Brokeback Mountain

Though it reaches from 1963 into the 1980s, Ang Lee’s magnificent 2005 film is about people who live where the rules are pretty much the same as they were 100 years ago. Its power comes from its unblinking look at the cost, in desperation and denial, of living in this century by those rules. Herding sheep in high Wyoming solitude, Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) unexpectedly fall into a sexual relationship. Like couples the world over, they handle a life-changing event by not talking about it—but not stopping either. They agree it’s a “one-shot thing.” If only. What Ennis has here is the love of his life; everything else is an accommodation. Jack has found his partner, too, he just doesn’t have Ennis’ ingrained sense of fidelity. Brokeback’s canvas gives Lee room for extremes: spectacular vistas and intimate moments that convey everything about their “real” relationships with women (Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway) down below. (R) SHEILA BENSON

Fri., Jan. 22, 11:59 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 23, 11:59 p.m., 2010

 
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