The story is filmed in a very epic style with breathtaking scenic shots reminiscent of big studio epics from the past and John Ford cinematography. The beautiful scenes are best viewed in the DVD's widescreen edition.
There are quite a lot of special features on the DVD without it being labeled a special edition. I was disappointed that there wasn’t a commentary by Ang Lee, especially since he was nominated for Best Director. Still there are a decent number of featurettes to satisfy fans.
- Becoming a Cowboy: This featurette shows how stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Anne Hathaway practiced becoming cowboys, riding horses and looking authentic in their rustic roles. We see the actors riding horses, roping cattle, doing rodeo etc., plus interviews from the trainers and actors regarding this undertaking of preparing for the film.
- Directing from the Heart: Although Ang Lee doesn’t provide an audio commentary, this feature provides a detailed commentary on his directing with behind-the-scenes footage.
- Sharing the Story: The Making of Brokeback Mountain – This other feature section follows the filmmaking process form start to finish. Here we get to meet more of the cast and crew in in-depth interviews, behind-the-scenes clips.
- From Script to Screen: Interviews with Larry McMurty & Diana Ossana – The writers discuss bringing the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx’s visionary short story to the screen and adapting it into a full length film. This is especially interesting given Larry McMurty’s own writing acclaim, which includes the western story Lonesome Dove.
A beautifully filmed and directed epic that is well acted and subtly thought provoking.
Slow moving, minimal dialogue and frustrating outcome and situation.
On the Side:
Won three Academy Awards including Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score.
Breaking Down the DVD:
The Film: A-
The Delivery: A+
The Extras: B+
Overall Grade: A-
Release Date: April 4th, 2006
Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams
Directed by: Ang Lee
Writing Credits: E. Annie Proulx (short story) Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana (screenplay)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
MPAA: Rated R for sexuality, nudity, language and some violence.
Run Time: 134 min.
Studio: Universal (official site)
By Tara Settembre, Staff Writer for Film School Rejects