Staff Pick from BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

Gordon Ampel, Vice President of Global Operations for Focus Features, picks a scene from BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN as one of his favorites.

This sequence in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN comes very late in the movie. After learning that the love of his life, Jack Twist, has died, Ennis Del Mar (so beautifully incarnated by Heath Ledger) has come to pay his respects at the family homestead. The emotional crux of the movie has been Ennis’ internalizing his feelings, and not really expressing them – even with Jack, he would make only so much of an exception. Visiting Jack’s childhood room, gut-wrenching emotions come to the fore for Ennis – but, wordlessly, and without flashbacks to their time together or even audio echoes. It all plays out on Ennis’ heretofore stoic face, and when we see tears gathering, it is heartbreaking. The sequence builds powerfully with the nearly-silhouetted staging of the scene in the room’s closet where the full force of the love lost hits Ennis. The postscript to the sequence does include dialogue, but it’s what’s not being said that moves Ennis – and me, every time.

Brokeback Mountain

Directed by Ang Lee

 

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