Two cowboys (Jake Gyllenhaal, good, and Heath Ledger, exceptional) share a night of passion while working briefly as sheepherders in 1963, then spend the remainder of their otherwise straight lives tragically concealing their affair. Adapted by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana from an Annie Proulx story and capably directed by Ang Lee, this 2005 drama is the kind of tasteful tearjerker that's often overrated and smothered with prizes for flattering our tolerance and sensitivity. Lee focuses on the men's wasted lives and the heartbreak of their spouses and other relatives, but the movie makes one hanker for the sort of unabashed queer stories found outside the mainstream.
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