Brokeback Mountain DVD

Directed by: Ang Lee. Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhall, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams

Brokeback Mountain movie poster

Synopsis: Two young men, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, meet on the job in Wisconsin in 1963. They are to herd sheep on Brokeback Mountain for the summer. Unexpectedly, the two fall in love. But at the end of the summer, each goes his own way, to marriage and jobs. They reconnect four years later, only to find the passion as strong as ever. But Ennis’ self-loathing at his homosexuality, expressed in a fear of the violence from others, prevents the two from attempting a life together. Instead, they meet fleetingly over the next 16 years, the secret taking a huge toll on their lives apart.

Sample quote: “There’s nothing we can do. If you can’t change it, you’ve got to stand it.”—Ennis Del Mar, to Jack

Comment: I very much appreciated this movie in the theatre, and enjoyed rewatching it just as much. (It helped that there was no nervous giggling going on as I’d experienced in the theatre—Jean is way past that now. Umm, not that he was the one giggling at the theatre…) Now knowing the full story in advance, I could focus on why each character behaved as they did at various points, and get that much more out of it. Rating: ****

The Extras: Various “making of”-type features, some taken from television specials, on how the script was adapted; the challenges of getting the movie made; a feature on Ang Lee; a segment on how the actors learned to be “cowboys”. Doesn’t add tremendously to the movie (particularly if you’ve read about the screen adapation already, as I have), but certainly worth watching. No commentary, though that may be just as well for this slow-paced movie with so much left unsaid.

No Easter Eggs, would you believe.

Usability: Big, big downgrade for forcing you to watch an unskippable Toyota car commercial at the start. Once you get past that (and my DVD has a “restart from where you were” feature with a 10-disk memory, which helps), quite straightforward menus.

Also see: A Knight’s Tale DVD