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December 18, 2005



Wow. Quite articulate and well reasoned. Despite the faults, I did find the film to be of great value and great sentiment.

Thanks for voicing very subtle and real criticism without making any political judgments.

Dan Bodah

I just can't stop calling it "Bareback Mountain" by mistake. But then I think, "Wait, those guys didn't have condoms, did they?"

Waiting for the inevitable gay porn takeoff, DB

buckeye girl

Interesting, I remember "Boys Don't Cry" very well, because I may hate that movie more than any I've seen in the last 20 years. Similar to your take about Matthew Shepard and the glee you felt when Michelle Williams character wants a divorce, this movie was portrayed as black and white when I felt something totally different. Boys Don't Cry said to me, "Those evil rednecks! Killing someone just because she was gender confused? Why can't we all just get along?" Never mind that the gender confused person robbed people who helped her, seduced someone under the guise that she was a man , endlessly lied to people who cared about her, and was generally an all around terrible person who also had gender issues. Did she deserve to die? Of course not, but she didn't deserve to be martyred either.

It probably didn't help that I'm totally hot for both Brendan Sexton III and Peter Sarsgard who played the evil rednecks.

Brian Turner

You should have seen that alternate ending to Tootsie where Hoffman gets dragged down 8th avenue by a semi. Deemed too stark for 1980's Hollywood mainstream films.

Mark Allen

How about just Dustin Hoffman being dragged behind a semi?


thank you for seeing past all the hype of this movie
being a homosexual the one thing that i noticed is that we did NOT wear our hair like that in the 60's and 70's and certainly cowboys did not.
Oscar material pleaaaaaase!
Truman yes Brokeback no

Rob Skeats

Wow! Great observations and insights! Two points...
There is of course, those on the side of the fence that believe Jack's death was accidental and that the flashback was only as Ennis imagined it. I don't think so, but arguments can be made on both sides and Ang Lee has stated that he left this deliberately vague so that the viewer could make up his/her own mind. Proulx leaves it similarly ambiguous in the novella.
As for Jack's death being a 'shameless analogy' to Matthew Shepard's, one must remember that Proulx released the short story (with the flashback scene)in the New Yorker a whole year before Shepard's death.

Mark Allen

Rob - thanks for pointing out the Shepard/Proulx timeline discrepancy (which I was unaware of)! And Jack's violent death possibly being in Ennis' head only - interesting. Although like I said - I didn't pick the up Shepard analogy when I saw the film, but only later when I read reviews and write-ups about the picture.


This is most incisive (and level-headed) review of this film I have read. Thanks!


Interesting points. I also the costume/hair-mu design was off in places, but I was very moved by the film. I do take issue with the "obviously made-up story" line in your review - I never saw it that way at all. I haven't read the short story but I have since been told Proulx makes it clear in her short story that Jack was, in fact, killed as a result of the tire-changing accident. I thought Lureen's slow-burn anguish in the telephone scene was not based on her hating to lie about Jack's death, but in her dawning realization that she was talking on the phone with the true love of her late husband's life. My assumption about the scene in the film was that either a) Ennis' own association of queer=violent death runs through his mind as he hears the story from Lureen or b) the cutaway scene had nothing to do with Ennis or Lureen, but was an Ang Lee choice to allow the audience to connect the story to the more recent infamy of Wyoming vis-a-vis Matthew Shepard or c) both of the above.


Just seen the film in the U.K. We really liked it. We had the assumption that 'Jacks death' was somehow related to the 'other bearded guy' who was meant to be setting up the ranch back home (near his folks) aside/after Ennis - failed to deliver. Maybe Jack had attempted to regain control of his destiny via a new relationship. I mean who could blame him! Maybe it was the bearded guys wifes inlaws who took revenge. Things are left open for you to ponder - set over such a long period of time.


I am totally agree with them and need not think that any thing should be add further.
Carrol Spncr

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