Author Topic: A Ninth Viewing Observation  (Read 151855 times)

Offline Mikaela

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #200 on: August 10, 2006, 05:00:08 pm »
I've never doubted that Ennis loves his daughters. I'm certain that he does. "Life's continuance" is important to Ennis, as AP points out. He cares about them deeply. In the "moving to Texas" quarrel he is genuinely worried about losing contact with his girls - he can't imagine doing that, so in the fantasy world they have to come along. But, still - in his dealings with Jack, several times Ennis uses his daughters / the child support as an objection,  an impediment to Jack's wishes for a sweet life that he (Ennis)  is able to verbalize, when the *real* or rather the *major* impediment(s) and emotions remain unvoiced.

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In the post-divorce scene, I think the girls are a legitimate reason to turn Jack away. Still, he could have found some other way to reassure Jack, and didn't.
This is a case in point. Word for word, Ennis is talking as if Jack has come up to spend the weekend with him, which can't be because of the girls. He doesn't address the real reason Jack is there, doesn't tell him to come back in two days' time so they can deal with it and try to sort themselves and their future out..... Of course he should prioritize his girls when he has the care of them that one weekend. But that's not the point in that scene IMO. The inability to acknowledge openly what's really at stake, and to arrange some way to deal with it, is.

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From Diane
I think the post-divorce scene was a turning point for Jack. [ snip]  At that moment, Jack’s hopes and dreams died. IMO, neither one ever brought it up again …. none of it (the divorce fiasco, the hope for a life together, etc.)

I think you must be right in this. Nevertheless I feel nearly stunned by the thought that they did not at all address the post-divorce fiasco the next time they met. That was only one month later.

All the hopes and fears went unspoken but were out in the open, unprotected and vulnerable, those few minutes Jack was at Ennis's place - so overwhelming for both of them, neither had any hope of being calm, reasonable, rational about it then. But one month later? They'd had time to think it through. To form thoughts that might be spoken. And the emotions were still raw, the wounds open. It's sad beyond belief that they didn't acknowledge this, didn't talk about it, couldn't find a way to get to the things unsaid that were becoming unsayable.   :-\ :'(

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This is evidenced by the conversation at the lake scene. Jack asks Ennis, “after all this time, you ain’t find nobody else to marry?” Jack has resigned the fact that Ennis is too paranoid and homophobic to ever publicly acknowledge their relationship.

Oh, yes. I know I posted previously somewhere that Jack's question about Ennis re-marrying is among the saddest lines in the movie to me - because I think it confirms that Jack has given up hoping, even. Saying that, he acknowledges that he realizes Ennis is going to go through life pretending to not be queer with all his might; - and so to that purpose Jack is genuinely surprised that Ennis hasn't done the obvious thing, then,  and found a new wife to complete the "charade".

Offline Momof2

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #201 on: August 10, 2006, 05:32:19 pm »
I thought it was so sad.  Ennis looked so happy to see him and in I think maybe a little awe struck that he was there.  To see Jack so happy and then in a matter of seconds to go to the look of pure hurt.  I guess in a way I fault both of them for not saying the things that needed to be said.  Why oh Why did he not tell him to come back in two days when the girls were gone.  He could have said, Jack I love you and am thrilled that you are here.  You can sleep on the couch.  When I get the girls home we can talk about this.  How could anyone have known that 2 men were in the house together.  Why was he so scared.  Other than the obvious.

In the lake scene when Ennis said Jack, I just cant stand this no more.  I do not think he was saying he did not want to do this anymore.  I think he was saying I love you so much and want to be with you so badly.  I can not stand living this lie any more.  If only.  That is why it is so sad that both of them marry and try to have a "normal" life.  Would they be together if they did not have kids.  I think so.  But Ennis was stuck with what he had in Riverton.  So sad.  It is amazing to me how to "straight" men could put so much emotion into these scenes.  I am sure they draw from personal experiences but to me it is absolutely amazing.
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Offline nakymaton

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #202 on: August 10, 2006, 06:02:22 pm »
He could have said, Jack I love you and am thrilled that you are here.  You can sleep on the couch.  When I get the girls home we can talk about this.

Or even something like: "Door's unlocked. Nothing but beans in the cupboard, though." God, I would love to see Jack's face reacting to even that subtle of an acknowledgment.
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Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #203 on: August 10, 2006, 06:11:11 pm »
Or even something like: "Door's unlocked. Nothing but beans in the cupboard, though." God, I would love to see Jack's face reacting to even that subtle of an acknowledgment.
Ennis does start to say something"Jack..." and the Jack steps in with"I see you next month then" and leaves.
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #204 on: August 10, 2006, 06:36:15 pm »
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Quote from latjoreme:
I don't think the words "I can't stand it no more" were carelessly chosen (by the filmmakers, I mean) as just some random phrase for Ennis to blurt out in the heat of the moment. It's no coincidence, IMO, that these words precisely echo what has been Ennis slogan all along -- that if you can't fix it you gotta stand it -- as well as Jack's "I miss you so much I can hardly stand it."

Undoubtedly correct, Katherine. I agree with you, hunderd percent.  :)
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #205 on: August 10, 2006, 07:01:04 pm »
Ennis does start to say something"Jack..." and the Jack steps in with"I see you next month then" and leaves.

Very good point! If Jack hadn't interrupted, I still doubt Ennis would have said anything about love or the couch or even the beans in the cupboard. But he might have said something that would soften the blow. Even if only, "Jack, I'm sorry, it's great to see you, and I'm really looking forward to our next rendezvous."

OK, so he might not use the word "rendezvous."

Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #206 on: August 10, 2006, 08:09:33 pm »
Very good point! If Jack hadn't interrupted, I still doubt Ennis would have said anything about love or the couch or even the beans in the cupboard. But he might have said something that would soften the blow. Even if only, "Jack, I'm sorry, it's great to see you, and I'm really looking forward to our next rendezvous."

OK, so he might not use the word "rendezvous."

If only jack came on a different day Ennis probally could have spent a day or so with him.
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #207 on: August 10, 2006, 08:21:22 pm »
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I don't think the words "I can't stand it no more" were carelessly chosen (by the filmmakers, I mean) as just some random phrase for Ennis to blurt out in the heat of the moment. It's no coincidence, IMO, that these words precisely echo what has been Ennis slogan all along -- that if you can't fix it you gotta stand it -- as well as Jack's "I miss you so much I can hardly stand it."

But if you can't stand it, what do you gotta do? Try to forget about it? No. The flip side of the slogan is, "If you can't stand it, you gotta fix it." So I think Ennis decides to fix it.

I think focusing on Ennis's own motto in relation to his exclamation during the argument scene is particularly important when you think about what we know about Ennis's personality.  Ennis likes to follow rules (when he can)... when he breaks the rules (almost any rule) it causes him anxiety or at the very least he complains about it... or tries to break the rules only a little bit (i.e. killing an elk is breaking the rules a bit because it's poaching, but it's not as bad as killing a sheep).  So, it seems likely that he will go to great lengths to follow his own rule.  And it is true... there are only two options in his motto/ rule.  You can stand it or you can fix it.  You can't quit it and still be following the rule.



I have another totally different comment to make about the issue of Ennis being concerned about Jack being a good father (and this idea relating back to Ennis's happiness when Jack tells him he has a baby during the reunion scene).  I think Ennis's look of something like shock or surprise (mixed with a lot of happiness) is at least partially because Ennis is surprised at the idea of Jack being with a woman.  Just surprised at Jack being a father period.  This is not how Ennis thinks of Jack up until this point.  I don't think it even occurred to Ennis that Jack would get married.  I have no real evidence for this... just a hunch.
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Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #208 on: August 10, 2006, 08:31:25 pm »


I have another totally different comment to make about the issue of Ennis being concerned about Jack being a good father (and this idea relating back to Ennis's happiness when Jack tells him he has a baby during the reunion scene).  I think Ennis's look of something like shock or surprise (mixed with a lot of happiness) is at least partially because Ennis is surprised at the idea of Jack being with a woman.  Just surprised at Jack being a father period.  This is not how Ennis thinks of Jack up until this point.  I don't think it even occurred to Ennis that Jack would get married.  I have no real evidence for this... just a hunch.
I don't think that Ennis is at all suprised that Jack is married, after all he himself is, and Ennsi feels the only option at least at that time of their lives to live the straight life. Ennis is proud that Jack has a son, and remind him to take care of his family, which to Jack credit he does.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2006, 11:06:09 am by jpwagoneer1964 »
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline dly64

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #209 on: August 10, 2006, 08:44:31 pm »
I don't think the words "I can't stand it no more" were carelessly chosen (by the filmmakers, I mean) as just some random phrase for Ennis to blurt out in the heat of the moment. It's no coincidence, IMO, that these words precisely echo what has been Ennis slogan all along -- that if you can't fix it you gotta stand it -- as well as Jack's "I miss you so much I can hardly stand it."

But if you can't stand it, what do you gotta do? Try to forget about it? No. The flip side of the slogan is, "If you can't stand it, you gotta fix it." So I think Ennis decides to fix it.

100% agreement.

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In the post-divorce scene, I think the girls are a legitimate reason to turn Jack away. Still, he could have found some other way to reassure Jack, and didn't.

But I do think that if Ennis moved in with Jack he would almost certainly lose contact with his daughters (or at the very least, he would be convinced that would happen). And though that wasn't the only reason he rejected the sweet life, it definitely would have been a factor.

I acknowledge this. I think I had talked about this on IMDb. It is a legitimate concern. However, I think that Ennis is not as close to his daughters as he pretends to be. That is a bit of a strong statement …. but  if Ennis was so invested in his daughters, how would he not know that Alma, Jr. hadn’t seen Troy for two years? And that she was in a serious relationship with a guy for about a year? I am not saying that Ennis doesn’t love his daughters. He does. He also loves Jack. But one thing he does with both of them …. he disappoints them time after time after time.

I've never doubted that Ennis loves his daughters. I'm certain that he does. "Life's continuance" is important to Ennis, as AP points out. He cares about them deeply. In the "moving to Texas" quarrel he is genuinely worried about losing contact with his girls - he can't imagine doing that, so in the fantasy world they have to come along. But, still - in his dealings with Jack, several times Ennis uses his daughters / the child support as an objection,  an impediment to Jack's wishes for a sweet life that he (Ennis)  is able to verbalize, when the *real* or rather the *major* impediment(s) and emotions remain unvoiced.

This is a case in point. Word for word, Ennis is talking as if Jack has come up to spend the weekend with him, which can't be because of the girls. He doesn't address the real reason Jack is there, doesn't tell him to come back in two days' time so they can deal with it and try to sort themselves and their future out..... Of course he should prioritize his girls when he has the care of them that one weekend. But that's not the point in that scene IMO. The inability to acknowledge openly what's really at stake, and to arrange some way to deal with it, is.

Agreed! Beautifully stated.

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Oh, yes. I know I posted previously somewhere that Jack's question about Ennis re-marrying is among the saddest lines in the movie to me - because I think it confirms that Jack has given up hoping, even. Saying that, he acknowledges that he realizes Ennis is going to go through life pretending to not be queer with all his might; - and so to that purpose Jack is genuinely surprised that Ennis hasn't done the obvious thing, then,  and found a new wife to complete the "charade".

100% agree



Ennis does start to say something"Jack..." and the Jack steps in with"I see you next month then" and leaves.


If only jack came on a different day Ennis probally could have spent a day or so with him.

Ennis is trying to somehow smooth over the awkwardness of the situation. He wouldn’t have said, “Jack, stay at the Motel Siesta and we’ll get together later.” And if Jack would have shown up on another day when the girls weren’t there, he would have used another excuse like … “Jack, I gotta work …” (sound familiar?) It’s not the content of what Ennis is saying, it’s what he’s not saying. Ennis rambles on and on about having the girls that weekend. But while he’s talking, he’s watching the truck that’s driving by. Another sign that Jack knows Ennis will never change. Ennis’ fear of being “outed” is too strong. 
Diane

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