Tuesday, May 16, 2006

MOVIES: Mama, Let More of Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys

I don't know which was better: the fact that Rusty rented Brokeback Mountain for me as part of our Mother's Day Eve festivities, or the fact that he (er, I mean "young Master Sam") gave me a box of handmade chocolates from a local chocolatier to eat during the movie, or the fact that he agreed to wear a cowboy hat during it.

No matter. It all added up to a pretty rockin' night. Or as rockin' as things get at the ol' Doppelganger homestead.


I didn't think Brokeback was the best movie EVER (despite the fact that at one moment in the film -- I'll leave you to guess which -- I did lean over and whisper to Rusty "This is the best movie EVER"), but I thought it was really good. Heath Ledger did a fine job of portraying an awkward, taciturn, romantic hero, and Jake Gyllenhaal did a fine job of making me wish I were ten years younger.

I can't say whether the movie was denied the Oscar or not, largely because I haven't seen most of the other nominees. To be truthful, I don't think most movies -- neither winners nor also-rans -- deserve any awards. If I had my way, they'd give out prizes only when a movie comes along that really, really deserves recognition... say every seven or eight years.

What Brokeback does deserve, though, is props for providing a solid example of independent filmmaking at its best, in which, due to a (relatively) small budget, the script, the landscape, and (gasp) the acting are trusted to do the work. I haven't seen the film version The Shipping News, a book I liked, because my understanding is that it suffered from Pulitzer Syndrome, wherein a book wins a major literary prize and suddenly all the wrong big-name actors are hired and the movie gets hyped all out of proportion. Poor old The Shipping News. I still think it could be a great indie film, but I guess that ship has sailed.

Funniest moment of the evening: when Rusty, out of nowhere, said, "Being a cowboy is hard." I don't know why, but I had to hit the "pause" button for a couple of minutes to laugh that one out.

8 comments:

drunken monkey said...

Oh man, The Shipping News. Did that movie ever enrage me, with it's "Newfoundlanders are special and incest is totally ordinary here!" business, and the not-quite-right accents. I've actually never read the book, because the movie pissed me off so badly.

Doppelganger said...

Totally. Everybody knows all the incest happens in Cape Breton. (I joke!)

But drunken monkey, please don't let the movie put you off the book. It's really good. Though if you're a newcomer to Annie Proulx's novels, I recommend starting with my favourite, Postcards, which is absolutely fantastic.

Griffin said...

Speaking of books and movies, this might interest (or possibly disgust) you. It seems 'On the Road' is to be made into a movie by Francis Ford Coppola. Jack Kerouac's website has it too.

J.E. said...

Since you haven't seen the other movies, just trust me--it was loads better than Crash. Ugh.

But, you know, I sort of like The Squid and The Whale better than any of them. My conclusion, then, is that any awards, whether they be for movies, books, television, whatever, are flawed both because art is highly subjective and the people that vote for them don't know what's good.

I mean, Memoirs of a Geisha got the same amount of awards as Brokeback Mountain and Crash! How is that even possible?

Antipodean said...

Mmmm, I liked it as well, but thought Capote was far and away the best out of those nominated. I'd have to agree with Jenny about the academy...is stupid too harsh a word?

Memoirs of a Geisha sucked so hard I was making that huffy sigh noise that I usually associate with rude middle aged ladies forced to queue. It was terrible.

I though The Constant Gardener should have won, but not even nominated. See above re: The Acadamey.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you'd have to be ten years younger to date Jake Gyllenhaal. He seems like the type to date an "older woman." Or that's what I tell myself, anyway! (I'm 34.)

Love the blog, by the way!

Paul said...

I am not big on gay cowboys, but i love cowgirls. :)

Paul said...

I have to say that "Capote" was a fine film. "Crash" was a good movie and I haven't seen "Brokeback Mountain" yet. :)