Thursday, November 30, 2006

Brokeback

I recently saw Brokeback Mountain. I need someone to explain to me how this is considered a great movie. I thought Michelle Williams was great, and Anne Hathaway was great - but the guys? I just did not buy it. And I could not understand a damn thing that Heath Ledger said.

Mainly - I did not understand where the love originated from, or why it was so important, since it looked pretty much like a convenience booty call to me.

My friend J told me that I should see it a second time to really get it, but I don't think I can deal with listening to Heath Ledger mumble for two hours again. But I am open to opinions here.

Crash, on the other hand, rightfully won the Oscar as far as I am concerned. Matt Dillon still scares the hell out of me.

6 Comments:

At 3:33 PM PST, Anonymous Leigh said...

I hated Crash. So overdone. I liked Brokeback, including the short story it's based on.

 
At 4:00 AM PST, Anonymous weboy said...

...and perhaps I should have known - I agree with Leigh. :)

I appreciate your frustration with Brokeback, especially with Heath. I remember the first time I saw The Women and everyone seemed to be speaking so fast I lost the first 10-20 minutes of the film; actors make these choices (Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hudsucker Proxy, too) and when they err on the side of being incomprehensible it can be annoying.

Two things - You might, as Leigh said, try the short story/novella by Annie Proulx; it's so beautifully spare and it will explain their motivations more clearly.

The Second is that I'd love to take a try at explaining - it's really just a conventional love story - Jack Twist falls in love with Ennis at first sight, but Ennis, who is more closed off, doesn't fully understand the feelings he has. So what appears at first to be simply a matter of convenience, turns into a long term affair when Ennis gets the chance to have Jack back in his life. But Ennis' fears of society's prejudices keeps him from going all the way, and Jack puts up with what little he can get, which leads to that heartbreaking (to me) sequence where Jack admits going "to Mexico" and reminds Ennis that he needs something he "don't hardly get" (which isn't just physical).

After Jack dies (and Ennis, who fears the worst, believes it was murder, but we have no way of knowing, really), Ennis finally goes to Jack's parent's place and realizes that In Jack's quiet, isolated life, he (Ennis) was everything (that shirt of his, which Jack kept).

Maybe I'm just a sucker for Hollywood romances, but it spoke to me. The film is very lean and spare - I think Ang Lee may be one of the greatest filmmakers ever - but it yields up so much. The film is about how this affair - the course of true love - can damage so many things when it is closed off from its full expression. The women's lives are wrecked. Jack may have been killed for an affair. And Ennis winds up small, sad, and alone. That, I think, is why gay men found it so transcendant - because it explains the necessity of coming out.

As for Crash, I know a lot of people love it - I found it unsubtle and simplistic. I think the white people I know are better, more complex people than the easy stereotypes portrayed there; and I think the police in LA are not like police elsewhere, and it colors how writers and directors (especially liberal ones) out there present cop issues. I don't think things are as hopeles racially as the film does, or that white people need to feel so damn guilty. And I don't think I've seen a worse performance from Ryan Phillippe (except, possibly as a husband). :)

 
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