Today I am thinking of the wide expanses and jagged mountain ranges of Wyoming. In 2001, Allen and I spent some time along the Wind River in Dubois, traveling in and out of the Tetons and Yellowstone.
I am thinking of the day we spent driving across Wyoming from South Dakota. Hot, hot day on a two lane road, straight through the grasslands, stopping by the side of the road to pee and startling a pronghorn, which had been grazing nearby. Another world. And waiting for that moment when we would see the mountains rising in the distance, hoping it would be what we expected and it was.
Gorgeous country that sort of breaks your heart, leaves you feeling like you are in love with something unattainable, something wild and frightened. Something that might even make you fear for your own cozy existence. It is that falling in love, that fierce, fierce falling in love.
My mind is right there because I saw “Brokeback Mountain” yesterday and I don’t know how to quit it.
If there has been a more beautiful and heartbreaking (American) movie in the past several years or so, then I don’t know it. By the end of the movie, I was using several balled up, pulled apart napkins to wipe at my eyes and blow my nose. And when I went to the bathroom afterwards (where, of course, there was a line) everyone looked at me funny because my eyes were all red and puffy.
This movie is a testament to the brave and beautiful storymaking of Annie Proulx (have you read the story? Never has something so plain spoken been so luminous), the producing and screenwriting of Larry McMurtry (he is truly inspired, his books, his movies, his vision), the direction of Ang Lee (this man has incredible vision), and the tender, subtle, and gut-wrenching acting by Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Michelle Williams (everyone was great but these three killed me).
There was not one minute of this film where I felt a scene was wasted. Not one bit of hackneyed dialogue. Not one spot where I felt the intent was lost.
And what I learned from it was to not waste a scene. Do not waste a moment. Make it count or do not keep it in. I am gushing, yes, but I found it perfect and, in the end, I achieved catharsis. This movie is destined to be a classic.