Hola party people! Hope everyone had a good weekend.
Peggy and I went to the Midtown Art Cinemas in Atlanta yesterday in hopes of taking in a screening of Brokeback Mountain. They were showing it on two screens. As it turned out, every gay man in the city of Atlanta had the same hopes, so the 1:50PM show we'd been shooting for was sold out, as was every other screening until 4:40PM. We decided we'd come back today for the 1:15PM show and discovered a long line of gay men out in front of the box office. We'd assumed that on a Monday afternoon six days before Christmas we could see this movie without any lines or worries about sold-out shows, but we were wrong. While we were in line, an older man behind us muttered bitchily, "Don't people work?" A rangy blow-dried guy with perfect salt and pepper hair came up to the trio of gay men in front of us and expressed the same surprise about the length of the line on a Monday afternoon. He said, "Now I know these people aren't all hairdressers."
Anyway, we did get in (though we had to sit in the third row from the front and all the way to the right) and we saw the damn movie, finally. Firstly, Brokeback's good. I was surprised at how staid and reserved the movie was, considering all of the advance press from critics about the film's "frank" depiction of homosexual sex. This is a movie middle America can go to and not get the heebie-jeebies too bad. Aside from a couple of asses seen in profile, there is no male nudity. There is one sex scene which is more implicit than explicit, and a couple of scenes of Jake and Heath kissing. And then Anne Hathaway flashes her boobies, so there's something for men of all sexual orientations.
Afterwards, I resolved for the umpteenth time never to read a review or an interview with the filmmakers again before I see the damn movie. Critics said Heath Ledger acted his way to a sure Oscar for Best Actor. Prouxl herself called his performance "beyond description", and this is from someone who describes things for a living. And then it got all of these end of the year accolades. Going in I was expecting a lot, and I got some of it, but I didn't come away as moved by their doomed love as I was coming out of the other much-heralded year-end Oscar contender, King Kong. Kong put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day.
I guess I don't want to write up a big review here, I'll just say that it's not as gay as you've heard -- this is no Jeffrey. After a while, you just accept that these two cowboys are in love, and you really start pulling for them to stay together, or as together as they can in Wyoming in the 70's. It's a well-made, well-directed, well-acted movie, and worth seeing. My audience loved it -- lots of manly snuffling as the lights came up. My main problem with the movie, the reason I never got that into it, was because instead of Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar I could only see Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger. I thought of Ang Lee behind the camera directing the scenes, I imagined what Lee said to them before sayin "Action!", I thought of what filming up in the mountains must have been like -- I just never got that wrapped up in the story. But that's me. I think this film would have been better served by two unknowns, but the studios hate hate hate unknowns, so I guess that was never an option.
I do have one lingering question after seeing Brokeback: has Heath Ledger always sounded like Jame Gumb in Silence of the Lambs, or does he just pull out the creepy voice for certain movies? If you know, let me know. All right. That does her for Monday.