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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

BBM Screencaps ~ Part III: On 'Face to Face'; A kiss with Alma....

Posted on 2006.05.01 at 10:34

Comments:


Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-05-02 22:45 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, it would have been better to confront him outright. But it is often the case that nice, quietly-spoken people (which, in the film she was presented as being), probably passive aggressive and probably only 22 years old or so, would be the least likely to give Ennis what for at the time. Had Lureen, far more extroverted and to-the-point, seen them kissing on the stairs like that, she would not only have spoken, she probably would have crashed down those stairs and "tore right into" the both of them. They'd have had it out right then and there.

But Alma was shown as always approaching Ennis shyly, obliquely, rather like trying to persuade him to move to a less lonesome setting in the scene above. Years later, when she crashed out of the house to go to work, was the most tempetuous she was shown. And she must have felt pretty fed up to do that.

When I try to picture myself in her situation, with her level of experience and her temperament, I can imagine her not saying anything, if only hoping it was an anomoly. People can lie to themselves so well (me, too). But with all the fishing trips, she certainly knew it was an ongoing thing. I think you are right: it took an emotional explosion inside her to get her to speak.

I think she felt she didn't have any other options, practically speaking, but to stay with him. Also there was the shame factor. It might have worried her to think that other people might find out that Ennis was gay, both for his own safety, and in terms of how it reflected on her and the children. "So, Ennis left you, Alma? Not enough of a woman for him, were you? Had to go get himself a man he was so desperate." Or the girls: "Your daddy a queer?" Alma, Jr. would no doubt be teased, even bullied on the playground, pressed against the fence by bigger, rougher kids. Or have to hear the judgements that freely would be meted out, "My daddy says your daddy's going to Hell." That sort of thing.

I am probably just making excuses for her because I like her so much. Heck, I think Ennis liked her. I think he loved her, although not like Jack. But Ennis' love is not known for being beneficial to its recipients, including Jack. ;)
Maeglian
maeglian at 2006-05-03 19:09 (UTC) (Link)
Oh well, if they are excuses I completely agree with them and with you. I certainly do think she'd go a long way "keeping it quiet and within the family" even if she'd have the temperament and courage to have it properly out with Ennis. She'd wish to keep it quiet in order to protect the kids both from others' jeers and from learning that their father was a "deviant and pervert" which is how I assume she would see it. (And her fire-and-brimstone crowd of a congregation, too, assuming there was some little basis for Ennis in calling them that.) I also assume that is one part of the several reasons for her sour face at the Thanksgiving dinner ewhen the girls behave with so much adoration of Ennis. ("If they knew what I know, they'd not fawn so much over him.")

I also think it's right that she was hoping Jack would be a passing thing, - after all it was too strange a thing (in her view) to be at all, in the first place....

But one thing Michelle Williams once mentioned in an interview is that Alma sees Ennis as a physical threath to her, and that that specifically impacts her behaviour. At first I thought that statement surprising - Ennis seems so protective of his womenfolk, the kind of man who would think it way beneath him to strike a woman - but then I realized that element is one of the dimensions of the 4th of July scene. Alma is mostly scared by Ennis's abrupt and extremely explosive violence there, not so much by the bikers. Knowing he can go off like that at any slight emotional provokation, she has yet another reason (or excuse) for not having his infidelity out with him. And I suppose she's actually proven right, too - for he does come very close to punching her in a rage of fear and shame when she does tell him that she knows about him and Jack....

Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-05-03 19:19 (UTC) (Link)
but then I realized that element is one of the dimensions of the 4th of July scene. Alma is mostly scared by Ennis's abrupt and extremely explosive violence there, not so much by the bikers. Knowing he can go off like that at any slight emotional provokation, she has yet another reason (or excuse) for not having his infidelity out with him.

That's a very good observation. Seeing him beat up the man in the truck who had yelled at him in the street is another hint that he could be violent. When Ennis thinks Jack has been down to Mexico, he threatens him with violence, too. But I think the sense of Ennis containing explosive violence is actually part of the appeal for Jack. He isn't a bull-rider only because a cutting horse costs too much money. The signature way he relates to Jack physically in all their erotic/love scenes is very consistent. Ennis is like one of the bulls he rides, and Jack's approach is just to not lose his cool, but to stay with him, stay on, stay in contact, unthrowable. And that's how it goes.

When Ennis says, "there ain't no reins on this one," he thinks he is talking about their love affair but really, I think, he is talking about himself. But Jack is not cowed or put off by this; I think he considers it a challenge, like the mare that has the low startle point that he insists he can ride.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-05-03 19:20 (UTC) (Link)
Maeglian, I think we have got our own messageboard going here, so let me ask you: how have you been feeling? Not worse, I hope. ((((Maeg))))

P.S. I've made this comment separate so I can delete it if you want. Just say so.
Maeglian
maeglian at 2006-05-03 21:28 (UTC) (Link)
No, I'm better now that I'm finally home and settling into an everyday routine - but I'm as weak as a new-born kitten (and I was really fit only 7 weeks ago **wails**) Also I'm still plagued a bit by pains that will continue for another month as far as I've been told. I'm resting a lot and taking my time doing a little physical exercise to slowly get back in shape, and otherwise I'm eating far too much now that my appetite has returned with a vengeance. **groans**
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-05-03 21:42 (UTC) (Link)
Poor kitty! *strokes soft, soft fur*

An appetite is a good sign for a person who has been as ill as you. I'll have Frodo run you over some bilberries. Perhaps Jack could pour the cream. Ennis and I will go into the kitchen and prepare the meat course. (Hopefully, I'll be kissed within an inch of my life, not made to eat the floor.)
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