Dave's Rating:

5.0

… heartbreaking …

Who's in It: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Anna Faris

The Basics: Two sheep-tending cowboys in 1960s Wyoming find themselves unexpectedly falling in love and suffering the heartbreaking consequences, keeping their relationship a secret for 20 years.

What's the Deal? The thing to remember about this movie is that it's not "gay" in the way people think of that word in 2005. It's set in the 1960s, before there was an organized gay culture of any significance, especially in Wyoming. These characters think of themselves as heterosexual men with a secret — not as gay. So if you're expecting Priscilla, Queen of the Rodeo you'll be a little disoriented. It's somber and slow and desperately sad and no one eats any pudding.

Manly, Yes, But Ladies … There's already been a lot written about how Ledger will probably be nominated for an Academy Award for this role — and he deserves one. Outside of Monster's Ball, audiences haven't really had a chance to see whether he can act or not — and he can. But Williams and Hathaway, as the unlucky wives of these two men, are due some recognition of their own. Williams' scenes of discovery and fury at being betrayed are pretty raw.

About the Love Scenes: Yes, there's kissing. Yes, there's more than kissing. And it's intense — but not full of nudity or graphic anything, really. So don't worry, straight guys, you probably won't get overly turned on.

Bring Kleenex: In the press screening I went to — and grumpy middle-age film critics are not known for getting very emotional during those — there was loud sniffling when the final credits rolled.

Movie Math: Titanic + Same Time, Next Year + Romeo + Juliet - Juliet = Brokeback Mountain

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