Ennis Del Mar loves Jack Swift forever.
In December 2005 Brokeback Mountain was released. I had read the short story (by Annie Proulx) that the movie was based on a few years earlier, and remembering being very moved by it. I was excited by the thought of the movie.
The Hubby and I saw it a little while after it was released, and we agreed that yes, it was a great movie, but it surprised us at the level of hubbub that was attached to it. I mean, being gay is something we deal with all the time. I think that for most of America, Brokeback Mountain was the first main stream movie that showed that gay people could actually love each other. It showed that we had real feelings, just like straight people. I think it was an “Ah-ha” moment for America.
It was only in a second viewing that I got past the tragedy of the story and realized what an amazing job Heath Ledger did with the role of Ennis Del Mar. If you haven’t seen it yet, or you are afraid of the “gay movie” thing, I would urge you to get over it and see the movie, if only for the acting.
Warning – the next paragraph contains spoilers:
There is one scene near the end of the movie, years after Jack has been killed, that gets me every time. Ennis is obviously keeping his life together by the slimmest thread. He is older and he looks tired and worn down. After a rough conversation with his daughter, he goes to his closet and pulls out Jack’s shirt from their one perfect summer together. He sits and holds the shirt and cries. His loneliness is palpable. You can see him wishing for death, if only to be reunited with Jack. It’s incredible.
All of this to say, we have lost one of the greatest young actors of our generation. Rest peacefully, Mr. Ledger. You will be missed.