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Author Topic: The Phone Call  (Read 210350 times)

Offline Melisande

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The Phone Call
« on: January 08, 2006, 09:39:34 AM »
Discuss Ennis' call to Lureen here.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 06:36:20 AM by peteinportland »
let be, let be

Offline brokebackLJ

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2006, 12:55:04 PM »
EXT: RIVERTON, WYOMING: PAY TELEPHONE: DAY: 1982:

A windy day, dust swirls.

ENNIS is dialing a telephone.

SPLIT SCREEN: ENNIS STANDS OUTSIDE, RIVERTON, WYOMING, COVERS ONE EAR/LUREEN TWIST'S SPOTLESS, TACKY NOUVEAU RICHE LIVING ROOM IN CHILDRESS, TEXAS: 1982

LUREEN, almost forty now, hair stiffly styles and even bigger, bleached-blonde hair, make-up even thicker, business-like, cold, direct, answers the telephone.

LUREEN
Hello?

ENNIS
Uh, hello, this is Ennis Del Mar, I, uh...

LUREEN
Who? Who is this?

ENNIS
Ennis del Mar. I'm an old buddy of Jack's, I...

LUREEN
(interrupts, speaks quickly, allows no interruptions)
Jack used to mention you. You're the fishing buddy or the hunting buddy, I know that. Would have let you know, but wasn't sure about your name or address. Jack kept his friends' addresses in his head.

ENNIS
Why I was callin', to see what happened...

LUREEN
(level voice)
Oh yeah, Jack was pumping up a flat on the truck out on a back road when the tire blew up. The rim of the tire slammed into his face and broke his nose and jaw, knocked him unconscious on his back. By the time somebody came along, he had drowned in his own blood. Terrible thing. He was only thirty-nine years old.

EXT. RIVERTON, WYOMING: PAY TELEPHONE: DAY: CONTINUOUS: 1982:
WE'VE left LUREEN, and the screen holds only on ENNIS.
ENNIS can't answer right away. He wonders, suddenly, if it was the tire iron:

SHARP CUT TO

ENNIS'S POV: MIDDLE OF NOWHERE: DUSK: CONTINUOUS: 1982:

A FLASH--JUST A SECOND OR TWO--ENNIS and WE EE, in the evening shadows, a MAN being beaten unmercifully by THREE ASSAILANTS, one of whom uses a tire iron.

SHARP CUT BACK TO

EXT: RIVERTON, WYOMING: PAY TELEPHONE: DAY: CONTINUOUS: 1982:
The huge sadness of the northern plains rolls down upon ENNIS. He doesn't know which way it was, the tire iron--or a real acciden, blood choking down JACK'S throat and nobody to turn him over.

The wind drones.

LUREEN
(not sure he's still there)
...Hello?

ENNIS
He buried down there?

LUREEN
We put a stone up. He was cremated, like he wanted, and half his ashes was interred here. The rest I sent up with his folks. He use to say he wanted his ashes scattered on Brokeback Mountain, but I wasn't sure where that was. I thought Brokeback Mountain might be around where he grew up. But knowing Jack, it might be some pretend place where bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring.

ENNIS can hardly speak.

ENNIS
...No ma'am, we herded sheep up on Brokeback one summer...

LUREEN
Well, he said it was his favorite place. I thought he meant to get drunk. He drank a lot.

ENNIS
His folks still up on Lightnin' Flat?

LUREEN
They'll be there till the day they die.

ENNIS
Thanks for your time, then...I am sure sorry...we was good friends...

LUREEN
Get in touch with his folks. I suppose they'd appreciate it if his wishes was carried out. About the ashes, I mean.

Although she is polite, her little voice is as cold as ice.

ENNIS hangs up.

LOOKS like death.

Offline peteinportland

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2006, 08:17:39 AM »
This is the scene where I lose it every time. It breaks my heart! And what beautiful acting. Who knew so much could be said and done in such a short, simple movie scene?

Offline lena

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2006, 08:34:05 AM »
when i watched this scene again, i saw it a bit different than the first couple times.  i think lureen was deeply affected by jack's death.  she is "programmed" to be non-emotional, and was probably shocked, as his death confirmed jack's sexuality.  but, i think the book indicated that 6 months had gone by since jack's death, so she had time to deal. however, she still caught her breath a couple of times during the phone conversation, and her eyes swelled up with tears.  to me, that indicated she was deeply affected by his death and not just a cold, hard woman.


Offline happycamper

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2006, 08:37:32 AM »
LUREEN
We put a stone up. He was cremated, like he wanted, and half his ashes was interred here. The rest I sent up with his folks. He use to say he wanted his ashes scattered on Brokeback Mountain, but I wasn't sure where that was. I thought Brokeback Mountain might be around where he grew up. But knowing Jack, it might be some pretend place where bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring.

ENNIS can hardly speak.

ENNIS
...No ma'am, we herded sheep up on Brokeback one summer...

LUREEN
Well, he said it was his favorite place. I thought he meant to get drunk. He drank a lot.

After Ennis says "we hearded sheep up on Brokeback one summer..." Lureen/Anne gives this little cry, intake of breath, and her eyes fill with tears, and you know she realizes in that moment what Ennis has meant to Jack all these years... Great acting on Anne's part.

Offline lena

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2006, 08:52:33 AM »
"where bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring."

did anyone notice that ennis said something about a whiskey creek during one of his rendezvous with jack?  when they were talking about moving to texas and ennis said, yeah, and you and lureen can adopt the kids, and whiskey will be flowing in the creek.  something to that effect.  interesting they made a similar comment.



dkellergrl2001

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2006, 10:06:58 AM »
I started smiling when Lureen said that about Jack.  IMO, it showed that both of them knew about the "real" Jack Twist. The Jack that had all these dreams and funny tales. The Jack that they both fell in love with.

"where bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring."

did anyone notice that ennis said something about a whiskey creek during one of his rendezvous with jack?  when they were talking about moving to texas and ennis said, yeah, and you and lureen can adopt the kids, and whiskey will be flowing in the creek.  something to that effect.  interesting they made a similar comment.




Offline ChrisTX

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2006, 04:46:17 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm trying to catch up with all the great posts on these boards, in particular regarding the tire iron flash that Ennis has during this phone call. It was my interpretation from the short story that the tire iron was probably the way Jack died, and Lureen here was giving the stock story that would save her & her family the shame of the truth.

There are so many brilliant, insightful posts on here, I was wondering what the general consensus on this is?

Offline mary

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2006, 10:37:21 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm trying to catch up with all the great posts on these boards, in particular regarding the tire iron flash that Ennis has during this phone call. It was my interpretation from the short story that the tire iron was probably the way Jack died, and Lureen here was giving the stock story that would save her & her family the shame of the truth.

There are so many brilliant, insightful posts on here, I was wondering what the general consensus on this is?

ChrisTX
There's actually an entire thread dealling with Jack's fate:
http://davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=18.0
where there is in depth discussion of just this

my impression has always been that more important that how Jack really died is how Ennis believes he died, because his fear of the tire iron that dictated so much of his life, especially as it relates to Jack

mary
never enough time, never enough....

Some fictional characters are less fictional than others

Offline David

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2006, 01:04:11 PM »
when i watched this scene again, i saw it a bit different than the first couple times.  i think lureen was deeply affected by jack's death.  she is "programmed" to be non-emotional, and was probably shocked, as his death confirmed jack's sexuality.  but, i think the book indicated that 6 months had gone by since jack's death, so she had time to deal. however, she still caught her breath a couple of times during the phone conversation, and her eyes swelled up with tears.  to me, that indicated she was deeply affected by his death and not just a cold, hard woman.



Anne Hathaway said that her character's "hardness" was a mask. So I agree that she played Lureen as someone who was deeply affected by Jack's death and her subsequent realizations.
The huge sadness of the Northern plains rolled down on him.

Offline bookgirl

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2006, 04:31:17 PM »
"where bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring."

did anyone notice that ennis said something about a whiskey creek during one of his rendezvous with jack?  when they were talking about moving to texas and ennis said, yeah, and you and lureen can adopt the kids, and whiskey will be flowing in the creek.  something to that effect.  interesting they made a similar comment.




I also caught this during my 2nd viewing.   What I thought was so sad about this "whiskey creek/springs" connection was:

1. Ennis, even though he loved Jack deeply, once again blew off Jack's idea about them being together by likening it to a fairy tale, and

2. Lureen, who knew that Jack wanted to have his ashes scattered there, never bothered to find out why that was or even where it was.  Or maybe by
   then she just didn't care!  She just took it for granted that it was a "pretend" place Jack made up. 

I wish that Ennis had believed enough in himself and Jack to have taken that chance at a life together.  Of course, it would have been a totally different movie and none of us would be here  :)

 Thanks to all of you for sharing your ideas/observations/opinions about this movie!!!  They keep me coming back for more.




Offline ImEnnisShesJack

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2006, 04:57:48 PM »
"where bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring."

did anyone notice that ennis said something about a whiskey creek during one of his rendezvous with jack?  when they were talking about moving to texas and ennis said, yeah, and you and lureen can adopt the kids, and whiskey will be flowing in the creek.  something to that effect.  interesting they made a similar comment.

It's an older song, but both characters were paraphrasing "Big Rock Candy Mountain"  (Funny that both this song and 'King of the Road' were regaling the hobo life.  Anyone want to speculate what dignificance there is in that?)

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/bigrock.htm
"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~~

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kumari

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2006, 07:56:44 PM »
"where bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring."

did anyone notice that ennis said something about a whiskey creek during one of his rendezvous with jack?  when they were talking about moving to texas and ennis said, yeah, and you and lureen can adopt the kids, and whiskey will be flowing in the creek.  something to that effect.  interesting they made a similar comment.

It's an older song, but both characters were paraphrasing "Big Rock Candy Mountain"  (Funny that both this song and 'King of the Road' were regaling the hobo life.  Anyone want to speculate what dignificance there is in that?)

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/bigrock.htm

Ok, that link was a hoot, but thanx!
I think both of these songs speak to the spirit of Jack. He was the one who held down the steady job and enjoyed more material comforts than Ennis, but he would have given it all up in a heartbeat to live in a crappy trailer with Ennis.

Offline gazelle

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2006, 11:07:38 AM »
i think lureen was deeply affected by jack's death.  she is "programmed" to be non-emotional, and was probably shocked, as his death confirmed jack's sexuality. ... she still caught her breath a couple of times during the phone conversation, and her eyes swelled up with tears.  to me, that indicated she was deeply affected by his death and not just a cold, hard woman.

I agree with you completely. In that indrawn breath I saw all Lureen's regret in her underestimation of her husband, and regret for her participation in his oppression.

What also blew me away was the incredible subtlety of her teeth makeup.  I could see yellowing in the extreme CU, and I though, How thoughtful and observant Lee and the makeup dept to add the years of cigarette smoking to her scene there.  I heard it confirmed in one of the audio interviews with AL on the internet (I've lost track of all the audio snippets and full interviews I've read by now).  On some discussion forum (I don't think this one) one citizen though she was a hussy the whole way through - a blowsy blonde, so to speak.  But that ignores her humanity and the loss of HER innocence, which is just as large as Ennis and Jack's.

Plus Lureen's costuming during the phone call was exquisite.
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Offline bbbmedia

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Re: The Phone Call
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2006, 08:57:30 PM »
To me, the phone call scene was one place where the film was definitely superior to the story.

The the dialog is almost the same, but reading it on the page gives no sense of Lureen's emotions.

In my opinion, Anne Hathaway's delivery makes perfectly clear that Lureen is lying, and that Ennis's premonition that Jack was fag bashed is correct.

Also, our final view of Lureen--a desperate housewife increasingly dependent on larger and larger doses of hairspray, Lady Clairol, mascara, and junk jewelry--show, as the story did not, the emotional toll marriage to Jack inflicted on the once spunky, vibrant rodeo queen. 

Of all the performances in Brokeback, I think Anne Hathaway's is the most under-appreciated
 
« Last Edit: January 12, 2006, 08:59:27 PM by bbbmedia »
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.