SARRIS DARES TO SHRUG OFF BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Courageously stating some of the obvious problems with Brokeback Mountain, Andrew Sarris demonstrates that he’s willing to swim upstream against the tidal wave of hype:
Hence, I suppose that my ultimate objection to Brokeback Mountain lies in its stretching out what originally begins as a physical relationship between two young men to, after 20 years, Ennis and Jack quarreling like an old married couple about the forced infrequency of their reunions. Yet what are the odds that they would have managed to stay together if they had been together all that time? The current odds on married heterosexual couples staying the course are no better than 50-50, and that is as true in the red states as it is in the blue.
Besides, the problem of the economic disparity between lower-middle-class Ennis and upper-middle-class Jack isn’t sufficiently addressed in Brokeback Mountain, even though Ennis is rendered virtually immobile by his pressing need to keep his job to support his kids. By contrast, Jack has the means and the time to hop down to Mexico to sleep with male prostitutes. In this, he follows a pattern of promiscuity that raises doubts about the stability of any more lasting day-to-day relationship between him and Ennis.
And just for the record, none of the classic women’s pictures that I mentioned actually made me cry. They were too good for that. All they did was create an aching feeling of loss in the pit of my stomach. I never felt that ache in Brokeback Mountain, despite all the artful acting, writing and direction devoted to that end.
TOM TAKES TEXAN TASK
Julia Roberts may join Tom Hanks in a Mike Nichols film about “Charlie Wilson, the rogue Texas congressman who oversaw the covert funding of the Afghan rebels in their battle against the Soviet Union.”
BIG MEDIA DECIDES PEOPLE NEED RELIGION
CNN on the religious-media revolution.