Author Topic: lovable subtle details  (Read 245071 times)

Offline DeeDee

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #110 on: May 08, 2006, 10:59:51 pm »
so dark...I want the cap before this one
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #111 on: May 12, 2006, 06:28:25 pm »
Among the subtle details that I love the most are the expression changes on Ennis' face in the last few scenes that, though almost imperceptible, suggest surging emotions. Somehow he is able to move his face half a millimeter and convey anything from hope to hearbreak. For example, when Lureen mentions Brokeback as being "where bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring," he manages to give the slightest hint of a smile as he remembers the source of the phrase, while still looking distraught. Again, when John Twist mentions Jack's plans to ranch with Ennis, he reacts with -- well, it can hardly be called a smile, more like his face slightly brightens, but you can see that he finds knowing that comforting. And of course his face darkens a second later, when he hears about Randall, but again, just slightly -- plus the flared nostrils -- yet we see how devastating that news is.

And the range of expressions he goes through after hearing Alma Jr. say her fiance loves her -- well, that's my OTHER favorite two seconds of the movie.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #112 on: May 12, 2006, 10:08:12 pm »
Again, when John Twist mentions Jack's plans to ranch with Ennis, he reacts with -- well, it can hardly be called a smile, more like his face slightly brightens, but you can see that he finds knowing that comforting. And of course his face darkens a second later, when he hears about Randall, but again, just slightly -- plus the flared nostrils -- yet we see how devastating that news is.

And the range of expressions he goes through after hearing Alma Jr. say her fiance loves her -- well, that's my OTHER favorite two seconds of the movie.

Yes, I generally think that facial expressions on the part of all the actors virtually make this movie.  Alma Jr. is brilliant at subtle facial expressions... most of her acting in this movie comes from facial expressions rather than lines delivered... amazing for such a young actress.  And Jake deserved every award he won for the range of facial expressions in the reunion kiss scene.  Seriously.

Anyway,  in reference to the quote above... yes it is absolutely wonderful to see that almost smile out of Ennis when John Twist lets him know all about Jack's plans to bring Ennis to the ranch and run it.  I think this moment is a revelation to Ennis. It probably never occurred to him that Jack's plans were concrete... that there was an actual ranch available to them to have... that Jack had been confident enough about this idea to tell his parents.  Ennis had never been able to imagine/ visualize what a life with Jack would look like in the real world.  And now, John Twist makes it crystal clear to him.  Jack's plan might have worked... and could have been real- not just a fantasy.  But, the most heartbreaking thing about Ennis's *almost* smile is that it is tinged with guilt.  He knows he was responsible for dashing that dream of Jack's.  How awful to know that you're the one who truly loved Jack and are also just one of those people who prevented Jack's "ideas from coming to pass."  I don't think I'm being too harsh on Ennis here.  It's just part of the grim reality of the way the story ends I think.

Yes, the nostril flair over Randall is awesome.  One more sign, I think, that Ennis truly thinks of himself as Jack's real partner by now.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #113 on: May 13, 2006, 12:15:24 am »
Anyway,  in reference to the quote above... yes it is absolutely wonderful to see that almost smile out of Ennis when John Twist lets him know all about Jack's plans to bring Ennis to the ranch and run it.  I think this moment is a revelation to Ennis. It probably never occurred to him that Jack's plans were concrete... that there was an actual ranch available to them to have... that Jack had been confident enough about this idea to tell his parents.  Ennis had never been able to imagine/ visualize what a life with Jack would look like in the real world.  And now, John Twist makes it crystal clear to him.  Jack's plan might have worked... and could have been real- not just a fantasy.  But, the most heartbreaking thing about Ennis's *almost* smile is that it is tinged with guilt.  He knows he was responsible for dashing that dream of Jack's.  How awful to know that you're the one who truly loved Jack and are also just one of those people who prevented Jack's "ideas from coming to pass."  I don't think I'm being too harsh on Ennis here.  It's just part of the grim reality of the way the story ends I think.

Yes, I agree that the subtlety of ALL the characters' facial expressions is amazing. I recently posted on the "I love everything Alma Jr.' thread about how much I love her long, thoughtful look and gentle voice as she says, "Yes, daddy, he loves me." And Jack in the reunion kiss -- I also love seeing that he's so happy and incredulous he appears on the verge of tears. Touching and amazing.

You're right, Amanda, the fact that Ennis realizes the plans were concrete, and he was the one that prevented them, make this scene so heartbreaking. At one time I could hardly watch the last few scenes; now they've become possibly my favorite part of the movie (though I still can hardly stand to watch them). Ennis' expressions emotions are SO powerful, yet the constraints are SO strong that he is hardly able to reveal any emotion at all. That happens throughout the movie with both Ennis and Jack, but the conflict between emotion and restraint is particularly strong in the Twist ranch scene. We see what Ennis is going through, as does Mrs. Twist, yet John Twist hardly notices. It's amazing to see an actor 1) pretending not to show any emotion, yet somehow 2) actually showing huge depths of emotion and yet all the while 3) never going over the top or seeming the least bit maudlin or false.

I've said it a million times, but Heath was so robbed of that Oscar.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2006, 12:12:14 pm by latjoreme »

Offline silkncense

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #114 on: May 14, 2006, 10:14:34 am »
Quote
but Heath was so robbed of that Oscar

You are SO right!!!
"……when I think of him, I just can't keep from crying…because he was a friend of mine…"

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #115 on: May 15, 2006, 08:38:02 pm »
Ennis' expressions emotions are SO powerful, yet the constraints are SO strong that he is hardly able to reveal any emotion at all. That happens throughout the movie with both Ennis and Jack, but the conflict between emotion and restraint is particularly strong in the Twist ranch scene. We see what Ennis is going through, as does Mrs. Twist, yet John Twist hardly notices. It's amazing to see an actor 1) pretending not to show any emotion, yet somehow 2) actually showing huge depths of emotion and yet all the while 3) never going over the top or seeming the least bit maudlin or false.

I've said it a million times, but Heath was so robbed of that Oscar.

Definitely the tension that hiding deep emotion causes, I think, is what makes this movie so intense while at the same time it's so quiet.  In this scene, it has been suggested here and there, that Ennis is in part looking to find people he can grieve with over Jack.  He knew so few people connected to Jack's life and he wouldn't allow himself to express his grief over Jack's death to anyone in Riverton.  So this is yet another level of intense emotion being suppressed here by both Ennis and Jack's Mom.  On one of the great old threads about Jack's Mom on imdb someone once noted that part of the reason she might have invited Ennis to go to Jack's room right when she did was because she probably realized that he needed to cry and would probably want privacy (in addition to Mrs. Twist wanting Ennis to find the shirts and to realize that the "other fellow"  was really insignificant to Jack compared to him).

BBM was robbed of the other 5 Oscars it didn't win.  But, Citizen Kane didn't win best picture either (like our Brokeback, it won best screenplay! ... But it was original screenplay in the case of Kane.).  Classics are not determined by the Oscars.  I wish that my copy of the BBM DVD didn't have that "3 Oscars" border on it.  It should say winner of 64 major film awards and nominated for 51 more (the 64 and 51 include the Oscars).  That seems much more impressive and in many ways things like the Golden Lion in Venice means more to hardcore film people anyway.  That really is a shockingly huge number of awards.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2006, 08:48:32 pm by atz75 »
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #116 on: May 15, 2006, 10:58:23 pm »
On one of the great old threads about Jack's Mom on imdb someone once noted that part of the reason she might have invited Ennis to go to Jack's room right when she did was because she probably realized that he needed to cry and would probably want privacy (in addition to Mrs. Twist wanting Ennis to find the shirts and to realize that the "other fellow"  was really insignificant to Jack compared to him).

BBM was robbed of the other 5 Oscars it didn't win.  But, Citizen Kane didn't win best picture either (like our Brokeback, it won best screenplay! ... But it was original screenplay in the case of Kane.).  Classics are not determined by the Oscars.  I wish that my copy of the BBM DVD didn't have that "3 Oscars" border on it.  It should say winner of 64 major film awards and nominated for 51 more (the 64 and 51 include the Oscars).  That seems much more impressive and in many ways things like the Golden Lion in Venice means more to hardcore film people anyway.  That really is a shockingly huge number of awards.

Yes, Ennis is clearly on the verge of tears just when she touches his shoulder. And the two of them exchange several long, meaningful looks throughout that scene and the one that follows, so I am pretty sure he knows that she knows and finds comfort in her sympathy, the only condolences he will ever receive.

As for the Oscar, I agree that BBM is a classic without the validation of an Oscar. In the long run, it won't matter much. What bothers me is how much Heath and everybody else deserve to have "Oscar winner" on their resumes, with all the attendant prestige and earning potential. I thought Ang's bewildered tone in post-Oscar interviews was very sad. Also, the Oscar would have sent a message to people who are skeptical or critical or even just ignorant of the movie, many of whom would know little about the less famous awards or the morning-after backlash against the AMPAS.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 12:44:51 am by latjoreme »

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #117 on: May 17, 2006, 12:21:39 am »
OK, new *little* detail... I love that the tractor that Jack rides with his son is called "versatile"- like our Jack.  :)
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #118 on: May 24, 2006, 10:49:17 pm »
And another detail...

I think it's amazing how much of the movie Ennis spends with furrowed brows.  Those worry lines in his forehead are usually pretty intense.  So, some of my new favorite moments are when Ennis's face looks relaxed and contented. 

My absolute favorite example of this is the 2nd tent scene.  When Ennis enters the tent and kneels down all the way through the cuddling while he's lying on top of Jack his forehead is doing some serious furrowing.  But, once Jack rolls over on top of him and really starts to kiss him... Ennis's face just looks so different.  Soooo much more relaxed.  It's honestly hard to think of all that many moments when Ennis's face doesn't look at least sliightly worried or stressed.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: lovable subtle details
« Reply #119 on: May 25, 2006, 12:00:28 am »
But, once Jack rolls over on top of him and really starts to kiss him... Ennis's face just looks so different.  Soooo much more relaxed.

Yes, and the other thing I love about this moment is how into it Ennis suddenly becomes -- much more of an active participant. :-* There's like a sixteenth of a second at the very end of that scene when it looks like they stop kissing and sort of rest their faces on each other's. I really hate how it cuts away right then. (Ang has said in interviews, I think, that the scene was trimmed way down from what they actually filmed -- we can only hope that more will surface in a special edition DVD or director's cut!)

The other time he's notably non-furrowed is throughout most of the reunion segment -- especially during the "sending up a prayer of thanks" moment.  :)

Then again, I also love the worry lines, especially at the end of the lakeside argument, when his expression is not so much worry as outright anguish.