Friday, April 07, 2006

Movie A Day - Brokeback Mountain (#10)

I'm not sure if I've fully digested my thoughts about Brokeback Mountain. It's hard to separate what I think from all of the hype surrounding the movie, especially the controversy it caused on Oscar night when it didn't win the coveted Best Picture trophy. In all honesty, it's a touching, luscious film, a true love story that compliments the gorgeous scenery and sparcity of dialogue. But Jewel aside, I might have to say that I liked Ride with the Devil better (please don't throw anything at me), but I can't really put my finger on why. Maybe it's because I like Tobey's brooding slightly better than Jake Gyllenhaal's, but who knows. In the end, it's kind of irrelevant anyway.

There was slight movie of the week feeling about the film, which I normally enjoy; it mainly came up in terms of how much the characters had to age, and it's hard, when they're all so young to begin with, that I didn't find it believable (Anne Hathaway's wigs, ouch). The performances were exceptional, and I remember reading an article way back in the day about Leaving Las Vegas, about how the Oscar should go to career-worthy performances, performances of a lifetime (the writer was talking about Elisabeth Shue), and I kind of think that refers to Heath Ledger in this film.

All in all, I loved Annie Proulx's short story and I loved the aching feeling throughout the film of how love tortures as much as it fulfills. And I can't help thinking that it's a groundbreaking film simply in how it approaches the idea of a love story, honest and real, without making any judgments. I think that's totally liberating, if that's okay for me to say.

But was it better than Crash? Absolutely.

Oh, and Randy Quaid? With your, um, seven or eight lines of dialogue, and one or two scenes with a horse, shut the hell up.

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