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Tag Archives: Ang Lee

Brokeback Mountain

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Brokeback-Mountain-Promotional-Stills-brokeback-mountain-31873878-1769-1191-1

Image Credit: Brokeback Mountain, 2005

During the Heath-A-Thon I held on New Year’s Eve, I had the pleasure of watching the critically acclaimed drama, Brokeback Mountain (DVD/Download). The tale of two cowboys and the forbidden attraction they share is an unexpected love story, but absolutely essential viewing.

Directed by Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain is full of quiet moments that pull the viewer in. The Wyoming (or Canada?) scenery is gorgeous, as are the two lead characters played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. I love that the story isn’t so much about their sexuality as it is about the difficulty of finding happiness in one’s life. The only place Ennis Del Mar is truly happy is on Brokeback Mountain with Jack Twist, but he can’t see a way to make that happiness last. Work, family, and fear of the unknown gets in the way, until he becomes trapped in a life he hates. Too late he realizes all that he’s lost, and the final scene has me weeping every time. At the end of the 2.5 hours, I feel like my heart has been ripped out right along with Ennis’.

To get through this tearjerker, I need a good cocktail to cheer me up. One of my favorite scenes is when Ennis’ wife Alma, played by Michelle Williams, confronts her husband about his “fishing trips” with Jack Twist. “Jack Twist? Jack NASTY” she spits. It’s not supposed to be funny, but something about her accent makes me giggle every time. While watching Brokeback Mountain, I recommend drinking a Jack Nasty.

Jack Nasty

2 oz Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey

1 ½ oz Apple Cider

¾ oz Lemon Juice

Lemon Twist

Mix whiskey, apple cider, and lemon juice in a shaker (dry shake). Pour into a rocks filled glass, and garnish with a twist of lemon.

Jack Nasty

Contrary to the name, this cocktail is amazingly tasty, and allows me to use one of the 52 mini bottles of liquor I found in my Christmas stocking this year. Win-win! Watching Brokeback Mountain makes me feel incredibly lucky that I was able to build exactly the kind of life I want with the person I love. For so many people in the world, it isn’t that easy. Also, I can be glad that ranching was never a career path laid at my feet. I’ve never been a fan of beans. Cheers!

The Ice Storm

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1997. TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

1997. TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

After seeing American Hustle recently, I got nostalgic for another film set in the 1970’s that made me a lover of mod furniture and sweater ponchos. This week, I’m watching The Ice Storm (DVD / Download), based on the wonderful novel by Rick Moody. This is one of the rare instances where I actually like the film adaptation of a novel, something director Ang Lee seems to have a knack for. The costumes and production design have a lot to do with why I love this film, not to mention the copious amounts of vodka being consumed, but the acting is stellar as well. I don’t think I’d want to take up permanent residence in the 70’s, however this movie does make me want to visit it for a few days.

The Ice Storm tells the story of two families in Connecticut whose lives intersect over a Thanksgiving weekend. Not only do the adults trade spouses as easily as they would recipes, but their children develop relationships with one another as well. The cast features acting heavyweights such as Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and Joan Allen, along with teenage versions of Katie Holmes, Tobey Maguire, Elijah Wood, and Christina Ricci. There is a great deal of tension built up throughout the movie, sexual and otherwise, which seems to find its outlet when an ice storm freezes every molecule around them. Finally, they are stuck with having to confront their dysfunction. Of course the film features a lot of 70’s-era gags (Waterbeds! Nixon! Key parties!) but the relationships and character struggles could exist during any time period. It’s definitely a great film to curl up with and sink your teeth into on a cold day.

In regards to my cocktail pairing, no drink says 1970’s quite like the Harvey Wallbanger. It may have dated itself into obscurity, but my father has been trying to make these cool again for several years, and I support him fully in this endeavor. I really don’t care for screwdrivers at all, but float a little Galliano on top and we’re in business. Plus, I don’t even have to change the name to make it appropriate for the film. Well, maybe Harvey “Carbanger,” but that just seems silly.

Harvey Wallbanger

1.5 oz Vodka

4 oz Orange Juice

.75 oz Galliano L’Autentico

Combine the vodka and orange juice in a glass over ice. Float the Galliano on top.

Harvey-Wallbanger

Feel free to break out the Jim Croce records and any polyester you may still own and make this a real party (NOT a key party- gross, just gross). I love watching how dysfunctional these families are because it makes me feel so much better about my own life. I don’t have to worry about having a weird daughter whose idea of foreplay is wearing a Nixon mask, or a cheating husband who wears ascots and corduroy blazers (let’s face it- the real crime here is the ascot). No, the only fearful thing I see in this movie is the ice storm itself, which sadly found me last week even down in sunny Texas. So drink up, bundle up, and be grateful that even if you live in an icy climate like the one in the movie, at least you’re smart enough to stay indoors. Cheers!