Brokeback Mountain (2005) Film Review


It’s the early sixties. Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) are a couple of young men who take seasonable work around the place doing things like herding sheep up on Brokeback Mountain. These two are on the mountain alone for a long time and after a while, they fall in love. At the end of the season, they go their separate ways, each marrying and having children, but they meet every year or so to go on a “fishing trip”. And even when their situations have changed and they could be together, Ennis is aware of just how cruel people are at this time and how much danger they could be in.

It’s a beautiful and magnificent story with amazing cinematography. I felt that the chemistry between the two men was strained, but that was more because they were such closed off cowboys; when the passion took them, it was intense. Though Heath Ledger was such a mumbler, and I remember when I first saw the film, there was one line which seemed to be the most important that I could not decipher. Same things this time, but now I have the internet. So if anyone else needed to know – “I’m gonna tell you this one time, Jack fuckin’ Twist, an’ I ain’t foolin’. What I don’t know – all them things that I don’t know – could get you killed if I come to know them. I ain’t jokin’.” Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense – go watch the film. Really do, it is beautiful, wonderful and painful.

Brokeback Mountain won Oscars for Best achievement in Directing (Ang Lee), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurty, Diana Ossana) and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score, and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Heath Ledger), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Jake Gyllenhaal), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Michelle Williams) and Best Achievement in Cinematography.

Hulk (2003) Film Review


Bruce Banner (Eric Banner) is a scientist working in a lab with his girlfriend Betty (Jennifer Connelly) when an accident happens. His father, played by Nick Nolte, (who Bruce has believed died when he was young) turns up to try to warn him that things are not as they seem. Eventually, it turns out, no spoiler alert here, that Banner has some strange DNA stuff going on that causes him to turn into the Incredible Hulk when he gets mad.

It’s an origin story, and for me, it takes a bit long to get anywhere. There are lots of sad thinking shots and confusion. The split shots were a nice nod to the comic book origin of the character and the story. Looking back at The Incredible Hulk, it did a great job of knocking off the whole origin story in the title sequence. It looks like our next Hulk sighting is going to be in the next Avengers film, and it will be Mark Ruffalo again. I’m pleased about this.

Life of Pi (2012) Film Review


Life of Pi is one of my favourite books. Ever. I loved reading it, I found it traumatic and tense but beautiful and delightful and I hated that it had to end. When I heard last year that it was being made into a film, I could not believe it. I was sure it would be a total disaster.

How could they possibly put such beauty into a film? Yet they succeeded.  The film totally blew me away. I cried a lot, I laughed. I was totally taken in to the story and, despite knowing where it was going, I was traumatised every step of the way.

Pi is a young man who grew up in India in a zoo run by his father. When he is a teenager, his father sells the animals in the zoo so the family can move to Canada. The family accompanies many of the animals on a cargo ship that mysteriously sinks. Pi ends up on a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a Bengal tiger called Richard Parker.

As much as it sounds ridiculous, it is a story of survival, of humanity and of wonder. Most people I know who have read this book have loved it as passionately as I do, which means that I think there are a lot of people out there who will hate it. I expect there will also be people out there who will hate the film. It cannot be denied that it is truly beautiful, but for some, that will not be enough.

I’m so glad that it wasn’t disappointing. It’s bad enough having Jack Reacher ruined for me, leave me Pi.

Life of Pi was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture and for Production Design, a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Drama), a BAFTA for Best Film and a BAFTA for Production Design.

Claudio Miranda won the Oscar for Cinematography and the BAFTA for Cinematography.

Ang Lee won the Oscar for Directing, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director – Motion Picture, and was nominated for a BAFTA for Director.

Tim Squyres was nominated for an Oscar for Film Editing and a BAFTA for Editing

Mychael Danna won the Oscar for Music (Original Score), won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score – Motion Picture and was nominated for a BAFTA for Original Music.

‘Pi’s Lullaby’ was nominated for an Oscar for Music (Original Song).

Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton were nominated for an Oscar for Sound Editing

Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin were nominated for an Oscar for Sound Mixing.

Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott won the Oscar for Visual Effects and a BAFTA for Special Visual Effects.

David Magee was nominated for an Oscar for Writing (Adapted Screenplay) and a BAFTA for Original Screenplay.

Drew Kunin, Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton, Ron Bartlett, D. M. Hemphill were nominated for a BAFTA for Sound.