A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
2005 - Ang Lee - United States / Canada
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Brokeback Mountain is film as equally heartbreaking as it is sincere. It is one of the great love stories of American film, but it is also one of social relevance in its exploration of tolerance. Brokeback Mountain is a socially conscious film, but one that is never preachy and as a result deeply moving. There are complex layers of emotions and social environments in that the film captures a love story that is destroyed by a society of intolerance and expectations. The tragedy of the film is that the relationship is doomed because of social environment. In a society supposedly created for equality, freedom, and compassion, the film expresses the heartbreaking contradiction of a relationship that could have been together forever, but ultimately is separated and destroyed. The film captures an internal struggle of a man (Ennis) who is fighting against his own true feelings because of a self-inflicted “embarrassment” caused by a society of conformity (it is only at his own “private” brokeback mountain where his feelings are open). The film is at it’s most powerful when detailing this internal struggle against society and it is heightened by an incredible performance from Heath Ledger. It is particularly effective in the final moments of the film when Ennis realizes his deepest feelings for Jack (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), only now he is alone (as captured in the beautiful final shot- which peers out of Ennis trailer window to a lonely world). Brokeback Mountain is a collaborative masterpiece. Everyone involved, be it Ang Lee’s compassionate direction of Diana Ossana and James Schamus’ script, Rodrigo Prieto’s breathtaking John Ford-esque use of scenery and landscapes, Gustavo Santaolalla’s emotionally inspiring musical score, and the outstanding performances by the entire cast. The love story here is sadly divided amongst audiences who simply view it as a “gay cowboy movie”. In its essence Brokeback Mountain is an incredibly universal story of love, as well as our own buried feelings amongst the conformity of society. We all have our own personal “brokeback mountain” and that is what makes this such a heartbreaking film.
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