Middlebrow and I saw "Brokeback Mountain" last night with our friends Sylvia and Don.
Even though I was prepared for it to be incredibly sad, I was not prepared for it to be simultaneously aesthetically beautiful and emotionally devastating. I was surprised by how early I started crying, and how much I cried. I thought I could see where it was going the first time Jack sees Ennis, but I was shocked by the ending, and by the sheer rawness of the entire film. There were so many uncomfortable scenes, that were uncomfortable for so many reasons.
I definitely think this movie will win for cinematography. And I think Heath Ledger will be hard to beat. In any other year, Phillip Seymour Hoffman would be the hands down winner. But Ledger's restrained performance is just unbeatable. Same for the movie overall. I think seeing "Brokeback Mountain" explains why "Walk the Line" wasn't even nominated. "Walk" is a great film, don't get me wrong, I loved it, but compared to the emotional landscape of "Brokeback Mountain," I just don't think any other film can compete. The story's complexity, the difficulty of the characters' lives, the brilliance of all the performances: "Brokeback Mountain" is the whole package.
I predict Ang Lee will win for Best Director, and the movie will win for Best Picture. It may win for best Adapted Screenplay as well. And Cinematography. And Heath will win. I think Jake has a good shot at Best Supporting. I forget who else is nominated.
I have yet to see "Crash" or "Munich" which I understand are good films, but I can't imagine they could be better than "Brokeback Mountain."