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Brokeback Mountain

Directed by Ang Lee

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Brokeback Mountain
Directed by: Directed by Ang Lee
(Focus Features)
The peak of Brokeback Mountain-mania came back in January, and the slow backlash that followed probably accounted for it not winning Best Picture at the Oscars in March. In a season where so many films with socio-political edge made an impact, Crash will be remembered as the most artificial, and Brokeback the most hyped. Now that the smoke has cleared, what you find here is a quiet, achingly beautiful art house movie about an impossible love between two men (Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal). It’s not the first movie of this sort, nor the most groundbreaking, but Ang Lee’s assured direction of the Annie Proulx story—written for the screen by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, who won Best Adapted Screenplay—is intimate, not grandstanding. The pace is deliberate, though it provides moments that, towards the end, are strung together over too wide a chasm of time to keep the story in focus. More detail in the relationships with their wives (Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway) would have been welcome. It is hard to deny the near-perfection of the opening reel. Shot in mountainous Alberta, it marries landscape, the award-winning Gustavo Santaolalla score and a simple story of two people finding happiness together in the wilderness.
—Carsten Knox

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