Star Rating:

Brokeback Mountain

Actors: Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal

Release Date: Monday 30th November -0001

In 1963, with work scarce, two jobbing farmhands, Ennis (Ledger) and Jack (Gyllenhaal), are hired to tend sheep on a remote mountain. Over the next few months a bond develops between the two cow-pokes that develops into a sexual relationship. When the job ends, the attraction remains and although they meet and marry two women, the men convene a couple of times a year to revisit their experiences on Brokeback. Coming off the back of The Hulk's critical mauling, a gay western was a brave move for director Lee but he pulls it off deliciously. Returning to the same slow-paced character-driven story-telling that caught the world's attention with The Ice Storm, Lee looks more at home here. The movie looks beautiful as Lee switches from the lush green mountains of spring to the snow-capped wintry slopes with ease, and he lets his characters tell the story without intruding on the action. Lee treats the homosexual content subtly, giving a feeling of two men sharing something more than friendship rather than a balls-out gay story. But it's the performances that stand out in Brokeback Mountain. Gyllenhaal cements his stature as one of the sought-after talents in Hollywood today with this performance, and the same goes for Hathaway and Williams, who have laid to rest any ghosts that may have haunted them since The Princess Diaries and Dawson's Creek respectively. But this is Ledger's film. In Ennis he has created a character full of self-doubt without relying on the audience's pity for support. His low-toned mumbling is reminiscent of James Dean in Giant as he struggles to come to terms with his attraction to another man, forever protesting he 'ain't queer'. Miss this at your peril.