BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (15)
D: Ang Lee
Focus Features/River Road (Diana Ossana & James Schamus)
USA/Canada 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 2005
W: Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana [based on the short story by Annie Proulx]
DP: Rodrigo Prieto
Ed: Geraldine Peroni & Dylan Tichenor
Mus: Gustavo Santaolalla
PD: Judy Becker
Cos: Marit Allen
Heath Ledger (Ennis Del Mar), Jake Gyllenhaal (Jack Twist), Anne Hathaway (Lureen Newsome), Michelle Williams (Alma), Linda Cardellini (Cassie), Anna Faris (Lashawn Malone), Randy Quaid (Joe Aguirre), Graham Beckel (L. B. Newsome)
In 1963 Wyoming, two young cowboys, Ennis Del Mar & Jack Twist, form a friendship while tending to sheep on a ranch and after a night of heavy drinking, develop a sexual relationship with each other, igniting an on-off affair with each other which sees them struggle to settle into married life, hiding their repressed sexuality from their wives.
Unfairly dubbed "The Gay Western" upon it's release, it's much more deep than that...
Brokeback Mountain is a love story that transcends the bridges between sexual orientation. Had it been the story of a "traditional" straight couple it wouldn't have had the same impact for it's themes of forbidden love, lost opportunity, marital deception, loneliness and ultimately alienation.
Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are both excellent, but the film's best performance arguably belongs to Michelle Williams as Ennis' wife, absolutely heartbroken after discovering her husband and Jack in embrace. Ang Lee's direction brings tenderness, humanity and poetry to a (sadly) controversial subject. Brilliant photography captures the breathtaking majesty of the Rocky Mountain backdrops and Gustavo Santaolalla's acoustic music tells a beautiful story in itself.
Despite being the favourite to win the Best Picture Oscar for 2005, it lost out on the night to Paul Haggis' racial tension drama Crash. Perhaps Hollywood wasn't ready for a gay love story yet. At least it didn't go away empty handed, winning gongs for Best Director, Screenplay and Original Score.