Well. The flick's been in the ABQ for a little more than a week but -- finally -- the Stinkys meandered their way to Brokeback Mountain just this Friday. A perhaps auspicious coincidence, too, because that makes Brokeback the first movie of StinkyLu's new year.
Turned out to be a real good one too.
No real surprise -- it's Brokebackpalooza out there -- with only a handful of disreputable and/or categorically idiotic commentators dissenting from the sensibly impressed masses.
Heath Ledger's performance is of the "tear-your-heart-out-and-stomp- that-sucker-flat" variety -- the brightest among a constellation of giddily effective performances. And though Anne Hathaway's hair does more than its own share of scene-stealing, the film's real accomplishment is how it unapologetically captures the big-movie-ness of the romance between Ledger's Ennis Delmar & Jake Gyllenhall's Jack Twist -- a fated bond that moves palpably from sweet to bittersweet to bitter to... Well, Ledger's concluding scenes in the film are at once wrenching and inspiring, registering this story as one of Hollywood's great epic movie romances (think Gone With The Wind or The Way We Were or The Defiant Ones).
A friend commented that she found it slow. And Lu would agree. Insidiously, brilliantly slow. Ang Lee forces a kind of high desert desolation, a rocky mountain stillness, that -- honestly -- made StinkyLu feel physically cold (in the just the same way that only dry winter winds can). StinkyLulu even woke up this morning with haunting image dreams from this movie. (And they t'weren't the sweet or sexy ones, so y'all jest stop yer snickerin' -- right now.) Can't remember the last time that happened. Anyway, StinkyLu's loopy dreamlets were swirling around the mysteries in the story: how much does who know when? was that creepy scene from Ennis' imagination or what actually happened? what about that similar scene with Jack? who was Jack foolin' with anyway? Criticlasm said that he left the movie thinking the movie was just fine & then found, over the next coupla days, that the movie really hit -- hit sad, hit hard. It's like somehow Lee's slow narrative sweep gets the ache of the story to settle deep inside.
That's how it worked on StinkyLu, at least.
Wow. Emphasis on the "ow"...