Review: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain

To say that Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain is just a gay cowboy movie would be giving it the short end of the stick. It is captivating, touching and an amazingly excellent picture and those reasons alone should silence the childish snickering.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal star as Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist respectively. The men meet in the summer of 1963 when they are hired to be sheepherders on Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming. They spend two weeks on the trail and instantly develop a connection then a sexual relationship. They then separate for fours years and move on with their lives. They both marry and have children; Del Mar to Alma (Michelle Williams) and Twist to Lureen (Anne Hathaway). But even after their initial separation neither man can forget the time they spent on Brokeback Mountain. The remainder of the film follows the men as their lives and relationship continue to evolve.

This is a film that will remain with you long after it is over. The performances in this film are completely mesmerizing. Heath Ledger delivers beyond the most powerful screen performance of recent memory. But what got me the most was story. Whether you agree with it or not, Brokeback Mountain is a love story. It is a bittersweet story of an impossible and unacceptable yearning that ends much too soon. No matter your opinion, see it. Brokeback Mountain will affect you.

Updated October 9, 2010

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