January 30, 2008
An overlooked wonder
Awhile back I read the short story by E. Annie Prouix and thought it was amazing. I had intended to see the movie, never got around to it when it was in the theaters, and had it on tape forever. Finally, home sick today, watched Brokeback Mountain - and while I assume I am the only person left who hadn't seen it yet, I still hesitate giving away plot... so let me just say that it is one of the most moving, heart-rending love stories that I have seen on film. And the overlooked wonder is a woman playing Jack's mother- I held it together until her scene which she mainly acts with her eyes because she cannot say what she needs to say in front of her husband. With her hands plucking nervously at a threadbare sweater, actress Roberta Maxwell plays her brief part with such an astonishing depth, I don't know why everyone hasn't been talking about her since then - and I don't recall her being up for a best supporting role award when Brokeback was getting all the nominations. Of course, the movie carries more sadness with actor Heath Ledger's recent death which underscores his spot-on portrayal of Ennis with another layer of grief - but not until you think about it afterwards, during the film he just is Ennis and you forget all the Hollywood stuff and just get the wealth of the story. That is a wonder as well.