In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
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Two young men, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, meet when they get a job as sheep herders on Brokeback Mountain. They are at first strangers, then they become friends. Throughout the weeks, they grow closer as they learn more about each other. One night, after some heavy drinking, they find a deeper connection. They then indulge in a blissful romance for the rest of the summer. Unable to deal with their feelings for each other, they part ways at the end of the summer. Four years go by, and they each settle down, Ennis in Wyoming with his wife and two girls, and Jack in Texas with his wife and son. Still longing for each other, they meet back up, and are faced with the fact that they need each other. They undeniably need each other, and unsure of what to do, they start a series of "fishing trips", in order to spend time together. The relationship struggles on for years until tragedy strikes. Written by
I just saw this at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to a packed house (with Ang Lee present for today's screening). And I have to say, it absolutely transfixed me and was worth the watch. Out of 24 movies I screened at the TIFF this year, this was the only one I rated a 10/10! Three things really stood out for me making this a stand-out of a film:
1) HONESTY: Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal really pulled this off. I wasn't expecting performances so real and nuanced, and was warmly surprised. Kudos, also, to Mr. Lee for making such a poignant and refreshingly honest film!
2) STORY: Great story-telling. In fact you're not actually being *told* a story. The story unfolds and the viewer watches what happens pulling you in. What a great experience! In fact, I want to experience this story again -- I'm going to look for the short story.
3) NUMBING: In a thought-provoking kind of way. I left the theatre digesting the story even as I sat on the streetcar thinking about the characters. I cared for them, and wondered what could/might happen to them after the screen went black. My mind was playing out scenarios and in that sense, it was numbing, in a thought-provoking, emotionally heavy way.
This is powerful cinema and is definitely worth checking out. It's the best Ang Lee film I've seen to date (I've seen most, but not all of his feature films).
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