Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Movie: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

When critics unite to coronate one movie, the contrarian in me is ready to pick nits. Makes life more interesting. But damned if I’m not going to line up with everyone else to praise Ang Lee’s latest, steamrolling its way to Oscar glory.

Annie Proulx’s short story is narrow in focus but epic in scope. Larry McMurtry (with screenwriting partner Diana Ossana) is scrupulously faithful to the source, but somehow manages to put his own distinctive stamp on the material. The film becomes an elegy for a way of life in the American West, one in which loneliness is one of the day’s burdens no matter who it is you’re pining for.

Here’s how good the movie is. I still think highly of it even after Rosemarie, who also liked it, pointed out that it turns into a tragic same-sex version of Same Time Next Year with Alan Alda. And she’s right.