For many days now I have lingered on this film. I recently rented it off of Netflix, and I was stunned by how much it moved me. For the longest time I avoided seeing this film, because I was afraid of how I would feel about it. Not for it's subject matter, I have sat through and enjoyed many gay themed films. I feared more that this was just another over-hyped oscar winning dissapointment, Like so many other oscar winners over the past few decades. Personally I was deeply moved by this film. There are very many lessons to be learned from Brokeback Mountain. Not necessarily about homosexuality, but about the nature of love itself. Brokeback Mountain makes you realize how powerful a force like love is. It can create such beauty and passion. Yet at the same time destroy lives with the intensity of a furious hurricane. The main thing I liked about the picture, is that it doesn't take sides. Every character in this film is a victim. Jack and Ennis are both lonely and miserable, while Alma and Lureen have to suffer through infidelity and loveless marriages. They could have easily turned this film into a mockery of itself, although people make fun of it anyway, it never made a wrong turn for me.
The performances are revolutionary. I really agree with people who put Heath Ledger's performance up there with Brando. He completly embodied Ennis Del Mar, the way Charlize Theron embodied Aileen Wurnos in "Monster. The moment where he breaks down in the alleyway after Jack left just really tears you up. Saying that, I have to say as great as Jake Gyllenhaal was in this film, I did think he was bit overshadowed by Ledger. But I really loved the way that you could guess what he was feeling just from his facial expressions. One scene that comes to mind, is the one where he is dancing with Lureen and you can see this sadness in his eyes as he turns away from her, like he is pining for something pining for Ennis.
Michelle Williams is an incredible actress, I've seen her in Wendy and Lucy and Synechdoche,NY, and it amazes me that she hasn't gotten more recognition then she's already recieved, the moment when she see's Ennis from the porch she shows such a genuine reaction.This was also a huge breakout movie for Anne Hathaway, who before had only been known for playing disney princesses.
Out of all the films Ang Lee has directed this is probably my favorite of his, or at least tied with The Ice Storm. It amazes me how versatile he continues to be from doing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to Sense & Sensibility. I recently heard that he was set to do the Film adaptation of "Life of Pi" and if it is anywhere as good as this adaptation of Annie Proulx's story(which is worth a look) then I will be eternally grateful.