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Author Topic: Alma & Lureen  (Read 143681 times)

Offline Pierre

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2006, 07:19:40 PM »
Ennis is unpolished and frustrated. When combined with the inability to communicate, this breeds violence. Ennis was always more quick to hit then speak. It's similar to a child, when they get frustrated they lash out, undone by their emotional immaturity. 
i can't condone his actions but i know where they stem from.,

Offline terry

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2006, 01:20:23 AM »
First of all I'd like to thank Dave and Greg for finally helping me login!  Thank you!!!!  Anyway, I've been reading a lot of these threads but especially the laughter that ensued during the reunion scene.  When I saw it the first time, I admit I laughed alongside the audience.  Had I been more sensitive I would have noticed that the woman besides me cringed as well as another woman across the aisle.  I can't tell you how bad I felt afterwards when I thought about it hours later.  On my second and third viewings I made certain to keep that emotion in check although I wish I could say the same for the people around me.  If I could apologize to that lady that was sitting beside me I would.  When I talked to a couple of friends afterwards, they told me they had similar experiences.  I personally wasn't enjoying Alma's pain, I don't think any sane person would, but I admit I experienced the same joy that Ennis did when he was reunited with Jack.  I felt that emotion once but haven't felt it since.

imennisshesjack

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2006, 08:48:35 AM »
I can speak to this as I have personal experience...

My girl and I have been having a relationship for 5 years. Her marriage broke up and mine is teetering. I burst out crying in the theater at Alma's reaction (and BTW, who would laugh at that??That's terrible!!!) b'c I've hurt my husband so much with my relationship. He's known since the beginning but he is such a kind, nice person, I can't just leave him. I'm afraid of what he might do (to himself) if I do. I am living with horrible guilt of hurting my "Alma" and my "Jack" and this movie has brought it all home. It's painful and sad and terrifying. I am not scared at living the "gay" lifestlye (although I consider myself Bi as I think Jake and Heath are smoking hot, and I still have a jones for Colin Farrell too, lol). I am disappointed in myself as I have hurt my "Alma" (which, eerily enough, was my grandmother's name) and I am hurting my Jack by staying here.

Any advice?
Carol

kumari

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2006, 10:29:26 AM »
I can speak to this as I have personal experience...

My girl and I have been having a relationship for 5 years. Her marriage broke up and mine is teetering. I burst out crying in the theater at Alma's reaction (and BTW, who would laugh at that??That's terrible!!!) b'c I've hurt my husband so much with my relationship. He's known since the beginning but he is such a kind, nice person, I can't just leave him. I'm afraid of what he might do (to himself) if I do. I am living with horrible guilt of hurting my "Alma" and my "Jack" and this movie has brought it all home. It's painful and sad and terrifying. I am not scared at living the "gay" lifestlye (although I consider myself Bi as I think Jake and Heath are smoking hot, and I still have a jones for Colin Farrell too, lol). I am disappointed in myself as I have hurt my "Alma" (which, eerily enough, was my grandmother's name) and I am hurting my Jack by staying here.

Any advice?
Carol

Hello,
Glad that you are here. There are some wonderful and supportive people on this board.
I am an Alma, and while no one can tell you what will be right for you and the people in your life, I can give you some insight.
The only thing that you cannot give your husband back is time. He deserves to love and be loved fully, just as you and your Jack do.
Some people can do the polyamory thing, but it is difficult and jealousy can easily get out of control and start to do damage to everyone involved.
Only you can decide what the best thing to do is. But don't stay with your husband out of guilt or because he is a good person.
I don't want that, and I don't think your husband would either. I told my husband that if he ever decides that he wants his other relationship more than me, I want to know, and I want to know now. Not 5-10 years from now.
Just some things to think about.


Offline canmark

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2006, 02:44:31 PM »
Although slightly off topic, this post involves inappropriate laughing... although this time it's about the film Munich.

SPOILER: do not read next paragraph if you haven't seen Munich.

There's a sequence at the end of Munich--the climax of the film, really--where shots of Eric Bana's character making love to his wife are intercut with shots of the terrorists killing the hostages. Bana is working up a sweat in a sort-of nightmare-ish way. And of course the drama of seeing the helpless hostages being gunned down is dramatic. Well, during all this there was a man in the audience laughing out loud. I was shocked. It took me totally out of the film. What in the world could he be laughing at, I thought? What is funny about this scenario? I still have no idea, but plan to see the film again. I hope and pray nobody laughs.

So, while inappropriate, I can sort-of understand people laughing at the Alma scene. I think the Joe Aguirre/binoculars scene actually *is* kind of funny, and people may equate the Alma scene with that. But afterwards, when Alma walks back into the house and is looking so sad, how can people not feel her pain? The first time I saw BBM I was rejoicing at that scene because it showed that this film was not one-sided, it was not going to present Ennis as just a victim of circumstance, but an active participant and, in fact, a perpetrator of hurt and pain (albeit unwittingly and unwantingly) in others. I think this is one of the biggest strengths in BBM: its willingness to show its protagonist's flaws and the hurt that he causes, in addition to the hurt that happens to him. Because, obviously, there are two sides to every story.
... yet he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream.

Offline Cambridge

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2006, 03:26:10 PM »
Happy to see this here. Maybe not the most appropriate place to jump in but:

1: in Cambridge they gasped. The only laughs came when Jack was dancing at the party with the motormouth wife and again when her husband, just before coming on to Jack, says it wouldn't matter what he said to her as he never got a word in edgewise. And of course when Jack told off his father-in-law.
2: the "Jack Twist/Jack Nasty" scene is a masterpiece, not least for the story's line that Alma "scrubbed the plate hard enough to take the pattern off" and the movie's (and story's) jump from the "water" as in "that pole never went near the water" to the faucet turned to sluice the dishes. She's working to clean her soul here, to wipe away something she's felt somehow soiled by for years. This is not only powerful - and brilliant - writing but the scene is perfectly realized in the film. Like so much else. This is art: one "pole" never went near the "water" but another one did, and for twenty years.
3: speaking as a gay man, a few things I read about Jack here make me see him in a bit different light. Nothing so damning as to throw him under the bus, but enough to now see what others did and I missed: his dismissal of Alma and Ennis's relationship and that of Ennis and the girls. In truth, his physical allure and his skillful portrayal have blinded me to his shortcomings, few and ultimately inconsequential as they may be in the overall scheme of things.
4: Jack may not be the greatest husband, but it seems clear - as he says - that both of he and Lureen might as well be phoning it in for all their marriage is worth. He does defend his wife's work making dinner; he does, finally and magnificently, nail her blowhard father; he obviously loves his son. And while my initial reaction to the question of choices was "it didn't have to be like this" if either or both of 'em faced themselves and their truths before (wrongly) marrying the women, the times - and the story - work against that happening. Ennis was an orphan who didn't make it to the sophomore year in high school so anyone - Jack or Alma or the girlfriend at the Wolf Ears bar, the only three sexual relationships in his life it would appear - was Terra incognita to him. And when you're lost it's hard to read a map or a relationship or a person - if you're fortunate enough to have one - when you don't have a compass made up of education and experience. In different ways, both men were profoundly mis-reared by their fathers.
5: Which leads me to wonder how else, given what they knew, felt, and saw; both before they met and for the twenty years after, it could have turned out otherwise. That's the story, folks: happy marriages are not the stuff movies are made of. There's so little of Alma and Lureen, less of the girls and nothing of Ennis's later girlfriend in the original story. The screenplay's expansion (and creation) of their characters is pitch-perfect. The pain is real for both of 'em, as is Alma's innocence. Lureen looks like she can handle herself better even as it appears she knew even less. Maybe that's why.

I've never been so moved by a movie.


Offline evie

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2006, 05:15:28 PM »
I am a rank and file soccer mom and here is my Alma/Lureen impression: I agree a bit with sayitaintso in thinking that yes, Alma was broken by her realization about Ennis but she was able to put herself and her life back together in a way that Ennis and Jack never could. When she married Munroe, her circumstances improved. She had a nice house and a reliable husband who provided well for her. In the book, Alma is painted as pragmatic in her decision to leave Ennis. "Why am I hanging around with him," or something is what she thinks. She has bitter feelings towards Ennis; maybe she even still loves him in her heart of hearts but we don't get the impression that she pined for Ennis after leaving him. She ended up better off.

Now Lureen -- I think Jack was just another good-looking accessory to her life. She was a pretty daddy's girl, used to getting every material thing she wanted. We don't get an impression in the movie or book that she loved Jack much. Jack told Ennis outright that he could conduct his marriage to Lureen over the phone. I was not convinced by her phone conversation with Ennis that she was so shattered by Jack's death as just worn out by all of it. She ran the company pretty much single-handedly and she and Jack weren't emotionally close, so she didn't lose as much as most women would have.

So in the end, the gals did not suffer nearly as much as Ennis and Jack. The kids might be another story but we don't know enough to speculate. Thank heaven Ennis has his daughters in the end.

PS Dave --that "Straight People Zone" -- now that gave me a good laugh! I know there are a good number of us married hetero, conventional gals on the site but are there any straight men? Even one?

Let 'er rip and snort boys

kumari

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2006, 08:00:43 PM »
I am a rank and file soccer mom and here is my Alma/Lureen impression: I agree a bit with sayitaintso in thinking that yes, Alma was broken by her realization about Ennis but she was able to put herself and her life back together in a way that Ennis and Jack never could. When she married Munroe, her circumstances improved. She had a nice house and a reliable husband who provided well for her. In the book, Alma is painted as pragmatic in her decision to leave Ennis. "Why am I hanging around with him," or something is what she thinks. She has bitter feelings towards Ennis; maybe she even still loves him in her heart of hearts but we don't get the impression that she pined for Ennis after leaving him. She ended up better off.

Yes, Alma does end up better off, and this just amplifies the idea that she and Ennis were not right for each other in the first place, gayness notwithstanding. Notice the way that Ennis almost chuckles with pride when Jr. tells him that her man works in the oil fields. He says "A roughneck," but what he means is, "a guy like me." Alma was not going to be satisfied with the life that Ennis provided. She didn't like ranch life, and she didn't like isolation. Ennis was not going to "smarten up" and go to any chuch socials, and under no circumstances would he cut turkey with an electric knife.

jiml

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2006, 08:40:06 PM »
OK, this is my first time to venture into this thread. I've tried to review all the previous posts.

my own take is that all four prolly suffers equally, give or take. though the story is primarily focused on the two, so it's natural that the audience does, too, especially the gay part of the audience. but one of the things i loved about the movie was that it developed the women much more than the book, which i see as a great addtion.

and i really did expect it to get a lot more attention.

so i'm curious about why it has not, and also curious about how that lack of attention is sitting with straight women, or straight men.
Dave, I agree that they all suffer. Speaking for myself, the attention is paid to the men primarily because they are the main characters. We just don't spend as much time with the women.

Frankly, strictly from an analytical perspective, Alma doesn't interest me much at this point. It's not that I don't ache for her. It's that her plight seems very clear in the story. We understand the pain she went through. She dealt with it, and she moved on with her life.

The thing that keeps pulling me back to these boards isn't that this is a well made film. (Though it's superb.) It isn't that it's a "gay" story. (Though that's what got me hooked on the movie to start with.) Rather, it's my need to understand what happened and will happen to these people.

What will Ennis's future be? How did Jake die?  What is Lureen's life like? How much does she know? Those are the questions that intrigue me. And frankly, Lureen seems to be a huge key in unraveling this whole mystery.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2006, 08:53:41 PM by original jim »

Offline andrew

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2006, 08:51:00 PM »
There has been quite a discussion about Lureen's phone conversation with Ennis on the Anne Hathaway fan thread and Bobbie very reasonably suggested it move over here.  I guess the fact that the fan thread morphed over to Lureen is a tribute to how Anne Hathaway just became Lureen.  Almost that whole thread since post 5 has been about Lureen, and today all about that scene.

One really obvious reference I was not fully conscious of for the longest time was the one in this part: 'I thought Brokeback Mountain might be around where he grew up.  But knowing Jack, it might be some pretend place where the bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring.'

She is referring sarcastically to that Harry McClintock song from the 20's,  Big Rock Candy Mountain.

On a summer day
In the month of May
A burly bum came hiking
Down a shady lane
Through the sugar cane
He was looking for his liking
As he roamed along
He sang a song
Of the land of milk and honey
Where a bum can stay
For many a day
And he won't need any money.

Chorus
Oh the buzzing of the bees
In the cigarette trees
Near the soda water fountain
At the lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
On the big rock candy mountain.

There are variant words and I'm sure some versions say 'whiskey springs'.   In the version I was quoting it has 'lake of gin' in the next stanza.  And ...that next stanza also says, 'and the folks are tender-hearted'!!

Well, those were most of Jack's dreams, seen from a certain viewpoint.  Looking for his liking on a summer day back on Brokeback...With Lureen a bum could stay for many a day and he won't need any money (she must have thought of him that way).  Only Ennis and Jack's mother knew how badly Jack wanted to be in a place where 'the folks are tender-hearted'. 
 



jiml

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2006, 09:02:56 PM »
Now Lureen -- I think Jack was just another good-looking accessory to her life. She was a pretty daddy's girl, used to getting every material thing she wanted. We don't get an impression in the movie or book that she loved Jack much. Jack told Ennis outright that he could conduct his marriage to Lureen over the phone. I was not convinced by her phone conversation with Ennis that she was so shattered by Jack's death as just worn out by all of it. She ran the company pretty much single-handedly and she and Jack weren't emotionally close, so she didn't lose as much as most women would have.
I would buy that until the point at which the realization hits her of what Ennis meant to Jack. When she takes the breaths and when the tears well up, it's very difficult for me to accept that she didn't feel some kind of real love for him. And when I watch her try to choke back that pain, it's hard to believe that she was complicit in his death in any way.

imennisshesjack

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #56 on: January 06, 2006, 08:46:03 AM »
I can speak to this as I have personal experience...

My girl and I have been having a relationship for 5 years. Her marriage broke up and mine is teetering. I burst out crying in the theater at Alma's reaction (and BTW, who would laugh at that??That's terrible!!!) b'c I've hurt my husband so much with my relationship. He's known since the beginning but he is such a kind, nice person, I can't just leave him. I'm afraid of what he might do (to himself) if I do. I am living with horrible guilt of hurting my "Alma" and my "Jack" and this movie has brought it all home. It's painful and sad and terrifying. I am not scared at living the "gay" lifestlye (although I consider myself Bi as I think Jake and Heath are smoking hot, and I still have a jones for Colin Farrell too, lol). I am disappointed in myself as I have hurt my "Alma" (which, eerily enough, was my grandmother's name) and I am hurting my Jack by staying here.

Any advice?
Carol

Hello,
Glad that you are here. There are some wonderful and supportive people on this board.
I am an Alma, and while no one can tell you what will be right for you and the people in your life, I can give you some insight.
The only thing that you cannot give your husband back is time. He deserves to love and be loved fully, just as you and your Jack do.
Some people can do the polyamory thing, but it is difficult and jealousy can easily get out of control and start to do damage to everyone involved.
Only you can decide what the best thing to do is. But don't stay with your husband out of guilt or because he is a good person.
I don't want that, and I don't think your husband would either. I told my husband that if he ever decides that he wants his other relationship more than me, I want to know, and I want to know now. Not 5-10 years from now.
Just some things to think about.


Kumari,
Thank you for your insight. My husband says the same thing you do...If I want to go, I should go now and not waste the next five or ten years. While i don't see it as a "waste", b'c I do love him very much, we  both have our issues and problems and I don't see that going away any time soon. But I also cannot give up my Jack. She means too much to me.

I thank you again and may I ask you something? How do you do it? And why haven't you left him, or given him an ultimatum?
Do you still love him as much as you did when you got married? Sorry for being so instrusive...I'm just trying to get some insight.

Thanks for your support.

Offline peteinportland

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #57 on: January 06, 2006, 10:35:25 AM »
I want to bring up something interesting about Alma. She divorces Ennis who is the epitome of the rugged, Marlboro man cowboy: quiet, tactiturn, not afraid to whoop some ass. She then marries Monroe, who is by far the most effeminate man in the movie. This is especially true when one juxtaposes the two Thanksgiving scenes. In one, the "stud duck" stands to carve the turkey with a real knife and "real men" watch football. In the other, the man of the house sits down and carves the turkey with an electric knife (after his wife nods her permission for him to do so), watches Ice Skating after the meal (I think that was what was on TV), and sits meekly while he wife is under attack in the kitchen. Heck, Monroe even knows what condiments are. I think it was a very interesting choice by Larry and Diana to show Monroe in this light. What does the choice of Monroe, especially after divorcing one's gay husband, say about Alma (and I see something more positive in her choice and how it relates to the idea of the Old/New American West and the stereotype of the American cowboy)?

(BTW, IMO, those two Thanksgiving scenes are classic works of film making. They almost pitch perfect mirror one another and offer some of the movie's best insight into the two women and their perceptions of and relationships with masculinity and the classic Western male/cowboy. Jack and Ennis both respond violently when their masculinity is threatened, and in doing so, emasculate the "real" men both Lureen and Alma look to for protection. There is even more contrast in the children's interactions with their fathers, and in the wives disparate responses to Jack and Ennis asserting their masculinity.)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2006, 04:43:51 PM by peteinportland »

Offline Spunabout

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #58 on: January 06, 2006, 12:17:51 PM »
Pete, you make some amazing points about those Thanksgiving scenes -- kind of calls into question what it means to be a "real man" or really masculine.  I, too, love those scenes and their counterpoints.

It also seems to me that Jack and Ennis marry women who are their emotional "types."  Ennis marries someone who is openhearted.  Jack marries someone who is buttoned up.


Offline andrew

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Re: The other tragedies: Alma & Lureen
« Reply #59 on: January 06, 2006, 04:24:00 PM »
What does the choice of Monroe, especially after divorcing one's gay husband, say about Alma (and I see something more positive in her choice and how it relates to the idea of the Old/New American West and the stereotype of the American cowboy)?
We don't really know since Monroe has so few speeches in the film, but my feeling is that with her second choice she has gone for someone who she knows actually resembles her enough that they can live in harmony.  They have the same soft, serious, sincere, well-intentioned vibe.  Like a lot of women Alma is discovering how nice it is to have a partner who is likely to agree without a fuss, think the same way, be as reasonable as they are. 
Think about how disappointed so many women are that their husbands or dates are not reacting to this very film the way they are!