiss" between Ennis and Jack is one of the hottest things ever; and women, as usual, have to clean up the mess made by men. Oh, I know, Ennis and Jack don't hurt their wives and mothers and daughters and girlfriends on purpose, but it's plain that by denying the truth to themselves they create a shitstorm for all the women they come into contact with. And all the women, curiously enough, seem to know that very truth. I thought the actresses in this movie (particularly Michelle Williams, as Alma, Ennis' wife) did a stellar job of portraying the pain, anger, and frustration of people dealing with a bad situation not of their making. I don't want to use the phrase "innocent bystanders", but it comes close to that.

I recently read the Annie Proulx story on which the movie is based, and I found that more emotionally involving than the movie - compact, spare, with as much written between the lines as in them. Having read it, I want to see Brokeback Mountain again. It'll be worth it again just to see that kiss. Mmm-mmm.

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