Director: Ang Lee
Writers: Annie Proulx, Larry McCurtry, Dianna Ossana
Staring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams
Streaming: Peacock
Release Date: January 13, 2006

Brokeback Mountain is one of the best romantic movies I have ever seen and its romantic partners have some of the best on screen chemistry I have seen in any movie. Brokeback Mountain one of the best movies I have ever watched. It is wrenchingly sad and real. The story is propulsive while draining and weary. Ang Lee paces the movie out like a perfect marathon runner and ensures to you that the views along the way make you want to stop and stare.

Heath Ledger, what a performance. Playing the part of Ennis Del Mar, he attacks the part with a ferocity that is grueling. It is like he is carrying all the weight of the world upon his shoulders while climbing up a mountain, and in those moments where he can go downhill and get momentum, it is a cannonball of emotion.

Jack Gyllenhaal’s growth as Jack Twist was in the shadows, but the confidence that the character builds up is matched by the frustration of him not getting his desires. He knows what he wants, he is confident in what he wants, but it just can’t happen. Everyone knows the line “I wish I knew how to quit you,” but in the context of the movie, it’s woeful depth is even more.

We can not forget that amazing supporting performance of Michelle Williams as Alma, the wife of Del Mar. Her acting after she sees Twist and Del Mar kiss is hard to watch, and that is the way it was meant to be. Her holding in the pain, shouldering a burden she can’t bring herself to talk about, just like her husband, is making me emotional now thinking about it.

Looking at the 2016 Academy Awards, I admit that I have not seen every movie nominated. However, of the categories where Brokeback Mountain was nominated, there are some winners I just can’t agree with. For example, I think Gyllenhaal deserved to win for Best Supporting Actor. He was better than George Clooney in Syriana (2005). I have not seen Capote (2015) so I can not speak to Philip Seymour Hoffman for Best Actor.

The one thing I know every movie person agrees on is that Crash (2005) should not have won Best Picture.

For the record, don’t watch this movie on public transit. I watched the ending of this movie on the train on the way to work and I was wiping away the tears from the eyes and trying not to appear like I was sobbing.

STANKO RATING: A+ (5.0/5 Stars)


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