Brokeback Mountain [Blu-ray]
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A sad, melancholy ache pervades Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee's haunting, moving film that, like his other movies, explores societal constraints and the passions that lurk underneath. This time, however, instead of taking on ancient China, 19th-century England, or '70s suburbia, Lee uses the tableau of the American West in the early '60s to show how two lovers are bound by their expected roles, how they rebel against them, and the repercussions for each of doing so--but the romance here is between two men. Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) are two itinerant ranchers looking for work in Wyoming when they meet and embark on a summer sheepherding job in the shadow of titular Brokeback Mountain. The taciturn Ennis, uncommunicative in the extreme, finds himself opening up around the gregarious Jack, and the two form a bond that surprisingly catches fire one cold night out in the wilderness. Separating at the end of the summer, each goes on to marry and have children, but a reunion years later proves that, if anything, their passion for each other has grown significantly. And while Jack harbors dreams of a life together, the tight-lipped Ennis is unable to bring himself to even consider something so revolutionary.
Its open, unforced depiction of love between two men made Brokeback an instant cultural touchstone, for both good and bad, as it was tagged derisively as the "gay cowboy movie," but also heralded as a breakthrough for mainstream cinema. Amidst all the hoopla of various agendas, though, was a quiet, heartbreaking love story that was both of its time and universal--it was the quintessential tale of star-crossed lovers, but grounded in an ever-changing America that promised both hope and despair. Adapted by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana from Annie Proulx's short story, the movie echoes the sparse bleakness of McMurtry's The Last Picture Show with its fading of the once-glorious West; but with Lee at the helm, it also resembles The Ice Storm, as it showed the ripple effects of a singular event over a number of people. As always, Lee's work with actors is unparalleled, as he elicits graceful, nuanced performances from Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway as the wives affected overtly and subliminally by their husbands' affair, and Gyllenhaal brings surprising dimensions to a character that could have easily just been a puppy dog of a boy. It's Ledger, however, who's the breakthrough in the film, and his portrait of an emotionally repressed man both undone and liberated by his feelings is mesmerizing and devastating. Spare in style but rich with emotion, Brokeback Mountain earns its place as a classic modern love story. --Mark Englehart
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Top Customer Reviews
I've seen many love stories, both gay and straight, but this one had a tremendous affect on me. It stuck with me for several days and still has now, months after seeing it.
Jake Gyllenhaal, and Heath Ledger both deliver career defining performances, worthy of an Oscar ( though the Academy felt diferent in the end)
Brokeback Mountain is a true love story, that touches your heart.
My only advice when watching it, leave any pre-conceived notions aside and let the film wash over you.
Trust me....you won't be disappointed.
I didn't expect it to be so moving--it's a fair bit removed from my own life. But, as you've doubtless heard, via the sublime acting by the leads and supports, the evocative musical score, the gorgeous cinematography, and the subtle, masterful direction of Ang Lee, I'd be suprised if a viewer *doesn't* have some sort of response. You'd have to be particularly heartless, or, more realistically, be an action junkie.
Because make no mistake--while this is a film crafted to near perfection, perhaps the finest film of the 21st century, the decade, whatever, it is all nuance, consideration, and weight. It's a film to be absorbed, rather than consumed like more typical, popular cinematic fare that satisfies but feels more like empty calories by the end.
If you're willing to be challenged and engrossed, there is no better film. People may shy away from the movie's seemingly controversial subject matter, but those are perhaps the ones who most need to see this. There is no agenda in this movie to forcibly change anyone's hearts and minds. However, it does strive to broaden our horizons, offering a slice of understanding about the universal sadness of loneliness and regret that no one truly deserves.
But all the other conclusions are strictly left to you.
Brokeback mountain is well-casted, beautifully acted and amazingly subtle. Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams and the entire cast provide breathtaking performances. This is a movie that stays with you for hours, days, and even weeks after you see it. Although it is popularly referred to as 'the gay cowboy movie', this picture transcends sexual orientation and has a widely universal undercurrent; one that makes it a story of love, passion, and loss.
I encourage everyone who is interested in a great love story, fine acting and breathtaking cinematography to see this film, it is more than worth it!
However, in the hype surrounding the film, those interested would be wise to look at the book. There is much more depth here than in the film, much more about the interior workings of the main characters and what they must endure. This is ultimately not a love story, as the marketing has been spinning the film, but rather an expose on the dangers and drawbacks of living in the closet. For the purposes of this story, Annie Proulx has juxtaposed two diametrically opposite cultures in the American psyche - the gay culture and the cowboy culture (although history is, as it often is, in fact rather different from what the Hollywood-created current remembrance of it is). One comes to wonder at the resistance that all characters seem to have for breaking free of their bonds; ultimately, none of the relationships are satisfying, and there is an emotional desolation as wide and spare as brush land and prairies of the American West.
The lead characters meet while working for the summer as wranglers and watchers over herds. They form a bond that renews at regular intervals during their lives, lives that go on to other, more traditional and socially acceptable settings. Each gets married, each has children, each embarks (in one way or another) in a working life that would seem to preclude the other, but yet the tie that binds them draws them together again on a regular basis.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Because societal convention dictates what is "appropriate behaviour", the screen is littered with wounded and damaged characters.Published 11 months ago by Sandra
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN  [Blu-ray] [US Import] The Perfect Hi-Definition Movie Experience! Love Is A Force Of Nature! Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
I saw "Brokeback Mountain" in the theatre, here in the Abitibi (of Québec) when it first came out. The film repulsed me and I found it very distasteful. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2013 by Gerald Parker
Heart wrenching tale, but awesome!! I highly recommend to everyone!! Should be required viewing to "open the mind"-and the heart.Published on Oct. 31 2013 by elaine
Easily one of the best films I've seen in a decade or more. It may not be to all tastes but there is no question that Brokeback Mountain is that rare thing, a true cinematic... Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2013 by Adirondack