What The Critics Say

"A beautiful tragedy about the anguish of unfulfilled love. It's an absolute triumph, in every way."
"Ledger, as the fearful and traumatised Ennis, is most impressive as a man incapable of controlling the life he has created,. Gyllenhaal matches and teams with him wonderfully."
"Casting Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal was a stroke of genius, neither have been better in their lives, they are just so beautiful and the rest of the cast is outstanding. For me, this is an absolutely perfect film in every way. So moving, so wonderfully done. I mean, the two of them are really good. And the women are good, too. It just is a really terrific film. I'm gonna give this 5 out of 5."
David Stratton ABC AT THE MOVIES
"I would give it 10 out of 5. I just think it's so sublime."
Margaret Pomeranz ABC AT THE MOVIES
"I came away from "Brokeback Mountain" struck by the awesome power of its big scenery, its characters, the wonderful intertwined stories of love and dying to see it again. Forget the 'gay' label and appreciate the performances of Michelle Williams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger [Ledger's is definately Oscar worthy]. Ang Lee, you're a genius. Four and a half stars out of five."
Richard Surfield THE MOVIE PAGES
"In two of the best performances of the year -- both deserve Oscar nominations -- Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger play a pair of bittersweet lovers."

The Gayest Night Of The Year
"A story of forbidden love on the range, Brokeback Mountain is acted, directed, written and photographed with heart-pounding beauty." Philip Wuntch DALLAS MORNING NEWS
When I broke the news to my dear gay friend, little Frederick 'Freddy' Munchemhoff, that I was inviting him to the premiere screening of the 'gay' cowboy movie "Brokeback Mountain", he was beside himself with excitement. In fact he couldn't thank me enough. "Oh goodness me, I'm so excited", he said. "I just can't wait to see if Heath Ledger's really got it in him." "What!", I said. "No, not that you silly old fart. I meant, got it in him to play a big, cuddly, hunk of a gay cow-poke," Freddy explained. "No Freddy, he's not a cowboy, he's a sheep herder," I said. "How sweet," he replied. "That should make a lot of New Zealanders happy." Oh dear, oh dear. Why do I bother I thought. Freddy is such a 'queen' you know. I mean that with all sincerity. And to prove the point let me tell you that I once went to the Lord Mayor's New Years Eve (invitation only) Ball dressed as a Grenadier Guard while Freddy went as 'the' Queen. I must say he did make a smashing Queen. I must have looked good too because Freddy remarked to his friends on more than one occassion that I'd make a delicious hairy bear, whatever that meant. He's like a son to me you know. The son I never had. Every time his name comes up I think about Gary Beach, Roger Bart and Nathan Lane singing that song "Keep It Gay" from the Broadway smash hit show [and now on the big screen], "The Producers". Freddy is one of those pro-active 'gays', having recently been elected as the youngest ever President of a new national gay organization named Help Eradicate All Discrimination or "H.E.A.D" for short. Membership is growing at a huge rate and the group hopes to soon be the 'official organ' of the gay movement in Australia. For those who haven't heard of "H.E.A.D", it was recently formed in Cairns by a group of angry gay cowboys who were shocked to discover that "Brokeback Mountain" wouldn't be coming to the nether regions of the "Sunshine State" because no-one was interested in being gay. It must have really outraged these chaps in Chaps [a sturdy leather coverings for the legs] who were further infuriated when a Federal MP declared Queensland was free of gay cowboys and in fact that there was nothing queer at all about the state. As Freddy pointed out, "If that's the case, why did they call it Queensland." He's got a point you know. Now I know some of you are having a bit of a giggle but being 'gay' is a serious business and these young men and women take being gay very seriously. So much so that the group plans to picket any cinema in Queensland refusing to screen "Brokeback Mountain". To make their point a strong one, members of the public will be given free 'head' at selected cinemas. "What!", I said again. "No, not the oral kind you silly old duffer," Freddy said while grabbing my wrist. "Our magazine "H.E.A.D". It's the groups official publication. Don't you think it's a pefect name." "Who's idea was that?", I said, thinking out loud. "Martina, our transgender Media Manager", Freddy said with real 'gay pride' on his face, adding, "It's a fabulous way to spread the word. Image the delight of giving someone "H.E.A.D" for their birthday or at Christmas. Deelicious!" In a funny way, the thought of giving a dear friend, that someone special a bit of "H.E.A.D", really clicked with me for a moment or two. But then reality snapped me out of the stupor I had been lulled into. I had an important call to make. If Freddy was coming to "Brokeback Mountain" with me I'd need some form of protection, which coincidently is something the gay community is evidently right into. And just in case 'they' were right and the scientists had got it wrong I thought it wise to get some hetrosexual protection. I'd invite my other dear friend, that man about town, well known womanizer and heartbreaker Marty King to join us. Marty was back in town after spending Christmas and the New Year holiday period shacked up at ritzy Lake Louise Chateau on the eastern shore of Lake Louise, near Banff in the province of Alberta, Canada. I didn't dare ask who he was spending a white Christmas with because Marty would tell me. He always does. This time he was being uncharacteristically evasive. I had to swear never to leak her name. What I can tell you is she's blonde, recently divorced and keeps a diary. You lucky bastard I thought. Marty's reputation had spread to 'tinsle town'. Evidently when it came time to fly home from Vancouver, she was in tears. Her agent had given her the bad news that contracts for her next movie were watertight and as such, the studio was demanding she front up for filming. I can reveal that she will be slipping into sleepy old Adelaide [that big old country town where nothing ever happens] in late April and the news is she can hardly wait to get under those satin sheets and spend a bit of quality time with Marty in his luxurious waterfront appartment, which overlooks both the ocean and the Marina in the exclusive other end of town, North Haven. I nearly asked if Marty had thought of giving her "H.E.A.D" but I got cold feet. But back to the point of my call. Was Marty willing to 'camp out' with the guys and join me and Freddy at the special premiere screening of "Brokeback Mountain"? Remember this is the film OSCAR GUY Wesley Lovell described as one which "shows us that love knows no boundaries." The answer was a resounding, "Yes". Unfortunately I then struck a problem. I leapt out of the closet in shock. Bugga! My wardrobe of clothing was inadequate. I had nothing 'gay' enough to wear to the biggest premiere event to hit Adelaide in years. That meant another phone call. A desperate cry for help. Thankfully there was one person I knew I could turn to in my hour of gay need. That person was Allan, a burly production worker at a local car plant who also happened to be a snappy dresser. "What! I'd be delighted to help you squeeze into something gay," he said with a laugh, adding "I know just the place." And he was right. Two hours later I left the local Trims Menswear shop with everything I needed to look my best. Allan had chosen a checked long sleeved western style shirt, co-ordinated plain coloured shorts, two wicked bandana's to join together and tie around my neck, thick wool socks I could roll down and a sturdy pair of work boots. Allan and Justin [the lovely young man who served us], both agreed I would turn heads on my big night out. It was closing time at the shop. "Are you guys heading anywhere special," Justin asked. "Not really," I replied. "What about joining me for a long, cold, boutique beer then," he asked. I looked at Allan for an answer. "Why not", he said. "Strangely, as we headed off up King William Street in Adelaide I had to admit, I was feeling a little excited about "Brokeback Mountain". I was even feeling: dare I say it; "a little gay." No, let me re-phrase that. I was feeling like a "Gay American in Paris." You know, like the film. Oh, bugger. 'I was feeling quite happy! "
The Inside Story
I'm happy to report the good news folks. Seeing "Brokeback Mountain" will 'not' turn you gay. So if you've been having second thoughts about the film, if you've conjoured up images of cowboys buggerizing each other or that the whole cast speaks with a lisp, forget it, for "Brokeback Mountain" is one beautiful story, punctuated with magnificent mountain scenery and features a terrific cast. And it's not all about 'gay' love. After all, both lead characters, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist are both married and they have children, so to lable it a 'gay' cowboy movie is a little bit lopsided. It would best be described as a 'bi-sexual' cowboy movie. I must admit, like many will, I went to the special media screening with a little trepidation. Sure I'd heard that those who had already seen the film overseas were full of praise, but festival crowds gushing over films, is not always a good indicator. I needn't have felt anxious. To be truthful, I came out a "Brokeback Mountain" convert. It doesn't matter whether your straight, gay or somewhere in between, this a love story as good as any you've seen before on the bigscreen. I wanted to see it again and that's a good indicator for all the 'hetroes' out there. It's beautifully shot, beautfully acted and the scenery is so tempting you want to book a flight and experience the mountain magic of the Canadian Rockies, Cowley, Fort MacLeod, and Calgary for yourself. Winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Picture at last yearís Venice International Film Festival the short story by Pulitzer Prize winning author Annie Proulx (1994 Pulitzer Prize for "The Shipping News") was adapted for the screen by Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurtry ("Horseman Pass By" which became Martin Rittís film "Hud"). It starred Paul Newman and won 3 Academy Awards] who co-wrote the screenplay with television writer and producer Diana Ossana. Filming of "Brokeback Mountain" started in 2004. Members of the Calgary Gay Rodeo Association advised and consulted with the production, and also appear in several sequences. "Weíre the only gay rodeo association in Canada, but itís part of a huge circuit throughout the U.S. We have the best turnout of the circuit, and to be a part of it is a great feeling," says Tim Cyr. Despite the changing mountain weather Producer James Schamus says, "This was probably the most pleasant film shoot that Ang and I have ever worked on. There was almost an inverse proportion between our lack of money and the abundance of spirit in our crew and cast.Everything was done simply. Not only because we didnít have the budget but also because, artistically, everything needed to be honest, direct, and clear. From the rawness and vulnerability of our actors to the presence of the natural environment." And even though viewers may get the impression that this is a big budget Hollywood production, the truth is, it wasn't. "Logistically, it was a stretch, and the budget was modest," says acclaimed director Ang Lee adding, "this was an independent film, and the cheapest Iíve made since Eat Drink Man Woman, but sufficient to make my vision come true." Filming "Brokeback Mountain" provided a personal bonus for the director. "Working on "Brokeback Mountain", I feel I was relearning my love and enjoyment for filmmaking," Ang revealled, "and learning something about myself and my own relationships." Working in the mountains appears to have touched everyone. "The crew in Calgary were the most wonderful group of people I have worked with to date," says Heath Ledger. "It was my first time in Calgary; Iíve filmed, I guess,everywhere else in Canada. I loved the mountains, and even the wind; itís gorgeous big sky country," says Randy Quaid [the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid]. "You realize, when you place the camera you have to tilt it up a little bit; the sky is so grand. Itís not only the big landscape, but the big sky," notes Ang Lee. One question most people will want answered is how did Heath and Jake really feel about the powerful 'love' story. "What really tears me apart is, Ennis and Jack are two people who actually found love. If you have love, you should hold onto it," Jake Gyllenhaal said. Heath Ledger says "Brokeback Mountain is a love story for this generation." Executive Producer Michael Costigan says, "Great love stories donít come very often. I hope audiences, after seeing the film, can think about their own lives and the choices theyíve made." Co-Producer Scott Ferguson "Hopefully, people will learn a little about finding your own way to accept yourself, to take a chanceon who you are. When we shot the last scene of the movie, Iíd say about three-quarters of the crew was in tears. It had a powerful effect on us, and I hope also [will] with audiences." Rodeo rider and technical advisor to the film Tim Cyr said, "When I read the short story, I could identify with the traits and feelings that the characters had, especially coming from a background of ranching where everything out there is looked upon as being different if itís not traditional." It had a profound effect on Rodeo rider and technical advisor to the film Shane Madden. "Being raised on a farm, yeah, you had to hide it. It hurt to try and hide it. There were times I used to bang my head against a wall. I read the story, and I was losing it after the first six pages. It hit me deep inside," he said. My own personal opinion is that, while I have taken the piss out with the lead-in article above, the film's subject matter is to be taken seriously.Here's a little story you might like to hear because it's strange how events unfold in sometimes in life. Take E Annie Proulx's short story, "Brokeback Mountain". It was originally published in The New Yorker in 1997, almost exactly one year before the real life murder of gay Wyoming man Matthew Shepard. Proulx, who lived close to where Shepard was beaten, was called to but not selected for jury duty for the trial of Shepard's murders. Whether hetrosexual people like it or not, "Brokeback Mountain is a call for tolerance and understanding. "Everybody has a right to love. Everybody should be loved," says Tim Cyr, "and if two guys get together or two girls get together, there should be no difference in it. Every movie that comes out where people are up there on-screen like this is a push towards more equality and understanding." Jake Gyllenhaal says, "The question of identity, whether itís sexual or whatever, is what makes this movie so powerful." I'd have to say amen to that Jake."
Cast & Crew Bytes
"BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN" stars .......
Heath Ledger
["The Patriot", "Monster's Ball", "Ned Kelly", "Lords of Dogtown" and "The Brothers Grimm"]; 2002 London Evening Standard Theatre Outstanding Newcomer Award winner Jake Gyllenhaal ["Donnie Darko", "The Good Girl", "Moonlight Mile" and "The Day After Tomorrow"]; Michelle Williams ["Dick", "Prozac Nation", "The United States of Leland" and "The Station Agent"]; Anne Hathaway ["The Princess Diaries", "Nicholas Nickleby", "Ella Enchanted" and "The Princess Diaries 2"]; Anna Faris ["The Hot Chick", "Lost In Translation", "Scary Movie 3" and "Waiting"]; Linda Cardellini ["Strangeland", "Legally Blonde", "Scooby Doo" and "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed"]; Scott Michael Campbell ["Radioland Murders", "Panic", "Hart's War" and "Flight of the Phoenix"] and Academy, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award nominee Randy Quaid ["Independence Day", "Not Another Teen Movie", "Black Cadillac" and "The Ice Harvest"] as Joe Aguirre.
directed by Ang Lee
["Pushing Hands", "Eat Drink Man Woman", "Sense and Sensibility" and "The Ice Storm"]; screenplay by Larry McMurtry ["The Last Picture Show", "Terms of Endearment", "Falling from Grace" and "The Evening Star"] and Diana Ossana [TV Mini-series "Streets of Laredo" and "Dead Man's Walk"]; original short story by E Annie Proulx B.A and M.A ["The Shipping News"]; costume design by Marit Allen ["Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "Mrs Doubtfire", "Eyes Wide Shut", "Ride with the Devil" and "K-19: The Widowmaker"]; production design by Judy Becker ["The Opponent", "Personal Velocity", "Raising Victor Vargas" and "Garden State"]; cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto A.S.C. & A.M.C. ["Ricky 6", "8 Mile", "25th Hour" and "21 Grams"]; original music by BAFTA Award winner Gustavo Santaolalla ["The Insider", "21 Grams", "Collateral" and "North Country"] produced by Murray Ord ["Dead Bang", "The Fourth War", "Legends Of The Fall" and "Portraits of a Killer"], Diana Ossana [TV Mini-series "Streets of Laredo", "Dead Man's Walk" and "Johnson County War"] and James Schamus ["The Ice Storm", "Buffalo Soldiers", "Auto Focus" and "Hulk"].
What It's All About
"Rarely can you find a film that is this honest, raw and emotional. Brokeback Mountain shows us that love knows no boundaries." Wesley Lovell OSCAR GUY
Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist have come to Signal, Wyoming looking for work. The meet outside the office of Rancher Joe Aguirre. He offers them both work as shepherds looking after his flock on Brokeback Mountain. Ennis is a little on the shy side but eventually the two young men build a camaraderie. As the weeks pass they become closer and eventually it leads to them becoming sexually involved. Summer ends and it's time to bring the flock down. The two part company. The following year they meet again at the office of Aguirre. This time Aguirre refuses them work. He knows what happened last year on the mountain. Ennis stays in Wyoming. He marries his sweetheart Alma. Jack returns to Texas and while working the Rodeo circuit where he meets the beautiful rodeo queen Lureen Newsome. They marry and Jack goes to work for his father in law selling farm machinery. Four years pass by. Suddenly Ennis receives a post card. Jack is coming to Wyoming. When they meet, emotions run high. Ennis embraces his friend and they kiss passionately. Their love is rekindled. It will span twenty years. They will both have children. They will meet and rekindle the bond between them until tragedy strikes.
The Verdict
"I came away from "Brokeback Mountain" struck by the awesome power of its story. It's a heartwrenching tale of love, yearning, heartbreak and desire in an environment of intolerance and ignorance. Big, majestic scenery abounds. The performances are exceptional. The soundtrack is perfect. Whether your straight, gay or somewhere in between, this is a powerful love story that will affect everyone who sees it. A big chance at this years Academy Awards "Brokeback Mountain", directed by Ang Lee is Very Recommended Viewing. FOUR & 1/2 STARS."
Who's Who?
Heath Ledger
Jake Gyllenhaal
Michelle Williams
Anne Hathaway
Randy Quaid
Valerie Planche
Graham Beckel
David Harbour
Kate Mara
Roberta Maxwell
Peter McRobbie
Anna Faris
Linda Cardellini
Scott Campbell
David Trimble
Larry Reese
Marty Antonini
Duval Lang
Dean Barrett
Hannah Stewart
Mary Liboiron
Brooklynn Proulx
James Baker
Sarah Hyslop
Jerry Callaghan
Cheyenne Hill
Will Martin
Gary Lauder
Christian Fraser
Cam Sutherland
Ennis Del Mar
Jack Twist
Alma Del Mar
Lureen Newsome
Joe Aguirre
LD Newsome
Randall Malone
Alma Jr[19 y.o]
Jack's Mother
John Twist
LaShawn Malone
Cassie Cartwright
Jolly Minister
Alma Jr [3 y.o]
Fayette Newsome
Jenny [4 y.o]
Alma Jr [12 y.o]
Alma Jr [13 y.o]
Killer Mechanic
Grease Monkey
The Crew
Directed by Ang Lee
Adapted from the short story by E Annie Proulx
Screenplay by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana
Produced by Murray Ord/Diana Ossana/James Schamus
Original Music by Gustavo Santaolalla
Cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto
Film Editing by Geraldine Peroni & Dylan Tichenor
Casting by Deb Green & Avy Kaufman
Production Design by Judy Becker
Art Direction by Laura Ballinger
Costume Design by Marit Allen
Run Time 134 minutes
Rated M [AUST]
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