A Good Movie Cry

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There are some movies that break your heart open, that wrench your deepest feelings and touch the places we may most want to remain buried. These aren’t necessarily the most fun movies – they’re not the kind of movie you play over and over again, in the background or for friends before a Christmas party, but they’re the ones that resonate far longer.

‘The Hours’ is one of these movies for me. Based on the brilliant book by Michael Cunningham, it’s all about the Virginia Woolf segments, and the train station scene in particular.

“Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel I can’t go through another one of these terrible times and I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices and can’t concentrate so I am doing what seems to be the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I know that I am spoiling your life and without me you could work and you will, I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. What I want to say is that I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. Everything is gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.”

‘Brokeback Mountain’ is another. So quietly powerful and moving is this one that I can’t watch it more than once a year or so. Even then, I’m often only able to make it through bits and pieces. Stark, brutal, beautiful and unforgiving, it’s an exquisite dirge for the soul.

“The shirt seemed heavy until he saw there was another shirt inside it, the sleeves carefully worked down inside Jack’s sleeves. It was his own plaid shirt, lost, he’d thought, long ago in some damn laundry, his dirty shirt, the pocket ripped, buttons missing, stolen by Jack and hidden here inside Jack’s own shirt, the pair like two skins, one inside the other, two in one.”  ― Annie Proulx

“He pressed his face into the fabric and breathed in slowly through his mouth and nose, hoping for the faintest smoke and mountain sage and salty sweet stink of Jack but there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain of which nothing was left but what he held in his hands.” ― Annie Proulx

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