Monday, December 31, 2012
Best of the year
It's been a great year in Jake Gyllenhaal's career. Hope 2013 will bring many more adventures for Jake. Some highlights of year-end plaudits for Jake, End of Watch and If There Is I Haven't Found it.
Entertainment Weekly cited Jake for delivering great performances on stage and screen:
The AP chose If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet as one of the year's Top 10 theater moments:
7. "If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet"
Nick Payne's clever, edgy domestic drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal is a delight. Making it even more special was the set design by Beowulf Boritt under the direction of Michael Longhurst: All the furniture was piled in the center of the stage and each piece was taken and then discarded after every scene (appropriate for a play that discusses trashing the planet). It culminated in major watery magic as the stage flooded. Can sets get a standing-O?
The New York Times also highlighted the play as one of the year's most Galvanizing Theater Moments:
APOCALYPTIC ENDINGS No cleanup crews worked harder than those at “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet” (left) and “Assistance.” Each play ended by conjuring collapse, as water filled the stage of “If There Is” and office shelves, computers, and lights buckled to the floor in “Assistance.” Beowulf Boritt and David Korins, respectively, did the sets. Patrick Healy
End of Watch made it to several year-end Best lists, most notably Roger Ebert's:
4. End of Watch:
Here is one of the best police movies in recent years, a virtuoso joining of performances and often-startling action. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as Taylor and Zavala, two Los Angeles street cops who bend a few rules but must be acknowledged as heroes. After too many police movies about officers who essentially use their badges as licenses to run wild, it's inspiring to realize these men take their mission -- to serve and protect -- with such seriousness they're willing to risk their lives.
Taylor and Zavala fit the template of the "cop buddy movie," but "End of Watch" goes so much deeper than that. They've been partners for years, and are so close that Zavala's wife Gabby (Natalie Martinez) and Taylor's girlfriend Janet (Anna Kendrick) have become like sisters. They're transferred to a tough, largely Mexican-American district, where their persistence leads them across the scent of a Mexican drug cartel operating in L.A. This is really an assignment for a detective, but they don't avoid risk, and eventually become so dangerous to the cartel that a hit is ordered against them.
The Times of London on EoW
13. End of Watch
There was more genuine chemistry between Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, playing a pair of profanity spewing, ass-kicking LAPD officers, than you’ll find in all of this year’s romcoms combined.
IndieWire's Anne Thompson listed EoW on her 10 best list for 2012:
6. "End of Watch"
David Ayer celebrates the work ethic and bravery of two cops, partners on the beat in East Los Angeles, who face an unforgiving world with humor and verbal acuity. Shot on the run, the movie was choreographed with no room for waste or error: Ayer shot 135 hours of footage in 22 days. Jack Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena were primed and ready and give the best performances of their respective careers.
From the Examiner (Denver):
End of Watch
"End of Watch" is one of the most overlooked dramas of the year, a harrowing and gritty cop drama, that’s as realistic as it is intense. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña deliver stellar performances as LAPD officers who find themselves on the hit list of a violent gang. The film is shot with an intimacy that puts viewers not a step behind, but right next to Gyllenhaal and Pena, heightening the experience of what is easily the best cop drama in recent memory.
I knew when this was released that it was going to be overlooked come awards time and I was right. Other than a few random mentions (usually in reference to Jake Gyllenhaal's performance), David Ayer's gritty, realistic, in-your-face buddy cop drama has been overlooked for end of the year honors. Why? Maybe it's the genre or the found footage aspect, or maybe the lack of attention at the box office had something to do with it. It received a "Certified Fresh" stamp on RottenTomatoes with 134 critics giving it a "Fresh" rating and it almost doubled its $7 million budget over its opening weekend, yet you really didn't hear much about it after its release - and that's too bad for adult moviegoers. Hopefully End of Watch will find the audience it deserves on DVD.
The Daily Beast:
9. End of Watch
What first seems like a routine inner-city cop drama soon morphs into a fascinating study of male camaraderie under the most trying of circumstances, as two LAPD cops (Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena)—and best friends—find themselves squaring off against Mexican drug cartels that have spilled into southern California.
9. End of Watch
Cop-buddy movies are hardly a rarity, but David Ayer's kinetic, electric and humane exploration of the friendship between a white cop (Jake Gyllenhaal, right) and Latino cop (Michael Peña) on the streets of L.A. is several notches above the competition.
4. End of Watch
I can't tell whether I feel that End of Watch was the best movie of the year — nor do I know what that means, anyway — but it was definitely my favorite. I went in having no idea what to expect, but dreading a Training Day–like assault (David Ayer, the screenwriter of Training Day, wrote and directed End of
Watch). Instead of cynical thrills, though, the audience is treated to a story about humanity and friendship in the guise of an exciting cop story. (I wrote about Jake Gyllenhaal's and Michael Pena's characters here in our "Most Unforgettable Characters of 2012" story.) This movie didn't get the love it deserved; it's not too late, though!
Brian and Mike:
I loved this movie in large part because I've never seen a male friendship portrayed this way: Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena were wonderful as work partners and best friends. Bro, bro, bro; dude, dude, dude — yes, they said that a lot. Beyond that, End of Watch was a cop thriller; an inventive narrative (much of the movie was filmed by a camera mounted on Gyllenhaal for his character's film class project); and a love story about friends. Boy, did I cry at the end.
Best horror movie disguised as a cop drama: Two LAPD patrol officers (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena) get into increasingly harrowing situations in "End of Watch."
Honorable mention (in alphabetical order): Leslye Headland’s debut film “Bachelorette” is like the smarter, meaner big sister to “Bridesmaids.” The irresistible bayou fantasy “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” with its even more irresistible pint-size heroine, was the year’s indie-film surprise. A bittersweet love story (not for kids!) with spectacular painterly backdrops and a score by Cuban jazz legend Bebo Valdés, “Chico & Rita” was both the music film and animated film of the year. Christopher Nolan brought his Batman trilogy to a crashing conclusion with the huge and bitter allegory of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña are magnificent in David Ayer’s “End of Watch,” a classic L.A. cop drama.
And we can't forget about this one: Vanity Fair Italy put Jake at the top of their 2012 list of sexy celebrities. Right at the top.
People, take note!
Wishing all GBers a happy, healthy, fulfilling 2013.