Well I can't be un-biased because I read the short story before the movie, but the film was amazing. The movie was so spot on! I thought for sure they were going to fuck up the sex scene with all the clips of "hesitant" Ennis, but those media people are sneaky and they fooled me.
This film embodies that rawness of the story. The story stompped on my heart and the film just ground it up even futher. I was hesitant to belive all the hype about Heath, but I'll be damned if he didn't pull the rug out from under me. He's always been a mediocre actor in my eyes, but here he shines and reminds me almost of Clint Eastwood. And not to be over-shadowed Jake is amazing as well. He's one of those people who can flesh out a character with just a certain look in his eyes. The last meeting between Jack and Ennis has got to be one of the most powerful movie moments and love story moments of all time.
My only regret is not being able to react to the "Deceased" postcard in the movie. I knew it was coming. I nearly passed out while reading the story, it's a punch to the gut out of left field and I wonder if movie viewers get that same effect?
Here's a few random thoughts: I just knew the shirt was going to make me weep like a baby! I LOVED the added stuff between Ennis and Alma Jr. Jack & Lureen's turkey day feast with daddy was just classic! Can't get over Jacks latin influenced mustache. *snikers* Ennis's childhood flashback made me sick to the stomach, how can anyone be so hateful?? Ennis's vision of Jack's death broke my heart into a million pieces. The final scene with Ennis's "I Swear" was amazing, I don't know why but hearing it said aloud made it that much more heart wrenching than even in the story.
It's definately reccommended from me, so if you have the chance please feel obligated to go see it! ;)
A little note on the crowd of the theater. I went to an 8:00pm showing and the theater was packed, and as can be expected full of mostly women, gay couples and girls in the late teens/early 20's. However, I was surprised at the amount of people surprised by the gay love scene in the movie. One old couple even walked out and I had to fight every muscle in my bone not to say anything as the passed me in the aisle. The girl and her boyfriend sitting next to me must've only seen the trailers for the movie recently that "trick" viewers into believeing this is a "classic 'straight' love story" because the girl sort of gasped "what?!?" and followed it up with some nervous giggling, but she and her boy stayed and they ended up really loving the movie.
P.S. They showed a trailer for another gay centralized movie, "Imagine Me & You" and it looks absolutely adorable!