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Author Topic: Character Analysis of Jack Twist  (Read 405285 times)

Offline cythera4

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2006, 07:50:58 PM »
Thanks, Alma!

Offline lovebbm

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2006, 07:51:34 PM »

Honestly, who would have thought he was such a great actor? I really believe he is the emotional core of the film. I can understand why everyone is praising Heath, but without a sense of what he's giving up--without seeing this beautiful, tender, generous boy give so fully of himself--you wouldn't feel anything for Ennis. I can't imagine a better definition of Best Supporting Actor--he makes Heath's accomplishment possible.

AMEN!! 

On top of that, I do believe that Jake must understand, as I don't think Heath does, the nature of longing for another man. Heath has said in interviews that the scenes of physical intimacy were in a way easy for him since he could draw directly on his own resistance and trepidation. But Jake not only gives himself over to these scenes with heartbreaking frankness, he seems to grasp how gay love, in such contexts, has to be tentative--not show too much desperation when you ask "see you next summer?", look away quickly when Randall gives him the eye, wonder what it is he might have said or done that made the rodeo clown spurn him. Jake's early scenes with Lureen also have this amazing truthfulness: he's flattered this girl likes him and wants him, but not sure what to do since he really, deep down, doesn't want her back. It is, quite simply, a brilliantly considered, fully detailed, and immaculate performance.


YES, again.  Without us as audience falling head over heels for Jack, we wouldn't have the film we have today.  Jake pulled this off seemingly effortlessly.  He wasn't acting, no!!  Great art, that.

Offline cythera4

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2006, 08:08:03 PM »

YES, again.  Without us as audience falling head over heels for Jack, we wouldn't have the film we have today.  Jake pulled this off seemingly effortlessly.  He wasn't acting, no!!  Great art, that.

One other genius Jake moment--the scene when Aguirre tells him off, that second summer when he comes back looking for work. Clearly, he's wounded and scared when he realizes Aguirre knows what he is and what happened between him and Ennis on Brokeback, but when Aguirre says, "now get the hell out of my trailer," there's this marvelous little pause, as Jack gathers himself, and then he lifts his chin and nods. This is a pre-Stonewall moment of gay pride, in my opinion. He's saying: okay, you caught me out, fine, but I'm not ashamed, so fuck you, I'm walking out of here with my head up. It's really extraordinary.

Offline In Tears

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2006, 08:13:29 PM »

YES, again.  Without us as audience falling head over heels for Jack, we wouldn't have the film we have today.  Jake pulled this off seemingly effortlessly.  He wasn't acting, no!!  Great art, that.

One other genius Jake moment--the scene when Aguirre tells him off, that second summer when he comes back looking for work. Clearly, he's wounded and scared when he realizes Aguirre knows what he is and what happened between him and Ennis on Brokeback, but when Aguirre says, "now get the hell out of my trailer," there's this marvelous little pause, as Jack gathers himself, and then he lifts his chin and nods. This is a pre-Stonewall moment of gay pride, in my opinion. He's saying: okay, you caught me out, fine, but I'm not ashamed, so fuck you, I'm walking out of here with my head up. It's really extraordinary.

You are so right.  Thanks for pointing this out. 
"Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives."

kumari

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #49 on: January 30, 2006, 08:15:59 PM »
Maybe this was covered in one of the Lureen threads, but I think Jack sees a fantasy in Lureen. Not necessarily the same fantasy that Ennis sees in Alma, because Jack was not as interested in repressing his true nature.
Jack reads Lureen's pursuit of him as a reflection of his own personality. She is bold, fun, sassy, and sexually charged. Jack imagines what it would feel like to be wanted that way by Ennis. To be openly admired, to be the object of desire. Lureen also happens to be quite good at riding horses, something that she and Ennis share. He found Lureen physically appealing at the most, or at the very least, could see what other men (straight men) would like about her. To continue in that vein, Jack made it no secret that he thought Ennis was the catch of the century. Handsome and rugged, he could barely keep his eyes off him. Those big eyes seemed to drink Ennis in, frame by frame.
Of course, the fantasy did not, and could not last. But when you think about what he wanted but could never get in his living years from Ennis, you can see why he chose Lureen.

Offline cythera4

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2006, 08:21:07 PM »
You know, what I'd like to hear people's views about is the brief period after the first tent scene and before the second. How do you read Jack's attitude as he comes out of his tent and says "see you for supper" to Ennis, or as he responds to Ennis's "one-time thing" and "you know I ain't queer"? I kind of read it like: maybe I pushed too hard too fast and lost a friend, but there's something here, I know it, I've got to nurture it, draw it out. Hence his marvellous, compassionate tenderness in the second tent scene--"It's alright," he says to Ennis, meaning: "let yourself feel this, it will transform you, I know," and also "society thinks it's wrong, but it's alright." I'd be interested in other views, though.

Offline alma

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2006, 08:27:30 PM »

YES, again.  Without us as audience falling head over heels for Jack, we wouldn't have the film we have today.  Jake pulled this off seemingly effortlessly.  He wasn't acting, no!!  Great art, that.

One other genius Jake moment--the scene when Aguirre tells him off, that second summer when he comes back looking for work. Clearly, he's wounded and scared when he realizes Aguirre knows what he is and what happened between him and Ennis on Brokeback, but when Aguirre says, "now get the hell out of my trailer," there's this marvelous little pause, as Jack gathers himself, and then he lifts his chin and nods. This is a pre-Stonewall moment of gay pride, in my opinion. He's saying: okay, you caught me out, fine, but I'm not ashamed, so fuck you, I'm walking out of here with my head up. It's really extraordinary.

Shoot, you are on a roll tonight, cythera4! I love the way you connect the dots.

It is extraordinary that he leaves with his head held high. It is interesting to me how much Jake's performance grows in stature the more you watch. Any aspiring actors ought to check it out and study it frame by frame.

Offline cythera4

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2006, 08:33:02 PM »

Shoot, you are on a roll tonight, cythera4! I love the way you connect the dots.

It is extraordinary that he leaves with his head held high. It is interesting to me how much Jake's performance grows in stature the more you watch. Any aspiring actors ought to check it out and study it frame by frame.


Thanks again, Alma. Let's hope the damn Oscar voters do just that. It's so frustrating to read so many reviews saying: Gyllenhaal was okay but no match for Ledger. What b.s. In a way, I think this attitude expresses a hidden homophobia: Heath's performance is great because he's *tortured* about his homosexuality, struggling against it, showing us the price of repression. In my view, Jake deserves just as much credit (if not more) for showing us the price of daring to love.

Offline alma

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #53 on: January 30, 2006, 08:37:56 PM »
Thanks again, Alma. Let's hope the damn Oscar voters do just that. It's so frustrating to read so many reviews saying: Gyllenhaal was okay but no match for Ledger. What b.s. In a way, I think this attitude expresses a hidden homophobia: Heath's performance is great because he's *tortured* about his homosexuality, struggling against it, showing us the price of repression. In my view, Jake deserves just as much credit (if not more) for showing us the price of daring to love.

That's why I'm so glad I went to see it two more times. There is something to repeated exposures. "The price of daring to love." That ought to be your sig line. Beautifully expressed.

I still love Heath and his performance. He can't help but hog the screen and your emotions on that first viewing. But what comes across in a second viewing is the nature of Jake's acting risk and Jack's vulnerability. Isn't it that way so often? The more vulnerable one is not the first one to earn your sympathy. Still, it is definitely a tandem performance. Either one matched with someone else may not have had the chemistry to pull this one off.

I would love to see an acting Oscar go to any of them, but I'm not holding my breath. The academy may think honoring the film on the whole is the most appropriate way to honor them all.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2006, 08:53:18 PM by alma »

Offline cythera4

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #54 on: January 30, 2006, 08:49:21 PM »
Got to sign off and do some work. I really love talking to you folks. It's great to know that this movie--which seems so personal to me, as if those involved in making it somehow reached into my soul and tore parts of it out to use--is affecting so many people. It deserves every award it can get. But I do especially feel that Jake deserves more public recognition for his incredible achievement.

You're right to use the word "chemistry," Alma--the relationship is so compelling because both actors totally sell every moment together, the big ones and the small. And you do need multiple viewings to catch all the subtleties of their performances. Even that spare opening scene, where they're secretly checking each other out, has the feel of greatness on subsequent viewings, as if Jake and Heath knew, when they were making the picture, that this would someday be looked back upon as one of the greatest screen love stories, so their characters' first meeting had to ring deep and true. "Pleased to know you, Ennis Del Mar." He will be pleased, of course--and totally seared and destroyed....

Offline lektronnorth

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #55 on: January 30, 2006, 11:13:29 PM »
Maybe this was covered in one of the Lureen threads, but I think Jack sees a fantasy in Lureen. Not necessarily the same fantasy that Ennis sees in Alma, because Jack was not as interested in repressing his true nature.
Jack reads Lureen's pursuit of him as a reflection of his own personality. She is bold, fun, sassy, and sexually charged. Jack imagines what it would feel like to be wanted that way by Ennis. To be openly admired, to be the object of desire. Lureen also happens to be quite good at riding horses, something that she and Ennis share. He found Lureen physically appealing at the most, or at the very least, could see what other men (straight men) would like about her. To continue in that vein, Jack made it no secret that he thought Ennis was the catch of the century. Handsome and rugged, he could barely keep his eyes off him. Those big eyes seemed to drink Ennis in, frame by frame.
Of course, the fantasy did not, and could not last. But when you think about what he wanted but could never get in his living years from Ennis, you can see why he chose Lureen.

All of this is absolutely true - but he ALSO sees financial stability, which he doesn't have. He's checked out who she is, and got the information about the farm machinery business before she comes sashaying over to him.
Does anyone else think the scene in the car when she rips off her bra is one of the funniest things in the movie??
"I like where you're going" says Jack.....and his expression then changes to momentary total panic when he realises how fast she's taking the corners, if I can put it that way. More fantastic acting from JG 
« Last Edit: January 30, 2006, 11:25:52 PM by lektronnorth »
"Hell, that's the most I've spoke in a YEAR..."

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #56 on: January 30, 2006, 11:28:57 PM »
I am a lurker, and this is my first post after being on for more than 12 hrs total.  Did any of you ever notice in the scene where Ennis says, "I ain't queer" and Jack replies, "Me neither", that Jack moves his eyes very quickly to the viewer's left and back to center.  Have you heard about NLP (neurolinguistic programming), eye movement and visual accessing cues?  I think that eye movement that Jack displayed may speak to an auditory memeory or something he has heard before. 

Absolutely brilliant.

Offline lektronnorth

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2006, 11:33:10 PM »

Thanks again, Alma. Let's hope the damn Oscar voters do just that. It's so frustrating to read so many reviews saying: Gyllenhaal was okay but no match for Ledger. What b.s. In a way, I think this attitude expresses a hidden homophobia: Heath's performance is great because he's *tortured* about his homosexuality, struggling against it, showing us the price of repression. In my view, Jake deserves just as much credit (if not more) for showing us the price of daring to love.

Spot on. Don't get me wrong, Heath Ledger's performance is awesome. As someone who's thrown himself into his work as a denial of who he is, I know how difficult it is to look people in the eye, and come out from under the hat. If he doesn't get Best Actor I will be in grave danger of kicking the television screen into smithereens.

But Jake's performance - as a straight guy playing a "pretty much out for the time" gay - towers above any that I can remember. And he does it without the slightest effeminacy. If I were to ever meet him, I wouldn't be able to speak for admiration of what he's achieved here. This is why straight reviewers have no idea of good his performance is - it doesn't fit into their mindset at all.

I also wouldn't be able to speak because he's a drink on a stick, and has eyes you could drown in, but that's taken as read.....
« Last Edit: January 30, 2006, 11:39:08 PM by lektronnorth »
"Hell, that's the most I've spoke in a YEAR..."

Offline cythera4

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2006, 12:19:46 AM »

I also wouldn't be able to speak because he's a drink on a stick, and has eyes you could drown in, but that's taken as read.....

Yeah, the only real implausibility in the movie has to do with this. In the original story, Jack Twist was pretty homely. You can't call Jake homely. So here you've got this gorgeous kid naked by the campfire saying "it can be like this always"--and Ennis basiclly responding "no thanks." That is nuts. No one could do that and live. They'd spontaneously implode.

Offline In Tears

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Re: Element: Character Analysis of Jack Twist
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2006, 12:38:58 AM »

This is why straight reviewers have no idea of good his performance is - it doesn't fit into their mindset at all.


This is very true.  We know the look in a way no straight man can ever know it, but some damn how, this straight kid's beat us at our own game.  Good for him.
"Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives."