Home on the Range

        I love movies and I especially love movies when they have been nominated for an Academy Award. If a movie has been nominated, I usually end up watching at one time or another. Furthermore, if this same movie has a lot of controversy surrounding it, it just makes me want to see the movie that much more. This was the case for Brokeback Mountain.

        Brokeback Mountain was a brilliant adaptation of Annie Proulx’s short story. Ang Lee did an amazing job bringing the story to life and did so by three things: attention to detail, brilliant acting, and great location. First, Lee is known as a director who makes sure every detail of his movies are what he wants them to be. He made sure that every scene was as impactful and moving to the plot as possible, especially the conversation between Ennis and Jack’s wife about the death of Twist in the sorrowful end of the film. He made sure that he had accurate detail for each time period as the story moves from the 1960s to ‘80s by the end of the film. He made sure to use accurate wardrobe, automobiles, homes, and dialect for the film, as well the issues involving homosexuality as many of these are subliminally discussed in several conversations between characters.

        Second, Lee chose actors who he knew could bring the part to life. For the two main characters of Jack and Ennis, Lee chose Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Both did an amazing job picking up the Wyoming and Texan dialects, as well as having to perform insinuated sexual acts on film, which both must have found difficult to perform. Not only were the portrayals of the main characters essential, but also those of the supporting cast including the wives of both Ennis and Jack. Both known for roles on TV and film that reach a more adolescent audience, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway make strong appearances on screen and really help to add to the impact of the homosexual relationship, including the argument between Ledger and Williams where she finally confronts his supposed homosexuality.

        Finally, the choice of location was perfect. Brokeback takes primarily in a rural town in Wyoming and most of its controversial moments happen in the mountains, hence the name Brokeback Mountain. Lee did an amazing job choosing the location he used for the homes of both characters, the minor places such as cafes and bars, and of course, the mountains used. The way he set up and filmed scenes was amazing as well, and only adds to Lee’s title as an amazing cinematography. My advice is that if a movie is nominated for an Oscar and has a lot of talk behind it, go see it or rent it because usually it is worth your while, and Brokeback was no exception.

Jonathan Holzapfel

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