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Author Topic: The Reunion  (Read 629272 times)

Offline David

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2006, 04:12:52 PM »
Just another thought here: I think it was in the LOGO special where Michele Williams (or McMurtry or Ossanna) says that Alma doesn't understand what she's seen (paraphrasing) and that it creates a lot of questions in her mind. She doesn't understand because "queer" isn't something that's entered her world at all. It has a devastating effect on her because she has seen something so out of the realm of her understanding, but yet it's still her husband in passionate embrace, more passionate than he has been with her. In time (or maybe at that time) she realizes in her heart that what she has seen fits with Ennis' behavior around her (moving away to the side of bed at night, etc., his dispassion towards her)  She never talks to Ennis about it (and we know Ennis can't talk about it), and so after years pass, she's drawn her own conclusions based on ignorance (probably what she's heard around) and bitterness. That "Jack nasty" to me reflects what the community (in general) would have thought, and that is so hard to have Ennis hear it like that, to have their tremendous love reduced to that. 

Good insight, Lauren. One national critic said that Michelle Williams registered "10 types of alarm" in her face when she looked out the front door, which I thought was a great quote. She could not possibly process in her world what this meant.
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Offline 909dot

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2006, 06:34:56 PM »
Interesting observation: when Ennis jumps two stairs at a time down to Jack when he finally arrives. In the book its actually Jack that takes two stairs at a time up to Ennis...I like this way better...it shows that Ennis is forever changed and is literally running to the only one for him...

Todd
"maybe you should get outa there...move someplace different...maybe Texas."

Offline justmeincal

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2006, 06:50:29 PM »
Interesting observation: when Ennis jumps two stairs at a time down to Jack when he finally arrives. In the book its actually Jack that takes two stairs at a time up to Ennis...I like this way better...it shows that Ennis is forever changed and is literally running to the only one for him...

Todd

I agree Todd.  Ennis was so full of happiness and wonder at that moment.  Damn, I CAN'T wait to get the DVD and relive some of these scenes over and over.

Steve

kumari

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2006, 08:11:16 PM »
Kumari, I agree with you up until the time Alma sees them from the doorway.  Then my own heart nearly broke because Alma isn't a bad person and doesn't deserve to get her feelings go through a ringer.  Then again, nobody in the film deserves the pain they've experienced.

Michelle Williams is dead-on in this scene when she says, ever so quietly, "'Lo." That is the only greeting to Jack that she can muster. No one in the room is breathing, for different reasons, of course.
I feel for Alma, as another tragedy in this story.
But what makes the tension even more palpable is that she is a part of the society that rejects their love. Alma is a good person, but she is homophobic and she is repulsed by what she has seen. She looks at Jack as if he is a circus freak.
I won't speculate as to how she would feel if she were not in that unenviable position, but her venomous "Jack Nasty" comment gives us a pretty good idea.

I agree with you re Michelle Williams' perfect response, but it's got nothing to do with "homophobia" - she just caught her husband kissing a man. Ask any straight woman on this board if she wouldn't respond with the same degree of horror, especially if they came from less tolerant households themselves. Add this to the more predictable but no less traumatic experience of being the spurned woman and you have ample reason for her to blast Ennis years later with her devastating "Jack Nasty" remark.

Disagree.
When Annie Proulx was asked what BBM is about, she stated, "the destructive power of rural homophobia."
I knew that this Alma post was going to be a little unpopular, which is fine.
My point is that Alma is just as complicated as all of the other characters in the story. It's not either she is the betrayed wife or she is homophobic. She's both, and that does not detract from her suffering, it adds to it. She has been betrayed by something that she doesn't comprehend.
She does still love Ennis, just as she hates what he and Jack do. But she doesn't just hate it because it's adultrery. Ennis loves Jack, and he feels ashamed of his own nature. He doesn't just fear the tire iron, he fears society's judgment.
Do you think she would ever let Ennis see their daughters if he actually lived with "Jack Nasty?"
I think we have reason to believe that Alma believes that homosexuality as wrong, as most of the people in their community do.

Offline bookgirl

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2006, 08:18:28 PM »
Interesting observation: when Ennis jumps two stairs at a time down to Jack when he finally arrives. In the book its actually Jack that takes two stairs at a time up to Ennis...I like this way better...it shows that Ennis is forever changed and is literally running to the only one for him...

Todd

Excellent observation!  With so many sad moments and emotions tied to BBM  it's easy to take the small moments of joy for granted and not see them for what they are. 

Offline peteinportland

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2006, 08:30:04 PM »
I, for one, certainly don't disagree with you Kumari about Alma being homophobic. I just don't know if it is relevant for us to know as we process the film and/or book. I guess i am not sure if her homophobia has anything to do with the storyline or what the artists are asking us to take from it. Do you think it is important for the viewer and reader to know? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

dudnkink

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2006, 12:37:58 AM »
Here's the French site that includes a clip of the reunion scene - Ennis waiting up to the look around. The way Jack looks at Ennis after they break the hug just slays me. The hug could be just hey, sonofabitch, nice to see you, but then his eyes go to Ennis' mouth and stay there and

http://www.pathedistribution.com/accueil/videos.php?start=0&IDFilm=610


Damn and gone!  I've seen the movie 4x and the reunion hug I don't know how many more, but when Jack just stays orally fixated on Ennis' mouth, I lose it.  My heart is pounding every bit as fast as theirs I'll bet. lol.  That scene has chemistry and heat.  It is more than acting.  I love it that there is no "play" here.  It is all passion and pent up emotion and repressed need.  How Ennis remains clear headed enough to break apart from Jack and regain [a little] composure is beyond me.  I do love it that they're both still breathless at the top of the stairs when Ennis introduces Jack to Alma.  Love it.  She notices too.
I know what they're feeling and I find it hard to remain composed when I reunite w/ my girl after our long separations.  It's painful to be that aware of another person - their pulse, their scent, their breathing and it's worse to be apart.
Yes- this scene is pure movie-magic.  My very favorite in the film.  When the two of them look face to face, right before the kiss, the audience where I was, laughed- myself included, because it caught me so off guard when they kissed.  And my knees just went.  But this scene in the book was extraordinary because it described Jack after their kiss.  While he was standing in the kitchen, "From the vibration of the floorboard on which they both stood, Ennis could feel how hard Jack was shaking."  WOW- I've been there. 

Offline ImEnnisShesJack

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2006, 05:09:57 AM »
Disagree.
When Annie Proulx was asked what BBM is about, she stated, "the destructive power of rural homophobia."
I knew that this Alma post was going to be a little unpopular, which is fine.
My point is that Alma is just as complicated as all of the other characters in the story. It's not either she is the betrayed wife or she is homophobic. She's both, and that does not detract from her suffering, it adds to it. She has been betrayed by something that she doesn't comprehend.
She does still love Ennis, just as she hates what he and Jack do. But she doesn't just hate it because it's adultrery. Ennis loves Jack, and he feels ashamed of his own nature. He doesn't just fear the tire iron, he fears society's judgment.
Do you think she would ever let Ennis see their daughters if he actually lived with "Jack Nasty?"
I think we have reason to believe that Alma believes that homosexuality as wrong, as most of the people in their community do.

and again we have to go back to the undeniable facts that they were all uneducated and unsophisticated to boot.  Even if Alma had the chronological maturity to deal with what she saw on the stairs, she didn't have the emotional or cognative abilities to wrap her head around "homosexuality."  It took her another 10 years or so before she even confronted Ennis and even then, her words and emotions are stunted.
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Offline 909dot

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2006, 08:21:24 AM »
I, for one, certainly don't disagree with you Kumari about Alma being homophobic. I just don't know if it is relevant for us to know as we process the film and/or book. I guess i am not sure if her homophobia has anything to do with the storyline or what the artists are asking us to take from it. Do you think it is important for the viewer and reader to know? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

I think what  Alma is feeling is in its own way homophobic, although at that time and place in history that wasn't even a word...its the first time she has seen such a thing... not to mention the fact she sees her husband display a passion she has only imagined, and to discount that its with a man, and all the conflicts THAT brings to the table, i think minimizes Alma's reaction. All the years Alma swallowed her confussion and anger...not telling anyone what really happend. Ennis wasn't devouring a woman on the staircase...I think if he had been, Alma would have taken a broom and whacked her a couple of times, or at least would have made his life miserable from that point on.

Todd
"maybe you should get outa there...move someplace different...maybe Texas."

kumari

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2006, 07:02:32 PM »
Disagree.
When Annie Proulx was asked what BBM is about, she stated, "the destructive power of rural homophobia."
I knew that this Alma post was going to be a little unpopular, which is fine.
My point is that Alma is just as complicated as all of the other characters in the story. It's not either she is the betrayed wife or she is homophobic. She's both, and that does not detract from her suffering, it adds to it. She has been betrayed by something that she doesn't comprehend.
She does still love Ennis, just as she hates what he and Jack do. But she doesn't just hate it because it's adultrery. Ennis loves Jack, and he feels ashamed of his own nature. He doesn't just fear the tire iron, he fears society's judgment.
Do you think she would ever let Ennis see their daughters if he actually lived with "Jack Nasty?"
I think we have reason to believe that Alma believes that homosexuality as wrong, as most of the people in their community do.

and again we have to go back to the undeniable facts that they were all uneducated and unsophisticated to boot.  Even if Alma had the chronological maturity to deal with what she saw on the stairs, she didn't have the emotional or cognative abilities to wrap her head around "homosexuality."  It took her another 10 years or so before she even confronted Ennis and even then, her words and emotions are stunted.

Absolutely.
Her years of pain and anger boil over and she just wants Ennis to be as embarrased and as hurt as she was/is at that moment.
She was simmering with resentment, but she waited until she was in a safe place (with Munroe) before she opens fire on Ennis.

kumari

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2006, 07:09:25 PM »
I, for one, certainly don't disagree with you Kumari about Alma being homophobic. I just don't know if it is relevant for us to know as we process the film and/or book. I guess i am not sure if her homophobia has anything to do with the storyline or what the artists are asking us to take from it. Do you think it is important for the viewer and reader to know? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

It spoke to me, but for some people, it may be irrelevant.
At some point in the movie, most people get frustrated with Ennis. His locked-down speech, his rusted-shut jaw.
You want to shake him by the shoulders and scream at him to go and get Jack and run away before it's too late.
I think it is hard for me to put myself in his place because I am of my world, not that world. Even his fear of bashing seems so remote, like a bad dream that he can't (or won't) wake up from.
But when I look at Alma's face when she finally unleashes the anger she has been holding since the reunion scene, it makes Ennis' plight more real to me.
It's not some stranger murdered in a field.
It's your ex-wife and the mother of your little darlins telling you to marry again, because that is what you're supposed to do. Yes, she was worried about him living alone. But somewhere underneath that, her words mean that Jack's love is debauchery, a woman's love is the only love.

Offline 909dot

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2006, 06:36:34 PM »
In all the reunions...does everyone notice how nervous and fast he moves to get out and see Jack? so excited... and when he is in his house, he ether sits and doesn't move ( "fire and brimstone crowed) or moves like molasses...nice work by Heath...I'm sure a conscious choice...

Todd
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Offline muse

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2006, 06:50:09 PM »
In all the reunions...does everyone notice how nervous and fast he moves to get out and see Jack? so excited... and when he is in his house, he ether sits and doesn't move ( "fire and brimstone crowed) or moves like molasses...nice work by Heath...I'm sure a conscious choice...

Todd

yes! i love that. when jack gets to the apartment and ennis jumps up and runs out, you can see the look of surprise and confusion on alma's face. i don't think he has ever moved that fast! i also love how he tucks the back of his shirt in as he runs out the door. also, at the beginning of that scene, sitting by the window, his face is so clean shaven and fresh as though he has just showered and groomed himself. it is the most handsome that ennis looks in the whole film.
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Offline shipwrecked

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2006, 06:54:24 PM »
I, for one, certainly don't disagree with you Kumari about Alma being homophobic. I just don't know if it is relevant for us to know as we process the film and/or book. I guess i am not sure if her homophobia has anything to do with the storyline or what the artists are asking us to take from it. Do you think it is important for the viewer and reader to know? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

It spoke to me, but for some people, it may be irrelevant.
At some point in the movie, most people get frustrated with Ennis. His locked-down speech, his rusted-shut jaw.
You want to shake him by the shoulders and scream at him to go and get Jack and run away before it's too late.
I think it is hard for me to put myself in his place because I am of my world, not that world. Even his fear of bashing seems so remote, like a bad dream that he can't (or won't) wake up from.
But when I look at Alma's face when she finally unleashes the anger she has been holding since the reunion scene, it makes Ennis' plight more real to me.
It's not some stranger murdered in a field.
It's your ex-wife and the mother of your little darlins telling you to marry again, because that is what you're supposed to do. Yes, she was worried about him living alone. But somewhere underneath that, her words mean that Jack's love is debauchery, a woman's love is the only love.




Kumari, I think you have put it perfectly.  Whether or not (probably not) Alma understood exactly what she was seeing, she felt she was seeing something alien and terrible and impossible to fight directly, as it might have been with another woman. 

kumari

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Re: The Reunion
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2006, 09:15:25 PM »
... not to mention the fact she sees her husband display a passion she has only imagined

Todd

Ah, yes. Very, very important.
Just imagine what it must have been like for Alma to see Ennis hungrily, feverishly kissing someone else. To know that he could be that way.
Just not with her.