“Brokeback Mountain” a Watershed Gay Romance

Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain (A) pairs brilliant actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as men who fall in love in the Wyoming wilderness of the 1960’s and spend the rest of their life trying to reconcile their forbidden desires to their wives (played by Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway) and hide their emotions from themselves. It’s a heartbreaking reverse-romance as most of the love is unrequited. The cinematography and storytelling are exquisite, and the brittle emotions cut to the bone. The passage of time parallels the creeks and brooks of the gorgeous countryside, even if the emotions run deep and powerful but often unexplored. Ledger and Gyllenhaal may be more daring than they even know for taking on these roles with such abandon, and Lee gives them a narrative that resonates.