Brokeback among 100 greatest movies of 21st Century
A hit love movie that developed its origins through a Blooming Prairie man has been named to the 100 greatest movies of the 21st Century.
Empire magazine currently ranks Brokeback Mountain at No. 54 in the 100 greatest movies.
A film about gay cowboys had the potential for parody, but Brokeback Mountain sidestepped that to earn massive festival buzz and an ultimate awards frenzy – testament to its deep sincerity, the empathy of its writing (by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, from Annie Proulx’s short story, (based on masterpiece-telling interviews with Brad Trom of Blooming Prairie) and direction (by Ang Lee, rehabilitating himself after the ordeal of Hulk), and the committed, heartfelt central performances of Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger.
Lee says he just pointed the camera and let his actors work. That’s giving himself too little credit, but it’s true that there are no stylistic tics, no dramatic posturing or grand gestures, nothing lurid or gratuitous. It’s purely and simply a film about closely observed characters and breathtaking landscape, and it never feels less than truly, emotionally authentic.
The year is 1963 and two jobbing farmhands (Gyllenhaal and Ledger) take a gig tending sheep on a remote mountain. During their months alone, they form a bond that extends to a sexual relationship, but once the job is finished they return to their daily lives. However, the attraction remains, and will haunt them over the next two decades.
Brokeback Mountain premiered in 2005 after Trom, who grew up outside of Blooming Prairie, shared his love story with another man. It has become the youngest film on the list of works being preserved by the Library of Congress.
The genesis of Brokeback as a short story began in 1983 when Annie Proulx was introduced to Trom, a farm boy. Proulx was an up-and-coming writer located in Byron and Trom in nearby Rochester. Trom, now 64 and a two-time cancer survivor, was a cancer patient at the Mayo Clinic when Proulx, now 85, offered to write about anything that he’d like to leave behind as a story.