Mike Kueber's Blog

July 18, 2012

Gus and Woodrow ranging Brokeback Mountain

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 10:04 pm
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Brokeback Mountain is the controversial 2005 romantic drama that featured Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as cowboys in the 60s and 70s dealing with their bisexuality.  I saw this movie when it came out, but don’t remember it being so powerful.  The acting is superb, with Ledger receiving a Best Actor nomination and Gyllenhaal and Ledger’s screen wife Michelle Williams receiving Supporting nominations.  Gyllenhaal’s screen wife, Anne Hathaway, and her father, Graham Beckel, plus ranch boss Randy Quaid are also excellent.

In addition to being impressed by the technical quality and emotional power of this movie, I was struck by how much Ledger and Gyllenhaal resembled my two all-time favorite cowboys – Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call.  Ledger’s character, like Woodrow, is a strong, silent type, someone reserved, careful, and competent, while Gyllenhaal’s character, like Gus, is a more outgoing person who lives for the moment without a lot of discipline.  But they are never happier than when they are together.  The problem is that it was not acceptable for cowboys to be together, and that is what these two men struggled with throughout the movie.  It is not just their characters, however, that are similar, but also the narrative arc of Brokeback Mountain evokes that of Lonesome Dove, right down to the final duties of the survivor and his wistful reminscence of his departed soulmate.  Oh, by the way, the author of Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry, also wrote the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain, albeit adapted from Amy Proulx’s short story. 

Rotten Tomato critics scored the movie 87%; its audience gave it only 77%.  Those numbers are apparently held down by homophobes because this is a four-star movie if there ever was one.


1 Comment »

  1. did you know there is a brokback mountain in tx also. just saying

    Comment by Q — July 25, 2012 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

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