Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Ang Lee directs this classically told love epic with conviction and great attention for his protagonists. It is a simple story, with simple characters whose sexuality might con people into thinking we're dealing with something original. Brokeback Mountain is a beautiful film, but it encounters problems when trying to span twenty years of the two separate lives of Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar into short, episodic scenes that struggle to enlighten the development in its characters. Towards the end, we feel we're watching a 'highlights compilation' of a long-time doomed relationship.
By then though, the film has laid a solid foundation, mainly through a fine first half where Lee intertwines a beautiful back-to-basic portrayal of American frontier life with a forceful, passionate and primal romance that catches our protagonists unawares and sets off a highly interesting and riveting process in our men (particularly Ennis) that challenges and agonizes the rest of their lives. At its best, Brokeback Mountain is effective and probing, but there's also no denying that the simplicity of the story and the at times somewhat forced interaction and dialogue between our two not too talkative lovers puts a to some extent limiting veil to the experience. Ang Lee ultimately wraps it up quite usefully, but the often engaging and beautiful film still feels lacking during an overlong latter part.