WANK OR WATCH | Brokeback Mountain
The second film in 2005 in which Anne Hathaway agreed to go topless is a very different proposition to the first, Havoc. Released a few months after, Brokeback Mountain had a highly and widely regarded director in Ang Lee, two leads who had just started to reach their potential in Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, a main character from a recently ended, internationally loved teen drama in Michelle Williams, and a pre-packaged marketing angle of ‘the forbidden love between two cowboys’. Hathaway is no longer the main character, but instead gets the opportunity to work in a movie that will get a wide cinematic release while also attracting the attention of the Academy and casting agents. Regardless of her performance (as long as it’s piss poor of course) this is a statement of intent for her, a declaration of the direction she wants her career to go in.
I remember, despite being twenty-one at the time, having to take a fair bit of banter-based stick from even my normally liberal friends for saying that I not only saw this in the cinema, but that I liked it. On this, my first viewing since, I would say it resonates even more. It is a little cheesy in the beginning, and there are moments that seem unrealistic to me (the moment downstairs when Jack (Gyllenhaal) first comes to visit Ennis (Ledger) seems passionate but unlikely in the circumstances), but this is all just setting up a gut-wrenching final forty minutes where Ledger really takes the movie by storm. Even beyond the story, this is a truly beautiful film and some of the photography is just insane. Seven years after seeing it I still remember the scene where Ledger confronts the two tossers at the firework display and it is shot from his feet looking up as fireworks explode in the sky behind him. On second watch, that shot slayed me even more.
Was this movie worth Hathaway getting topless for? While she plays fourth string, her performance on the phone towards the end of the movie was worth her agreeing to get topless for alone, even if her character was never quite fully realised. I love this movie and will be sure not to wait another seven years before returning to it. And, as a final thought, for those fellas who still rib their male friends for watching this, you never see a dick in focus and yet do see both Hathaway and Williams topless.
My verdict: Watch
- Hit us up on twitter