The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Author Topic: Character Analysis of Jack Twist  (Read 385376 times)

Offline In Tears

  • Experienced
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2006, 12:25:22 AM »
Does anyone else fall to pieces with the shot of Jake G asking whether Ennis is going to go back to sheep herding next year?.  His eyes are just astonishing. For two straight actors to get this close to the characters is amazing.
Indeed, this is more than acting on JG's part.  It is high art.
"Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives."

Offline phlmale

  • Experienced
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2006, 06:28:34 AM »
I don't know whether this is the right place to post this, but when do you think Jack falls in love with Ennis?

It's easy to see when he fancies him. When he turns round after kicking the pick up truck about two minutes into the movie. His body language is like a peacock on display. So assuming we're agreed he's got the hots for Ennis straight off, when does he fall in love?

It has to be sometime between the first meeting, and the return of Ennis after he's spent all day chasing after the horses following the incident with the grizzly. Because what Jack does to try and clean Ennis's wound is SO tender, SO caring that he must be in love by that time - I don't think there's any other explanation. Ennis of course can't be seen to allow another man to clean his wound.....

Does anyone else fall to pieces with the shot of Jake G asking whether Ennis is going to go back to sheep herding next year?.  His eyes are just astonishing. For two straight actors to get this close to the characters is amazing.

I start seeing it in his eyes the first time ennis opens up and talks about his life while around the campfire...Jack is smiling, Ennis asks what?  jack says it's the most he's said in the 2 weeks they were up there....and in the story...the beautiful line regarding Ennis' feeling about sitting around chatting with Jack..."Ennis, riding against the wind back to the sheep in the treacherous, drunken light, thought he'd never had such a good time, felt he could paw the white of the moon."

I think more time passes on the mountain before the first tent scene than people realize..weeks of being, almost, an old married couple..commuting to work and back..home for supper..jack trying to act pissed off about ennis being late after the bear scene, but really in his eyes you see jack was worried

Offline phlmale

  • Experienced
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2006, 06:45:11 AM »


WHAT A GREAT POINT OF VIEW, RIGHT ON! The worst rejection moment is when Ennis does not welcome Jack after poor Jack drove 1200 miles as soon as he heard about the divorce...It does not make any sense to me, that Ennis dare to send Jack back after a 14-hour drive!!! What a lack of judgment, and what a lack of understanding and compasion...no wonder poor Jack, tears in his eyes, decided to escape to Mexico

i agree that ennis' rejection hurts jack deeply..and probably more than anyone else in his life that had rejected his ideas and dreams etc..but i don't think it's fair to say ennis has a lack of understanding and compassion...in the screenplay and throughout the story..it's made clear that Ennis is miserable in this scene, he's on the verge of tears as he and Jack both realize the "misunderstanding" of why Jack was suddenly there..but he can't express it, especially in front of the kids....and he's paralyzed by emotions internally..same for the divorce court scene with alma, and with cassie

I think they complete each other, yin/yang, not that Jack only completes Ennis.....what i see is Jack bounding ahead like a puppy, eternal optimism, always dreamin'...regardless of the consequences unfortunately...we all love him for this but it's his character flaw....and ennis completes him by bringing the other side...you have family responsibilities Ennis reminds him, etc....and vis versa for ennis' character flaw
« Last Edit: January 29, 2006, 06:49:10 AM by phlmale »

Offline ImEnnisShesJack

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4347
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2006, 07:52:15 AM »
The worst rejection moment is when Ennis does not welcome Jack after poor Jack drove 1200 miles as soon as he heard about the divorce...It does not make any sense to me, that Ennis dare to send Jack back after a 14-hour drive!!! What a lack of judgment, and what a lack of understanding and compasion...no wonder poor Jack, tears in his eyes, decided to escape to Mexico

i agree that ennis' rejection hurts jack deeply..and probably more than anyone else in his life that had rejected his ideas and dreams etc..but i don't think it's fair to say ennis has a lack of understanding and compassion...in the screenplay and throughout the story..it's made clear that Ennis is miserable in this scene, he's on the verge of tears as he and Jack both realize the "misunderstanding" of why Jack was suddenly there..but he can't express it, especially in front of the kids....and he's paralyzed by emotions internally..same for the divorce court scene with alma, and with cassie

Probably hurt Jake more than the repeated rejection by his own father.  I saw the rejection in this scene, but I never really understood the magnitude of it until now.  Very good observations!!!
"And when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night."
~~Heath Ledger 1979-2008~~

Carol8159@yahoo.com

Offline sotoalf

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 643
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2006, 07:57:28 AM »
I don't know whether this is the right place to post this, but when do you think Jack falls in love with Ennis?

It's easy to see when he fancies him. When he turns round after kicking the pick up truck about two minutes into the movie. His body language is like a peacock on display. So assuming we're agreed he's got the hots for Ennis straight off, when does he fall in love?

It has to be sometime between the first meeting, and the return of Ennis after he's spent all day chasing after the horses following the incident with the grizzly. Because what Jack does to try and clean Ennis's wound is SO tender, SO caring that he must be in love by that time - I don't think there's any other explanation. Ennis of course can't be seen to allow another man to clean his wound.....

Does anyone else fall to pieces with the shot of Jake G asking whether Ennis is going to go back to sheep herding next year?.  His eyes are just astonishing. For two straight actors to get this close to the characters is amazing.

It's a heartbreaker, ain't it? One of my favorite Gyllenhaal moments. This is the scene in which he realizes that his feelings run deeper than he supposed -- when he realizes he's in love.

It may happen sooner, but the movie and story necessarily elide a lot of events. It's obvious that Jack had a crush on Ennis, was attracted to him from the moment he saw him outside Aguirre's office. The crush turned to love sometime before the second tent scene; you will notice a slight disappointment in Jack's murmur ("Nobody's business but ours") when Ennis reminds him that this is a "one-shot thing." As others have written, notice Ennis choice of words. He didn't say, "What happened LAST NIGHT was a one-shot thing"; he used the present perfect tense, implying that their "thing" will continue -- but not past the summer.

Offline phlmale

  • Experienced
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2006, 08:08:54 AM »

It may happen sooner, but the movie and story necessarily elide a lot of events. It's obvious that Jack had a crush on Ennis, was attracted to him from the moment he saw him outside Aguirre's office. The crush turned to love sometime before the second tent scene; you will notice a slight disappointment in Jack's murmur ("Nobody's business but ours") when Ennis reminds him that this is a "one-shot thing." As others have written, notice Ennis choice of words. He didn't say, "What happened LAST NIGHT was a one-shot thing"; he used the present perfect tense, implying that their "thing" will continue -- but not past the summer.

exactly true!..and as I mentioned in another post somewhere, in the original story..it is actually Jack that says "A one-shot thing."...maybe a plea to Ennis to let it happen for the summer on brokeback at least

Offline westexer

  • Experienced
  • ***
  • Posts: 219
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2006, 09:12:52 AM »
I think they complete each other, yin/yang, not that Jack only completes Ennis.....what i see is Jack bounding ahead like a puppy, eternal optimism, always dreamin'...regardless of the consequences unfortunately...we all love him for this but it's his character flaw....and ennis completes him by bringing the other side...you have family responsibilities Ennis reminds him, etc....and vis versa for ennis' character flaw

I definitely think this thought is right.  Do y'all know anything about the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Personality Type system?  Jack is definitely an Enneagram 7 "the Enthusiast"  They're always interested in the next fun experience they can have and are really hyper and involved in life with a very positive outlook.  I'm very much like that as a person. They run toward stressful situations with enthusiasm and avoid bad feelings by substitutin another expeience for one that just hurt'em.  They run to some type of substituting activity.  Hence, Jack goes ta Mexico. 

Personally. when I get turned down for companionship for a date, or just by a friend ta go somewhere, I say: "Damnit, I'm not gonna just sit there at home an mope, I'm goin anyway and enjoy that experience just ta spite whomever.  Fuck'em!"  And actually I've had some of tha best times in my life doin just that.  I think he's mad at Ennis and upset and his trips ta Wyoming and Ennis are his excape from life as well as his love.  That's been taken way and he's not expected home for a week an he's mad, so why tha hell not, Damnit, I'm takin my vacation, escape time in my own way. Course, he's tryin hard not ta think of Ennis and his own pain and probably is envisionin himself with Ennis tha whole time he's whorin and drinlin in Mexico.

Also, while on this topic, one aspect typical of many Enneagram 7's is that many view sex as friendship, advantageous activity or recreational activity seperate from love.  Their concept of love enters into their perception when an emotional connection happens usually due ta non-sexual events of deeply self revealing converation that gets them underneath their more supeficial "Pie-in'tha-sky" attitude.  Where bluebirds sing and there's a whisky spring, right?  Their real emotions are deep down, covered by hyperactivity and attempts ta keep themselves busy at any cost.  Many 7's actually fear relationships because it might limit tha range of things they can do in thier lives and they'll slow down and get depressed.  But if a 7 leans 6 towards Loyalist, if someone breaks though that shell (one Ennis Del Mar, a deep thinkin, depressive Enneagram 4, the Individualist - Jack's  exact opposite), then a really, REALLY strong bond can form btwn the both types.  That's why reall shy, quiet people like sometimes like ta hang around reall silly, hyper folks ta live through them vicariously

Here's a link to the Enneagram website, take tha test and see what you are.  Also, most bookstores have Enneagram books that explain tha system in depth.  Lemme know what y'all think

http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/

Offline cythera4

  • Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 508
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2006, 10:29:14 AM »
I don't know whether this is the right place to post this, but when do you think Jack falls in love with Ennis?

It's easy to see when he fancies him. When he turns round after kicking the pick up truck about two minutes into the movie. His body language is like a peacock on display. So assuming we're agreed he's got the hots for Ennis straight off, when does he fall in love?

It has to be sometime between the first meeting, and the return of Ennis after he's spent all day chasing after the horses following the incident with the grizzly. Because what Jack does to try and clean Ennis's wound is SO tender, SO caring that he must be in love by that time - I don't think there's any other explanation. Ennis of course can't be seen to allow another man to clean his wound.....

Does anyone else fall to pieces with the shot of Jake G asking whether Ennis is going to go back to sheep herding next year?.  His eyes are just astonishing. For two straight actors to get this close to the characters is amazing.



There are so many moments in the movie (which I saw last night again, sigh) where Jake's performance just stands out as brave and true. Just a quick footnote to your great post. It's clear (from the published screenplay as well as from Jake's fine acting) that he's worried to death about Ennis when he shows up late after the grizzly incident, and that he's trying to hide his worry with pretend anger ("Where you been? Where's dinner?" etc.). Also, cleaning Ennis's wound is such a Jack thing to do--nurturing, tender, compassionate--and Ennis pushing him away is so Ennis (closed-off, supposedly self-sufficient, needing love but refusing it). So many little moments between them, even before they take the plunge sexually, stand out as microcosms of what their entire relationship is going to be like for 20 years. It's amazing how carefully and subtly *everyone* involved in the production put these little moments together--much of it is inherited from Annie's story, but much of it is also the deeply intelligent screenplay, the astonishingly delicate direction, and the performances of these two beautiful, fearless actors.

Offline crcj

  • Experienced
  • ***
  • Posts: 98
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2006, 10:54:37 AM »
That is what makes the movie so beautiful after several viewings.  You start to accumulate all of the wonderful little moments that come together to show how these two are developing such a strong love for each other.

It actually starts really with Ennis, in a way.  The first time he goes down to get supplies, Jack says very strongly, "No more beans."  Ennis ha already told the supply guy they will not need any soup because he doesn't eat soup.  Yet, his list for the next week has soup.  And he says that he is sick of beans, even though he isn't.  He is already caught up in Jack and what Jack's needs are.  Very much something you do when you have a new love interest.

I think Jack's response to Ennis' late return is our first sign of how deeply he cares for Ennis.  The movie/story easily could have been about two young men wanting to get it on for the summer.  But Jack's concern is for Ennis' whereabouts and safety.  He is already on the hook as well.

Then the scene mentioned with them at the fire talking, and Jack starts smiling because Ennis is actually talking to him.  I love that look on Jake's face.  So perfectly communicated.  He tells Ennis, "Friend, that is more than you've said in two weeks."  Ennis replies, "That's more than I have said in a year."  Then you see the full depth of Jack -- he is actually crushed to realize that this man has been so cut off and alone that he has hardly had a chance to talk and be with others.  Jake's look again is absolutely spot-on.  It communicates all the love and tenderness building in his heart.

The tent scene then becomes a mere formality.  The tension is already there, and they both know what they want.  I think Ennis' initial refusal to sleep in the tent is his resistance to what might happen in there.  As always, Jack is patient and lets Ennis find his own way.  Or sort of at least.  He does call Ennis into the tent, but only because of the cold.

Offline pdxbennett

  • Feet Wet
  • **
  • Posts: 31
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2006, 02:35:21 PM »
It seems to me that one of the great tragedies of Jack's life is that no one believes in him.

This was apparent to me from my first viewing of this movie because it is a detail from my own life.  He grew up in a ugly desolate poverty stricken hell hole trapped between a father's bitter hatred and his weary beaten down mother's love.    Not the best place to learn the lesson's of how to live a successful life especially if you have same sex attractions going on.

To perceive that you are being continually discounted and dismissed is a very damaging thing especially if it is true.  Being perceived a failure before you even get started at something simply makes you more desperate for whatever you are after.  The impulse will always be present to jump at any chance that you think will likely take you to ANYWHERE close to your dreams.

Now think about this in terms of love and relationships.  You can have a tiny scrap of what completes you like nothing else ever has only a couple of times a year.   It has to be a shamefull thing that you have to keep hidden.   The peaks and valleys of this relationship are beyond lethal to self esteem or intelligent choices especially in the long term.  The desperation just builds and gnaws at your weakest most vulnerable points. 

How was Jack to cope with this?   I could barely look at the screen and contain my emotions the first time I saw the second truck scene.  It was inevitable that Jack would end up in Mexico or some such place.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2006, 02:56:12 PM by pdxbennett »

Offline lektronnorth

  • Experienced
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Just the smile in your eyes can light up the night
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2006, 03:18:10 PM »

I think Jack's response to Ennis' late return is our first sign of how deeply he cares for Ennis.  The movie/story easily could have been about two young men wanting to get it on for the summer.  But Jack's concern is for Ennis' whereabouts and safety.  He is already on the hook as well.

Then the scene mentioned with them at the fire talking, and Jack starts smiling because Ennis is actually talking to him.  I love that look on Jake's face.  So perfectly communicated.  He tells Ennis, "Friend, that is more than you've said in two weeks."  Ennis replies, "That's more than I have said in a year."  Then you see the full depth of Jack -- he is actually crushed to realize that this man has been so cut off and alone that he has hardly had a chance to talk and be with others.  Jake's look again is absolutely spot-on.  It communicates all the love and tenderness building in his heart.

The tent scene then becomes a mere formality.  The tension is already there, and they both know what they want.  I think Ennis' initial refusal to sleep in the tent is his resistance to what might happen in there.  As always, Jack is patient and lets Ennis find his own way.  Or sort of at least.  He does call Ennis into the tent, but only because of the cold.


Yes, I think these postings have emphasised what I thought - it's the campfire "talk" that makes us sure. Does that come before or after the grizzly?

Another line I love from Jack is right at the start, where he asks "Did your folks just stop at Ennis?" when Ennis doesn't give him his surname. I think this is the first conversation they have.
"Hell, that's the most I've spoke in a YEAR..."

Offline phlmale

  • Experienced
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2006, 07:43:57 PM »
grizzly comes after the campfire get-to-know-you scene

and I love that ennis learns from Jack..so when he meets Cassie, he hesitates, but remembers to say his last name, unlike with Jack

Offline mwp2paris

  • Official Ambassador of Slash
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1519
  • Get on in there and untangle them Slashettes.
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2006, 09:40:42 PM »
I haven't seen much mention, if any, of the scene in the bar with the rodeo clown. Jack moves over, makes some complimentary comments and offers to buy the guy a beer. The clown seems taken back by this and, while remaining cordial, couldn't get away from Jack fast enough. This seems to anger/embarrass Jack. The bartender who has seen it all, makes the comment about calf-roping and Jack slams his still full beer down, makes a comment about not being able to afford a "ropin' horse," and storms out.

Why was the rodeo clown so quick to move away from Jack? Were there rumors about Jack and the clown knew them and didn't want to become yet another rumor? The screenplay says "There is something, a frisson, a vibe, that gives the CLOWN an uneasy feeling...although he remains perfectly friendly..." and goes over to a group of macho guys around the pool table and seems to make a comment about Jack though it is only in his non-verbal head gesture seemingly toward Jack that I make the assumption the comment was about Jack.

I can't find this scene in Annie's prose...what is it meant to indicate? That Jack is just an out there guy always looking to make friends and do good for someone or is he testing the waters to see if there is any hint of opportunity?
[...he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream. ... If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong.  Annie Proulx

Offline bkm

  • Getting Acquainted
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2006, 10:07:48 PM »
OH,HE IS TRYING TO TEST THE WATERS WITH THE CLOWN.EVEN THE BARTENDER KNOWS AND SAYS MAYBE YOU SHOULD TRY CALF ROPING INSTEAD. IS THAT SUBTLE OR WHAT!
« Last Edit: January 29, 2006, 10:22:33 PM by bkm »

Offline bkm

  • Getting Acquainted
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2006, 10:21:15 PM »
as far as when Jack falls in love with Ennis,does anyone notice it"s not necessarrily a sexual attractionl. Ennis is giving himself a good soaping and wash within feet of Jack,and jack does not even take a quick glance.