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10/10
A boozer, a user, and no loser
17 June 2006
If you are a fan of the series, then you will love this "interim" film.

The film covers the events that lead up to the television series, from Geri's parole, reunion with stepmom and dad, and heading back to high school. All of the regular characters are back (except Orlando, who would have been a good addition and better character than the new token non-white character). There are some great lines ("I'm not pushing you away, I'm just drawing me into myself") and fine interactions between Sedaris, Colbert, and Dinello.

This sold out at the Seattle International Film Festival (with a nice appearance from Dinello), and the audience was rolling the entire time. Great work and a must-see for any Geri Blank/Amy Sedaris fan.
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9/10
Cineme Verite
13 December 2005
Having read Proulx short story, I was eager to see how Ang Lee would translate this to the big screen. The wait for this movie has been long - critics have been discussing it for nearly 2 years, and most of the gay community has awaited a good film that deals with love and romance with good acting (a rarity in this genre). So, when I received two free tickets to an advance screening, I couldn't drive to the theatre fast enough.

Lee creates a story that is both visually spectacular and real. Brutally real. Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist fall in love in 1963 despite their best efforts. Going against tradition, culture, and even impending marriage, they begin a multi-decade relationship that is anything but idyllic. They surround themselves with doubt, lust, deception, longing, tenderness, and even violence. The rough landscape of Wyoming echoes the roughness of their lives together and, more noticeably, apart.

Gyllenhal is believable as Jack Twist, less afraid of life than his lover, Ennis. He is ready to meet critics head on, wanting a life together with his other half, not caring about convention or fear. Gyllenhal, though, is the true star of the film. You really see his inward torture of wanting to be loved, but not knowing how to give it. His moments shine in the film as you suffer being in love with him.

The only criticism would be that the film departs from Proulx's original work at times. But what is added truly complements the plot of the film. You feel that if Proulx had turned the short story into a novella, then she would have included the extra details.

This is a must see - for anyone (gay or straight) who has wanted something so much, but feeling like he or she could never have it.
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