Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005) [10]
Yes, I have finally seen this and after watching that piece of self-important garbage that is Crash take best picture over this, it makes me sick. Brokeback Mountain is by far the more superior film in every regard and in fact, much better than I anticipated. The film is essentially a melodrama with gay cowboys but I never said I didn’t care for melodrama. This is an achingly gorgeous film, in images as well as action. Ang Lee’s direction, while not taking many chances, is still enthralling, especially how he uses the images of the vast American frontier to frame this doomed love story. I don’t think I have seen a better first 45 minutes of an American film in quite a while. Lee simply lets the camera linger and let it capture. Nothing is forced in the acting, and the deliberate silence in which Ennis and Jack form their relationship is exceptional. Heath Ledger is great but there is something about Michelle Williams’ performance that really gets me. It almost borders on transcendence. That is the acting performance of 2005. A lot has been made of the politics of this film, but at its essence it is just a story about doomed love. That the relationship is a gay one has no consequence on the story itself, which is exquisitely told; the socio-political ramifications should have no bearing on its craft. As of right now, the best of 2005.

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