Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A late start

It's a new year, and I think it's past time for a new post. Too much to catch up on since last time, so let's make it simple with some outtakes from the recent NY Times Jake interview.

The interview seemed like part of a last-minute, fruitless push for Jake and Stronger to get some awards traction. Like most of the promotion for Stronger, it didn't do much.

A shame, because the movie and Jake deserved so much more. As many people agreed.

Eric D. Snider‏ Verified account @EricDSnider
Just realizing Jake Gyllenhaal isn't nominated for Best Actor. I haven't seen the Denzel movie, but I know Jake's performance was better.

David Gordon Green’s “Stronger” was an acting powerhouse that could’ve made any of its performers a nominee this year, from Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role to Tatiana Maslany and Miranda Richardson.

Dear Academy: Don't overlook these great performances
First and foremost, there are a few contenders that seemed strong coming into the season, but have somehow been all but forgotten. Take Jake Gyllenhaal in “Stronger.” Here is one of the year’s most critically acclaimed films (93% on Rotten Tomatoes), dealing in a well-worn, Oscar-friendly genre (a biopic centered on a disabled person who beats the odds), featuring another great turn from an actor who has delivered a number of awards-caliber performances lately that have gone unrecognized by the Academy (“Prisoners,” “Nightcrawler,” “End of Watch”). What’s it going to take to put his name on the ballot?

But let's not get bogged down. 2018 got off to a strong start for Jake, as Wildlife premiered at Sundance to very good reviews.

Carey Mulligan got most of the heat, but Jake's turn was lauded, as well.

Los Angeles Times
Kenneth Turan
An exceptionally sensitive portrait of a marriage headed off the rails, beautifully acted by Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal and impeccably directed by actor Paul Dano.

Kenneth Turan again
Yeah, there are two others that I really liked. One is called "Wildlife." It's the first directing for Paul Dano. He's an actor who people will probably remember from "Little Miss Sunshine." He played the young Brian Wilson in "Love & Mercy." He's taken a Richard Ford novel - this is a novel about a marriage kind of slowly falling apart. The co-stars are Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal. It just was a pleasure to experience this film.

Owen Gleiberman
Paul Dano, in his directorial debut, stages an artfully deliberate small-town saga, with Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal as haunted parents.
Jerry is a man who likes his beer, and though we never see him flat-out drunk, Gyllenhaal gives him the self-pitying short fuse of an alcoholic; he’s like a Don Draper who never made it to the city. Jerry blames everyone else for his problems, and he has too much misplaced pride to even take his job back when it’s offered to him.

The Film Stage
Jordan Raup
Gyllenhaal’s role may be minor, but his missing presence is certainly felt, and when his inexorable return occurs, and the cards are laid on the table, his brings an unexpected ferocity. In fact, so much so that the climax can feel rushed compared to the patient touch Dano had previously built up.

The New Yorker
David Edelstein
I like Gyllenhaal better here than in his showier roles. He hasn’t completely figured out Jerry, which I mean as a high compliment — Gyllenhaal sometimes pins his characters down too much. The key is that Jerry hasn’t figured himself out. He wanted to be a pro golfer, he wanted to be a big man, and he has shrunk to nothing in his own eyes. Seizing on the job of a faceless auxiliary firefighter living in tents alongside other men (many of them long jobless) is a way of burning off his ego as a start for reinventing himself. He works wonderfully with Oxenbould, who’s the opposite of your standard coming-of-age juvenile.

The Young Folks
Katey Stoetzel
Based on the synopsis, I was expecting Gyllenhaal’s presence to be minimal but was pleasantly surprised to find how much of the film he’s in. His earnest portrayal of a down-on-his-luck father and husband led by his pride is interesting and heartfelt.

Jon Frosch
I liked Paul Dano’s WILDLIFE a lot, even if it often feels self-consciously cautious and controlled. Mulligan and Gyllenhaal both excellent; Ed Oxenbould even better.

Nick Johnston @onlysaysficus
WILDLIFE: Oscillated between poles on this one while watching, but it’s ultimately a heartbreaking portrait of the collapse of a family. Dano’s got skills, especially with his actors and his staging. #Sundance18

Also Mulligan is brilliantly upsetting, and one scene with Gyllenhaal and his kid made me shed tears. “Grown men love each other, too.”

Assorted tweets:

WILDLIFE is so quietly devastating. Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ed Oxenbould are pitch-perfect. Paul Dano is not only one of my favorite actors today, but now one of the most exciting directors. #Sundance18

WILDLIFE stunning debut! Paul Dano filmmaker is also great. A hard but very well written drama of a family falling to pieces, emotional and very powerful. Jake Gyllenhaal Super but my girlfriend Carey Mulligan is extraordinary! The best of #Sundance now 👌🏼

Man.Paul Dano’s #Wildlife. Beautiful. Jake Gyllenhall & *Carey Mulligan* supreme. A film about many things, but perhaps central: what no ££ does to relationships, families... and yet .. how wealth gilds over disconnect. Ambiguous enough to leave hope ✅

(Photo Credit Bryan Derballa for The New York Times)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Event Fall

Event Spring 2017 - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford recording Move on for the Sunday in the Park with George cast album:

It has been a busy autumn for Jake Gyllenhaal, with film festivals, screenings, conversations, presentations, perfume ads and more. And now an award.

Jake was given the Hollywood Film Awards Best Actor trophy for his performance as Jeff Bauman in Stronger. May it be the beginning of a fruitful awards season. We live in hope...

A beautiful speech by Jake. You can feel how much this experience has meant to him. I hope it's not the last time he gets the chance to give a speech for playing this role!

From the red carpet and the awards:

Caption This:

Jake and Tatiana conversation after Stronger screening:

At Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, day of Boston premiere:


Red carpet and awards presentation snippets

Photos and video: 40 movies?!

Jake on the green carpet


Video highlight reel

The title of the post could also have been Event Fail, as I have not kept up with all of these events. I'm going to add to this post with some other photos or videos that we all may have missed or just want to see again.

(First photo taken by Cyrill Matter at the Zurich Film Festival.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


95% Rotten Tomatoes Critics Score
90% Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score
A- Cinemascope
76 Metacritic Score

Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeff Bauman have seemingly been everywhere promoting Stronger, which is enjoying raves from audiences and critics alike. Now if only the box office would catch up...

There have been so many good pictures and fun interviews that it was impossible to keep up. Herewith, a random assortment of shots, stories and clips that appealed to me.

From Jane Goodall's Facebook page:

When on the road, Jane is never sure who she is going to meet. Luckily for Jane, fate was on her side when on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and she crossed paths with the incredible Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeff Bauman - a survivor of the horrific Boston Marathon bombing and the inspiration for the new film 'Stronger'. Their conversations reinforced Jane's reason for hope - the indomitable human spirit - as Jeff is indeed the embodiment of strength and kindness.

The first four are from Greg Russell Photography. Love the (literal) framing.

Don't know who took these, but they are fantastic:

Worth flipping through the series on the above IG post.

Boston premiere:

Patients and others at Spaulding Rehabilitation greet the Stronger crew:

Q&A and other videos

Popcorn with Peter Travers:

Another Jake and Jeff interview

Jake discusses the able-bodied/disabled actor issue with The Frame

An hour with Jake!

Jake raps Kris Kriss:

Podcast with Jake and Jeff/Tatiana and Miranda

Don't forget to download Sunday in the Park with George!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The buzz is getting Stronger

Stronger premiered to rave reviews for Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany and Miranda Richardson at the Toronto International Film Festival. The actors and director were all there, but Jeff Bauman, whose story is depicted in the funny, poignant movie, was the star of the evening.

Some photos, interviews and review snippets of a very special night:

Kate Erbland‏Verified account @katerbland
STRONGER: We really don't talk enough about how damn good Jake Gyllenhaal is. #TIFF17

erickohn ‏Verified account @erickohn
STRONGER is pretty straightforward, but has some of DGG's most emotional filmmaking since SNOW ANGELS. Gyllenhaal sells it. #TIFF

Simon Thompson‏Verified account @ShowbizSimon
It's a phenomenal movie. Saw it this week, absolutely superb.

John Corrado‏ @1Movie5Views
Now that the embargo has lifted, I can finally say that Jake Gyllenhaal delivers an absolute powerhouse performance in Stronger. #TIFF17

Alicia Malone‏Verified account @aliciamalone
STRONGER: another great perfect by future hubs. Could've easily been a glossy Hollywood version, appreciated the gritty realism #TIFF17

Mike Hogan‏ (Vanity Fair digital director) @mike_hogan
I didn't see all of Stronger (had to be back on red carpet) but I saw enough to know Jake Gyllenhaal will be nominated for best actor

Joe Utichi‏Verified account @joeutichi
Jake Gyllenhaal is on top form with #Stronger, about Jeff Bauman. A rousing, emotional story. @tatianamaslany brilliant. #tiff17

Joey Magidson‏ @JoeyMagidson
Jake Gyllenhaal is as good as ever, and Tatiana Maslany might be even better in @StrongerTheFilm. Don't sleep on Miranda Richardson either.

Kristopher Tabley‏ Verified account @kristapley
Jake Gyllenhaal is superb once again in "Stronger." Tatiana Maslany does quite a lot with her own familiar role as well.

jen yamato‏Verified account @jenyamato
Yep. @TatianaMaslany & Jake Gyllenhaal at TIFF for #StrongerMovie makes me want to see them in everything together http://lat.ms/2jdVi4H

STRONGER: Mostly unsentimental study of recovery in the public eye by the fab David Gordon Green. Jake Gyllenhaal will get an Oscar nom. B+

Jake Gyllenhaal was brilliant portraying Jeff Bauman, a victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing in the movie #Stronger at #tiff2017

#TIFF2017 Jake Gyllenhaal may have the performance of his career with Stronger. Not a dry eye in room when he embraced Jeff after screening

Gyllenhaal's #Oscar nomination is locked. #TIFF17

Picture this: Jake Gyllenhaal watching the premier of his film Stronger with me sobbing audibly 3 rows behind him #TIFF2017

Standing ovation for #StrongerMovie. Heartbreaking performances by Jake Gyllenhaal & @tatianamaslany.

Sometimes movies impress you with their formal daring, their transgressiveness, their experimental boldness. Sometimes movies win you over with visual spectacle, novelty, unpredictability. And sometimes movies don’t necessarily have any of those qualities, they just flat-out work. David Gordon Green’s “Stronger,” a familiar yet undeniably moving film about Jeff Bauman, the everyman Bostonian who lost both his legs in the 2013 Marathon bombing, is a movie that just works. ...

The director certainly gets plenty of help from a superb lead performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, whose recent work has been of such a uniformly high caliber that it’s almost easy to overlook, and who tackles this role with every ounce of his usual commitment.

The Guardian:

It’s a refreshingly unconventional style that also allows Gyllenhaal the opportunity to truly impress. Another actor could have struggled with such naked camera work, the mechanics of their work seeming, well, mechanical, but Gyllenhaal is effortlessly good here. It’s an awards-worthy performance for a star who so often gets miscast and he sells both the good and the bad within Bauman. It’s pleasing, in a field full of overly deferential biopics, to see a fact-based drama based on a book written by the subject, that still contains nuance. Bauman is not a saint: he’s often selfish and immature, and by keeping these flaws in the movie, we become that much more involved in his story.


Jake Gyllenhaal Is Riveting in David Gordon Green’s Boston Marathon Bombing Biopic
At some point in the last dozen or so years, Gyllenhaal became the finest working actor of his age — full stop — and “Stronger” finds him working in yet another gear, one that finds the shades in both Bauman as a public figure and the greater implications of what it means to elevate someone to such a status.

“Stronger” is not a film about Jeff coming to terms with his new body or learning how to walk again, but instead dealing with great personal pain while also struggling with the demands of a notoriety he never asked for. It’s a film about heroes and what we require from them, and why that often leads to wounds that may never heal. For Gyllenhaal, that amounts to a riveting and raw performance that never hits a false note. “Stronger” is a respectful and worthy tribute to Bauman, but it’s also an honest depiction of a devastating event and its ever-evolving after-effects.

Red carpet:

Red Carpet Diary:

Press conference:

IMDb snippets:


THR snippet:

ET Canada:

ET Canada Extended Interview (not from the press conference):

Series of interviews: Jeff tells Jake to take more time for himself:

Variety Studio:

eTalk Canada

Our collective hearts just stopped.