Brokeback Mountain : Movie Review

Back in the 1970s, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings scored big with their cautionary tune "Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys," and its lyrical refrain, "They'll never stay home and they're always alone, even with someone they love." That certainly describes the lovers at the heart of Ang Lee's moving romance, Brokeback Mountain. The drama has gotten a lot of press because it is a gay cowboy story, but the ink it deserves is as one of the finest films of the year, a heartbreaking tale of the price paid for keeping desire and one's true nature a secret.

Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) meet when they are hired to tend sheep on Brokeback Mountain during the summer of 1963. Ennis is the archetype of the American cowboy, stoic and taciturn. Jack, who dreams of becoming a bronco-busting rodeo star, is loquacious, cheerful, and open. One thing leads to another between these young men of such opposite temperaments and a summer romance blossoms in the isolation of their mountainside campsite. When the summer ends, they return to their separate lives, with Ennis in particular anxious to marry fiancée Alma (Michelle Williams). Jack, too, eventually settles down to life with Lureen (Anne Hathaway, finally leaving The Princess Diaries behind) and even manages to raise his station in life by marrying into her well-off family. Brokeback Mountain becomes a memory—until Jack roils the waters by contacting Ennis.

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Author : Pam Grady