I Ain't Got You, Babe
Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon - "It Ain't Me, Babe" (mp3)
Quiet storm a'brewin'. Extensions of tension broken by glimpses of passion and flashes of mortality. Let the flock run out yonder and there they will be lost.
And I walk away with little hope for domesticity?
Certainly, the marketed titillation posed a threat. Chaps on strapping chaps? Set against the backdrop of Wyoming's broken backs?? Named Heath and Jake??? Regardless of who was on top, dibs were an open invitation.
Yet, have faith in Ang Le and ye shall receive a blessed experience. His internal struggles (The Wedding Banquet and Eat, Drink, Man, Woman) have avoided epic pomp and instead become sharply defined (Ice Storm) and lushly fantastic (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). His vision of decisions made and how they are dealt with has been consistently compassionate. Though confused and compromised at times (Ride the Devil and The Hulk), few directors approach their subject matter with the confidence to say: Let It Be.
The more I reflect on Brokeback Mountain, the more it crushes, the more it compels... the more it draws me back in. Still tryin', indeed.
Oddly enough, I then turn to Hollywood's spin on redemption. Yet what makes Walk the Line work is the hurt that rumbles below. Almost fortunate then that Joaquin ain't no Johnny and Reese bubbles past June, because they find their own pointed sadness on "It Ain't Me Babe," a search for security and trust... in the wrong person. "Someone to close his eyes to you / Someone to close his heart... / But it ain't me... Babe." While individually compelling, here their voices are so distant from each other -- his an upfront boom of darkness, hers a Brokeback escaping further into the distance.