Sunday, March 26, 2006

Filmmakers I adore… Jake Gyllenhaal.

Though he hasn’t been on the scene for long, Gyllenhaal is one of Hollywood’s most promising young actors, who brings energy and commitment to each of his projects and has already established his presence as an indie leading man. (Or maybe I just like to say that).

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He did well in 2001, with two very different projects – one, an underrated, cute romcom, Bubble Boy, where he wasn’t really required to do much apart from look cute, but he managed to do it well, and another, dark teen flick Donnie Darko, where he roamed the corridors of High school, appropriately haunted. The best thing about the film.
Jake also has somewhat of a rep for playing the younger object of affection to the older woman. Indeed, look at his track record - Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Catherine Keener, etc. Playing gay must have been a nice break for him, and escape from the typecast role.

He continued to give consistently good performances in 2002, with Moonlight Mile and The Good Girl, two projects that he was really too good for. There was a blank space of woodenness with The Day After Tomorrow, before the year in which Jake was the “it” guy, 2005.

2005 was a great year for him. In Proof, he was solid, rather than spectacular, as Gwyneth Paltrow’s love interest, which manages to gain her trust, and then lose it. If the sound of him talking Maths was a little odd, his vivacity in a pretty plain role completely redeems that.
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Then there was Jarhead, which featured such cool, testosterone-fuelled performances, I think it would be safe to say that the performances were better than the film itself. As Swofford, the originally excited, but then, easily excitable Jarhead, causing havoc with Santa hats, Gyllenhaal is completely intense, bringing blood, sweat, tears and charisma to a very unlikeable character. Repeat after me, without my rifle… Kudos also for his easy chemistry with his sister’s boyfriend, Sarsgaard.

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Then there was the resounding triumph that was Brokeback Mountain For all those who have read Annie Proulx’s novella, I think we were expecting Jack to be every bit the whiny, buck-toothed guy that she had made him out to be, but Jake brought injected much needed life into his role as Jack Twist. Of course, it helps that, of all Jake’s films, this was best written, but it was a performance that even astounded me. Witness his cheerfulness as he throws the lasso over Ennis, then the caring as he tends to his broken nose. Compare it to his cold bitterness as he asks the annoying woman to dance in front of Lureen… what a character development. Applause to Mr Gyllenhaal, please, and a slap on George’s wrist for stealing his Oscar.
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Jake is currently filming Zodiac, directed by David Fincher. I have high hopes for it, though am slightly worried on hearing how he had to retake a scene about 100 times. Doesn’t sound too promising, really.

So, to summarize, Jake is blessed with looks, talent, a great variety of film roles. At 25-years-old, he is already a BAFTA winner. Well done!

Top 5 Films
01. Brokeback Mountain
02. Lovely & Amazing
03. Proof
04. October Sky
05. The Good Girl

Best Performances
01. As Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain
02. As Donnie Darko in Donnie Darko
03. As Anthony “Swoff ”Swofford in Jarhead
04. As in Joe Nast in Moonlight Mile
05. As Homer Hickman in October Sky


Nyna said...

Indeed, he is very good. so sweet in brokeback mountain and different in jarhead... good things

Anonymous said...

He's not THAT good, but I liked him in Bubble Boy

Paul said...

You owe us two film reviews for tomorrow, and I request one of them to be of The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Diana said...

And Sexy beast!

Emma said...

I'll review the 40 Year Old Virgin because I have it on DVD and can go see it now, but not Sexy Beast because I don't own it and haven't seen it for a while.

MysticFist said...

I have never even heard of Lovely & Amazing, have I? Agreed on Best Film and Best Performance; agreed also that Donnie Darko isn't very good (even if you didn't say that) and that his performance was the best thing about it. And of course, he's one of the most promising actors of our time... after BBM, that easily goes without saying.

And what now, Peter is Jake's sister's boyfriend? Interesting.

Stuart said...

i... too much of a pretty boy

helle said...

Cute, nice guy.

Best Performance Donnie Darko
Best Film Brokeback Mountain

james said...

You know who Sarsgaard's girlfriend is? Eee Eeee Eee! *.*

Gyllenhaal's alright.

Caz said...

I love him!! He's one of my fave actors. Probably my second after Johnny Depp and Dustin Hoffman (they're both #1). As you summed it up perfectly... He's good looking AND got talent!

Fave performance and film: Brokeback Mountain

Emma said...

Helle - his performance in Donnie Darko was nothing compared to his performance in BBM.

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