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Twoyoungmen, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, meet when they get a job as sheep herders on BrokebackMountain. They are at first strangers, then they become friends. Throughout the weeks, they grow closer as they learn more about each other. One night, after some heavy drinking, they find a deeper connection. They then indulge in a blissful romance for the rest of the summer. Unable to deal with their feelings for each other, they part ways at the end of the summer. Four years go by, and they each settle down, Ennis in Wyoming with his wife and two girls, and Jack in Texas with his wife and son. Still longing for each other, they meet back up, and are faced with the fact that they need each other. They undeniably need each other, and unsure of what to do, they start a series of "fishing trips", in order to spend time together. The relationship struggles on for years until tragedy strikes.Written by
Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller pulled the film from his Jordan Commons entertainment complex in Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City, despite heavily advertising the film. He reneged on his obligations to show it two hours before the first scheduled showing when he learned of the homosexual content, claiming that the film represented a danger to family values. Focus Features threatened to sue, and announced that they would no longer do business with Miller. See more »
When Ennis was driving Alma Jr. home from the bar where Alma and his waitress girlfriend have met, along the path in the background, next to the Dodge Neon, is a RV or trailer car. These had not been introduced yet. See more »
He Was a Friend of Mine
Written by Bob Dylan
Produced by Larry Campbell
Performed by Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson appears courtesy of DreamWorks Records Nashville
[Played during the end titles] See more »
Six years later, it hits even harder.
I've always admired this film to a certain extent, but I think the thing that always kept me from loving it was that it never resonated with me emotionally. I would get attached while watching it, but all of those feelings would leave me fairly soon afterward. It had been about five years since I'd seen the film, and in that time I have grown up a lot, fallen in love, had my heart ripped to shreds and fallen back in love again and I think this growth personally has really opened me up to a place in my mind and heart to embrace this film more than most other screen romances that exist. Almost immediately it hit me harder than it had before and after a day since I watched it, the pain and heartache I experienced during it still remains at my core.
It's a love film told non-traditionally, but not because it's twomen, that doesn't even factor into the depiction of it. It's nontraditional because it's two people fighting against the love and it's accuracy in this is startling. How there are times where you can hate the person you love, hate so many things about them and hate that you are in love with them, but you can't give it up at all. You can't walk away from it because it's like an addiction and I think this film more than any before it captures that remarkably.
A lot of this lies in the writing, but of course the performances from Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal certainly play a key factor in capturing it. Their characters take the love in different forms, Ennis fighting himself over it and Jack fighting the world because of it, but both actors capture exactly what they need to and bring this magnetism that really sparks. Gyllenhaal's openness is beautiful, his determination to make the love work and to just exist the way he wants to, he definitely provides the emotional anchor for the film and gives a heartbreaking portrayal.
It's Ledger, of course, who steals the show though, with a kind of transcendent performance that we're treated to maybe once a decade. He becomes this character in such a vivid way that you don't even recognize the actor inside the role anymore. Gyllenhaal is Jack and hits the surface notes expertly, but you can still see Jake Gyllenhaal in there. Heath Ledger is completely gone and from the very beginning of the film we have Ennis and we have him until the very end. This character is an incredibly difficult one to take on, he could have easily been someone who was hard to like or sympathize with due to his internalizing and his refusal to fully embrace the relationship and who he is, but that's what makes it hit even harder, thanks to Ledger's brutal work.
You see the pain in this person living a lie in every moment we have with him, with that turned in mouth and speech pattern that always sounds like it's hurting him to let anything out because he's afraid of how people are going to react. It's a performance unlike any other out there and in the end it's one that brings me to my knees. "Jack, I swear," was always a line that floored me when I was watching it but now it's at a point where just thinking of the line and the way that Ledger delivers it brings some water to my eyes.
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