Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), a rodeo cowboy, and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger), a ranch hand, meet in the summer of 1963 as they herd sheep up Brokeback Mountain in the rolling Wyoming countryside.
They leave to return to their normal lives - Ennis is married in November '63, and Jack continues to court other women until his eventual marriage some years later. They both continue to see each other three times a year forming a life-long bond of love and friendship.
On that note, everything about Brokeback Mountain is stunning. The views that Lee is able to film high up in the mountainside is breathtaking. While much of the film was shot in Canada it doesn't take away the effect that is created by some devine sunrises, snow scenes and rain. Even when the protagonists return to their real life, the spralling fields and mirror lakes are equally pleasing on the eye.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger manage to produce some real chemistry between them during the first part of the film. Despite this, both produce some of the finest acting of their careers in the story after they leave Brokeback. Ledger's character is perfectly portrayed with the inner-turmoil of wishing he wasn't at home with his perfect family, while Gyllenhaal is fantastic as he shows how Jack struggles to cope during the moments that Ennis isn't there.
The supporting cast aren't bad either. Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway as the wives of Ennie and Jack respectively do well to keep pace with the performances of Gyllenhaal and Ledger.
The ending too, is as full of emotion as the rest of the film. Lee manipulates his audience spectacularly as he stirs up distant memories from the beginning of the film, bringing his masterpiece full circle.
This is one film you need to see.