Often referred to as the “gay cowboy movie”, Brokeback Mountain was released in 2005 to an audience wondering how faithful Ang Lee would be to Annie Proulx’s short story. I would say Ang Lee did a fantastic job. The cast is phenomenal. The late Heath Ledger plays Ennis Del Mar, a cowboy who gets a job herding sheep in Wyoming. There he meets Jack Twist (played by Jake Gyllenhaal). The two men get a job working together herding the sheep on a mountainside. After a long day of work and a late night drinking, the two men share a tent to escape the cold, where they give in to their attraction to each other.
Afterwards Ennis wants to put the incident behind him, choosing to live in denial with his fiance Alma (played by Michelle Williams). Jack however is more accepting of his sexuality and wants to be with Ennis. Both men seperate for a number of years, moving on with their lives and both getting married, Jack to a rich woman named Lureen Newsome (played by Anne Hathaway) and Ennis to Alma. Jack writes to Ennis years later and they arrange to meet again, only for tragedy and prejudice to rear it’s ugly head.
I must say that this is a fantastic movie. Both Ledger and Gyllenhaal give it everything and seeing them together, you just can’t imagine them being with anyone else. Films like this just act as a constant reminder of what a fantastic actor Ledger was, and how tragic it is that he’s gone. I am constantly recommending this movie to people because I feel they need to put the homophobia aside and discover what an awesome movie it is. Now it’s not harsh that I call it homophobia, as that’s what it I feel it is. If you’re comfortable with your sexuality then why would a movie like this bother you?
To not watch this film because it has a gay theme is sad, mainly because you are missing out on some of the finest acting I have ever seen from all concerned. I really think this is the best role of Ledger’s tragically short career, yes even better than The Dark Knight. I can’t recommend this enough, the film had a profound effect on me.