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Author Topic: The Phone Call  (Read 216698 times)

Offline Particle_Man6

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2006, 03:55:29 AM »
1) Lureen didn't just hang up on Ennis (Ennice?), and did send him to his parents to get Jack's ashes, but didn't offer her share of Jack's ashes and didn't invite him to see her.

2) I think she not only knew, she effectively told Ennis that she knew when she said that Jack drank a lot.  I also think it possible that Ennis picked up on that, since he was already paranoid about people knowing too much about him and Jack.

3) Another possibility, she sent Ennis to Jack's hateful father hoping that Ennis would get emotionally hurt?
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Offline Dal

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2006, 08:51:14 AM »
1) Lureen didn't just hang up on Ennis (Ennice?), and did send him to his parents to get Jack's ashes, but didn't offer her share of Jack's ashes and didn't invite him to see her.

Oh... you mean, even as stressed as she was right then, she could see that since Jack had really belonged to Ennis after all, Ennis really had the right to his ashes... OK, I can see it.  "Jack deceived me for my whole adult life, but that is a closed book now, and the ashes are only ashes.   Let this Ennis have them if he wants them.  I'm through crying."  Or something like that....?  OK.

Dal

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Offline brokebackLJ

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2006, 08:59:09 AM »
That's really sweet. She realized he belonged to Ennis not her. I never thought of it that way, that's maybe why she said about the ashes...she could've easily left it alone. not said anything about where he lived or where his parents were (though he knew...)

Offline kappadappa

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2006, 09:50:54 AM »
The mechanical recitation of the story by Lureen said more to me about her trying to control her emotions and remain in control than consciously lying about the story.

I had a different reaction when I first saw the film - I did think that she knew the truth and was lying to cover up her own culpability.  But on subsequent viewings it seems that her subtle emotional coloring is more about sorrow and loss, not about being the cuckolded wife.

Of course this is all opinion and there is no right answer...
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Offline scot5636

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2006, 12:30:24 PM »

To me, Lureen's suppressed sobs are more about the husband she never knew.  The regret she has over the fact that they drifted apart.  She doesn't even know where his favorite place in the world is.  That's got to hurt.


On  my fourth viewing Monday, I watched this scene closely.  Lurene's demeanor changes very clearly after Ennis reveals that He and Jack were herding sheep on Brokeback in 1963 -- long before she met Jack.  Before that, her recitation is rote and tired -- a very sad story she's had to tell too many times.  After the revelation, it's subtle, but you can almost hear the "click" in her mind as the pieces fall into place.  Whereas before, she has been waiting for Ennis to compose himself so that he can speak,  now she is the one who needs time.  Her eyes well up, and she can barely stifle those two almost inaudible whimpers.  To my eye, she's suddenly aware that Jack was never truly hers -- not even in the beginning.  The subtlety of the performances in this movie blow me away every time.  In most movies, we're hammered over the head with plot twists and emotional reactions.  The story and the performances in this movie have such a real and authentic quality about them.  Even after four times, I hang on every bit of dialog, and search the scenes and actors for those ever-so-tiny nuances that give life and breadth to the story.

Offline happycamper

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2006, 07:07:06 AM »
Oh... you mean, even as stressed as she was right then, she could see that since Jack had really belonged to Ennis after all, Ennis really had the right to his ashes... OK, I can see it.  "Jack deceived me for my whole adult life, but that is a closed book now, and the ashes are only ashes.   Let this Ennis have them if he wants them.  I'm through crying."  Or something like that....?  OK.
That's how I read it Dal. That she was kind of in shock realizing that Jack had been closer to Ennis than to her, and was in a sense being resigned to it by telling him to go visit Jack's folks.

Offline Dal

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2006, 07:44:33 AM »
Oh... you mean, even as stressed as she was right then, she could see that since Jack had really belonged to Ennis after all, Ennis really had the right to his ashes... OK, I can see it.  "Jack deceived me for my whole adult life, but that is a closed book now, and the ashes are only ashes.   Let this Ennis have them if he wants them.  I'm through crying."  Or something like that....?  OK.
That's how I read it Dal. That she was kind of in shock realizing that Jack had been closer to Ennis than to her, and was in a sense being resigned to it by telling him to go visit Jack's folks.

Well alright then!  Got it at last.  Many thanks to all. 

Dal
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Offline petetown

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2006, 08:23:46 AM »
The more Lureen spoke with Ennis, the more she realized who Ennis was. She found the other person in the world who loved Jack despite his faults. I think she did love Jack.
In grief, you want to know that there is someone who shares in your grief...it's comforting.
As she speaks tears well up......then gets it together a bit to tell him to go see Jack's parents.

Offline Cletis

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2006, 09:05:06 PM »
Just a note, . . . .  "the flashback" of Jack's death was clearly just Ennis's conjecture.  A tire iron is not the only weapon gay bashers use. Ennis has confabulated this fantasy from previous traumatic experience of a gay bashing.  I do not believe there is a way to say how Jack died with any certainty.
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Offline bbbmedia

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2006, 10:11:20 PM »

Doesn't her mechanical recitation of the "death story" demonstrate that Lureen knew the truth?  While she certainly did not need to be overly sensitive to a stranger calling on the phone months later, her description of Jack's death sounded like an investigator's dictation of a clinical report.  It is a plain signal to the viewer that she is speaking a hollow lie.  That resolves it for me.

Her ever-so-subtle gasp is every bit as magical as some of Jack's faces (my favorites being his reactions to Ennis's bathing and Randall's come-on, as well as his approach to the clown.)


Agree 1000% here.

One of the great unresolved mysteries of Brokeback is what happened to Randall.

How much did Jack's relationship with Randall contribute to Jack's getting fag bashed? And was Randall fag bashed too? And how much did Lureen know about Jack and Randall before Jack's murder?

All this will make great fan fiction--maybe by one of us. Maybe even by me.
What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand was the time that distant summer on Brokeback when Ennis had come up behind him and pulled him close, the silent embrace satisfying some shared and sexless hunger.

Offline kappadappa

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2006, 11:00:34 PM »

Doesn't her mechanical recitation of the "death story" demonstrate that Lureen knew the truth?  While she certainly did not need to be overly sensitive to a stranger calling on the phone months later, her description of Jack's death sounded like an investigator's dictation of a clinical report.  It is a plain signal to the viewer that she is speaking a hollow lie.  That resolves it for me.


The mechanical recitation could also be a clue that this is a story that has been told many times, be it true or untrue.  Liars tend to try and cover their lies, not simply tell them.  If the story were untrue, and Lureen knew it was untrue, she would be smart enough to know that she would need to tell it in a certain emotional way to fool the listener.  But she doesn't.  She simply and flatly states what she knows, in a story that she has had to tell to too many people.  That recitation makes me think that she is simply restating a reality that she has come to accept.

I'm not trying to belabor my point here.  Just trying to explain myself a bit better, and maybe understand my own reasoning a bit better.

I do think that Lureen has some demons to deal with.  But it seems like the distance of their marriage, and Jack's general outgoing behavior would serve to mask his hidden life.  It would be easier for her to dismiss any odd behavior from him as simply Jack's flights of fancy.

And let's not forget - Alma saw the kiss.  That's not easy to dismiss.  Lureen only had Jack's "less manly" behavior to clue her in - and that very clue seems to be what initially attracted her to him.  Jack being the opposite of her daddy.  It would be easy for her to miss any clues.  If Alma had never seen that kiss, would she have even given a second thought to the fishing trips?  Or would those trips simply be boys doing what boys do?


OK, I've really got to stop overanalyzing this now!
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Offline Danny

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2006, 11:03:34 PM »
I agree with some other posts on here that Lureen knew SOMETHING of Ennis and when he said the line about them hearding sheep up on brokeback one summer.  There was an immediate change in her when he said this.  It was as if a light came on in her head.   She made that little gasp like she was choking something back. (One of my FAVORITE dramatic episodes in the movie)  Her eyes briefly swelled and teared up.  and then she said "Well, he always said it was his favorite place."  There is a pause and she rolls her eyes as though thinking to her self.  This is where she finds the compassion to send Ennis to Jacks parents.

She then says, still with a compassionate look on her face and in her eyes, "I suppose they'de appreciate it if Jacks wishes were carried out...

Then she changes again, drastically,  you can visibly notice her face drop to that hardened expression.... ESPECIALLY the expression her eylashes and eyelids make when her face draws back tight again, and she says "...about the ashes I mean.''

I always found that statement "bout the ashes I mean" significant in some way.  When Ennis goes to see Jacks parents,
Jacks dad repeats Jacks "wishes" he had conveyed about Ennis and Jack moving in there.  Jacks dad also told Ennis Jack had a crazy notion he was going to "leave his wife" and move up here with some Ranch neighbor of his.  Jacks dad didnt mind blurting this out to Ennis.  Had Lureen heard this same thing from Jacks dad before as well?  Is this what Lureen meant about Jacks parents appreciating his wishes being carried out when it comes to the ashes but not that they would appreciate Jacks wishes of leaving her to come back home and ranch with another guy!?

-completed viewing #5 today.
"'watchin Lureen punch numbers in her addin machine till she gets more zero's, her eyes gettin smaller and smaller, its like watchin a rabbit tryin to squeeze down a snake hole with a coyote on its tail.."

Offline gnash

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2006, 03:36:06 AM »
...draggin this over from the thanksgiving thread, edited a bit:


...Lureen's description of the details of Jack's death, then, were untruths to protect her father.   Ennis knew, not in the details but in reality, what happened to Jack.  Poor, simple and complex, "hungup" Ennis, had been right all along.  Heart searing.


The story makes clear that, by the time of Jack's death, LD has died and Lurene has inherited the business.  That isn't so clear in the movie, though Lurene has clearly taken over running the business.  I'm still of the mind that the bashing scene is all in Ennis' head.

i'm with aiden on this one. lureen newsome was telling the story to protect herself, to protect her father, even if he was dead. she told the story to prevent shame on the newsome name. "...wouldn't be right to buy a tractor with a fag attached" type of thing.

plus, it sounded rehearsed, like she'd been telling it over and over again. you don't admit your husband is gay, even if he is dead -- this is texas. i felt she knew the truth, but the cops told her a believable story and she stuck with it. i felt they probably had to hedge, but somebody let her know.

lureen knew jack was gay, or at least suspected the numbers he kept in his head, the bluebirds sing and whisky springs...oh yeah. ...and she knew about ennis, or at least put it together in the end. "two, three times a year..."

also, i agree with a previous poster (on the main discusson probably) who noted that when ennis corrected her about brokeback, saying he tended sheep up there in 63 with jack, that was when the tears welled forth in lureen's eyes. she realized then that ennis had been with jack longer than she'd known him, longer than they'd been married.

her little whimpers are amazing. i love this scene as much as i love the entire movie.

"Brokeback is about a lost paradise, an Eden."  – Ang Lee


Offline LL

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2006, 04:05:35 AM »
My interpretation of the Lureen/Ennis phone call was Lureen knew that Jack was gay.  There were a couple other scenes showing Jack was with other men or thinking of being with other men.  To me, Lureens coldness came from the fact that their marriage had deteriorated to as Jack put it something that could be "done over the phone."  Jack had complained to Ennis that as the years past Lureen had been lost in the accounting books that she was working on for most of the movie.  I think somewhere Lureen knew that she and Jack never shared the same heart for each other that obviously Jack and Ennis did.  Lureen cared for Jack and loved him but not near the kind of love that Ennis and Jack shared.  She knew Jack’s heart had not been hers and had resolved that Jack "never really loved me." That came off in the phone conversation with Ennis.  I don't think her coldness was because she was covering up her husband’s murder.  Jack being murdered would not have proven he was gay or had "shamed" the family in some way if in fact he was found on the side of the road like she said.  I think the flashback was without a doubt Ennis' fear number one and the driving theme of this movie.  Gay=dead or dead=gay.  His father showed him the tortured body of a gay man when he was a child for crying out loud.  How do you get over that?  This doesn't change the fact that Jack could have been murdered but it's irrelevant to the theme. Ennis lost the love of his life.  Now he would never be able to go back to Brokeback Mountain and will have to live out the rest of his life with the choice he made which is the real tragedy of this movie.  In Jack and Ennis’ last moments together, the pain and desperation of missing Jack had Ennis tripled over on his knees crying but still, Ennis could not overcome his fear of living a life with Jack.  In the end, when Ennis says, "I swear...." he is saying it with awe at the endurance and depth of his love for Jack.  However, I don't believe Ennis ever truly feels that things would of or could have been different.

Offline gnash

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Re: Scene: The Phone Call
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2006, 05:35:08 AM »
LL, that was great. i love the how you mention the phone call and jack's "over the phone" remark to ennis... never put the two together. your insights into how she felt regarding their cold relationship vs. jack and ennis is insightful too. and you do say some things that are making my head spin.

despite all of ennis' fears, i still find it hard to believe that he was innocently killed by a tire tho.. i guess that happens? it seems so unlikely, but i know nothing about cars or tires. if he was murdered and the authorities or coronor acknowledged that he was brutally beaten, and there were rumors around town about jack being gay (small town gossip goes far, fast, remember how even those old codgers in lureen's office had a thing or two to say about the pissant that "tried"...), who knows what they said to lureen?

maybe she saw the body, maybe it wasn't just his face that was broken. there could have been bruises all over... i can imagine the cops telling her "it happened this way but..." and going on to offer an explanation to save her "embarassment," but whoooo knows... that's what makes this movie so compelling. i'd like to add that my friend was found hanging from a tree with cigarette burns on his chest, tortured, but his family accepted the police reports of "bug bites from exposure..." and did not pursue it as a murder case, settling instead for "suicide." it was just easier that way. not that he was gay, and killed by homophobes (or black, and killed by racists).

i agree with your last lines... but like to believe that ennis MIGHT have done something different after the fact. however, by then it's always too late... :(
« Last Edit: January 20, 2006, 05:40:15 AM by gnash »

"Brokeback is about a lost paradise, an Eden."  – Ang Lee