Thursday, February 23, 2017

You make it beautiful



Tonight marks the official opening of the Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George. Some just released photos showcase the stunning production and its cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Annaleigh Ashford and Penny Fuller.



The response from preview audiences has been as enthusiastic as the concert reaction in October. We'll post the official reviews as they come in tomorrow night.







Break a leg, all!



An early review:

"Jake Gyllenhaal is divine! Sublime! Amazing! Transporting!" -Bobbyanna

"Sunday in the Park - with #JakeGyllenhaal and #AnnaleighAshford is sublime beyond words. Don't miss it." -Barbara Hoffman, Arts Editor, NY Post, @BHoffman_NYPost

#JakeGyllenhaal in @SundayBroadway is A+ throughout but man he's especially stunning in "Beautiful" with Penny Fuller. 😢🙌 -@PaulWontorek, Founding and Editor-in-Chief of @Broadwaycom

Edited review round-up courtesy of Broadway.com:

Ben Brantley, The New York Times, (A) Living Painting to Make You See: He is a thorny soul, a man neither happy nor particularly kind, and not someone you'd be likely to befriend. But when the 19th-century French painter Georges Seurat, reincarnated in the solitary flesh by a laser-focused Jake Gyllenhaal, demands that you look at the world as he does, it's impossible not to fall in love. Or something deeper than love - closer to religious gratitude - is the sentiment you may experience in the finale that concludes the first act of the marvelous revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's "Sunday in the Park With George," which opened on Thursday night at the newly restored Hudson Theater.

David Cote, Time Out NY, Jake Gyllenhaal is amazing in Sunday in the Park with George: As far as human effects, you will be suitably swept away by Gyllenhaal's passionately acted, exquisitely articulated George, the most psychologically cohesive and sympathetic rendition I've witnessed live. (Mandy Patinkin on video will always remain the gold standard.) Comical and tender by turns, Ashford provides the flashes of light where Gyllenhaal turns inward to shadow.

Marilyn Stasio, Variety: A concert staging at City Center last fall of Stephen Sondheim's 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "Sunday in the Park With George" went swimmingly, with Jake Gyllenhaal in the titular role of Georges Seurat, raising hopes for an extended engagement. The theater gods heard, and the re-mounted show is back for a commercial run in one of Broadway's historic jewels, the newly restored Hudson Theater. Under the direction of Sarna Lapine, the staging is more theatrically structured than it was at City Center, with its stools and lecterns. But even as retooled, the show retains the quality of serene simplicity that heightens the poignant beauty of the score. Gyllenhaal returns in the leading role, his acting chops intact, but his voice refreshed and enhanced by what must have been professional coaching.

Jeremy Gerard, Deadline: Nevertheless, their names will not soon disappear from the thoughts of Tony voters come spring, for what was clear when the show was presented last October is more so today: This is a spectacular revival and the principals are simply breathtakingly good. The performances are assured - indeed, they've only grown in confidence. Moreover, the semi-staging by Lapine's niece, Sarna Lapine, with musical staging by Ann Yee, reveals (as if we needed reminding), one of the most beautiful, moving and endlessly inventive scores ever written, not to mention the equally ambitious and rewarding book that frames it.

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: The creation of harmony out of disharmony and coherence out of chaos are among the themes of Sunday in the Park With George. However, in fortifying for Broadway what was already a probing interpretation of this complex 1984 musical diptych by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, first seen in a New York City Center concert staging last fall, the production has elevated an affecting work into something quite rare and exquisite. Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford bring richer shadings and startling emotional candor to their dual roles, supported by a gifted ensemble that embodies the notion of great art being born out of multiple influences nourishing a unique vision.

Matt Windman, amNY: This revival (directed by Sarna Lapine, niece of James Lapine) originated as a concert staging at City Center. With the exception of an elaborate light sculpture sequence, it is a simple presentation that lacks the visual thrills of the original production or the 2008 Broadway revival. However, storytelling is focused and the score (played by a full orchestra) sounds as glorious as ever. Compared with other actors who have played the role, Gyllenhaal's Georges is sensitive, wounded and even sympathetic.

Joe Dziemianowicz, The New York Daily News: Jake Gyllenhaal's got it, by George! A handsome, nimble singing voice to go with his solid acting chops, that is. It's all on exhibition in Broadway's wonderful revival of "Sunday in the Park with George" at the newly renovated Hudson Theatre. This Pulitzer-winning musical by composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim and book writer James Lapine premiered 33 years ago. Its power to stir the heart and head with its radiant score and unfading story about the art of making art - and love - is as strong as ever.

Allison Adato, Entertainment Weekly: But one need not know Seurat to enjoy this enchanting production. Jake Gyllenhaal, bearded and intense with a rich singing voice, makes the character understood immediately: He is an artist blinded to life's joys by his own work ethic, even as he spends his days observing other people at their leisure. (George is not a total prig, however, and Gyllenhaal lets loose with some silly business singing the voices of two dogs in the painting.) By contrast, the pointillist's model and lover, the aptly named Dot, played with an endearing blend of comic sparkle and pathos by Annaleigh Ashford, wants the simple pleasures of going to the Follies and eating cream puffs. But she cannot pull George from his studio, and - practical girl that she is - may take up with the baker who keeps her in dough.

Nicole Serratore, The Stage: Jake Gyllenhaal has proven in plays, on and off Broadway (Constellations, If There is I Haven't Found It Yet), that he is an adroit stage actor. In his Broadway musical debut in Sunday in the Park with George, he demonstrates he can sing a notoriously challenging Sondheim score very well too. Gyllenhaal plays George Seurat, the artist too obsessed with his work to hold onto love. Annaleigh Ashford is Dot, his adoring model. She's full of comedic verve and is shattered by Dot's disappointments. Gyllenhaal's performance is one of quiet brooding and delicate anguish. He gives an achingly beautiful, self-reflective rendition of Finishing the Hat. His voice does not have the depth of some but he elucidates George's pain in his performance.

Jesse Green, Vulture: Sunday in the Park with George, which opens tonight in a bare-bones but beautiful-enough Broadway revival starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, is both a deconstruction and an example of that duality. A deconstruction because Lapine's book, among the brainiest ever written for a musical, works innumerable trenchant variations on the theme of sacrifice for art. The show is also a demonstration of that theme, because Sondheim's songs are so profound that they feel, even while unspooling in unbroken threads of human longing, as if they had left the realm of lived experience and entered a Keatsian plane of absolute truth-beauty far above our own. The lyrics constantly delight the ear while also dramatizing, in that very delight, the way art both exalts and erases. "Rapturous" and "capture us" are like the jaws of a trap snapping shut.

Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Broadway Triumph: Gyllenhaal is excellent; his voice soulful and scarred, so lost in his work and himself he barely looks up. His first act tour de force is to play at being a dog, leaping around on all fours, panting, for “The Day Off,” kvetching about being “stuck all week on a lady's lap/nothing to do but yawn and nap./Can you blame me if I yap?/There’s only so much attention a dog can take.”

In this terrific production—by which I mean everything and everyone involved it is terrific—Georges’s phrase “finishing the hat” not only encapsulates all of what an artist seeks for in his or her pursuits, Sondheim himself later used his own phrase in two volumes of work interrogating all of these questions, and it used most piercingly here, with Seurat himself wielding his paint-brush and training his eye. The set design is as simple as an artist’s studio: a piece of cloth, stretching across the back of a stage, acts as both canvas in gestation and completion. There are, as in other productions, delightful cutouts of dogs.

Linda Winer, Newsday, Jake Gyllenhaal, Annaleigh Ashford are transcendent: Every once in a rare while, the theater rewards us with a kind of transcendent experience, a feeling that this, surely, will never happen again - at least not remotely in the same way. My once-in-a-lifetime theory is being crushed - exquisitely, rapturously - right now as Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford step up alongside Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters in the treasured place where I keep memories of the original "Sunday in the Park With George." They are that good.

But the movie star also can sing. In two of musical theater’s most exacting roles, he brings a pungent lyric tenor, elegant taste and a purity of tone as precise as the points of color in Seurat’s vast pointillist painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte,” which we watch him create. Oh, and he yaps both sides of a conversation between dogs.

Steven Suskin, Huffington Post: Gyllenhaal is very good; so good, in fact, that we needn't say "very good for a movie actor." George-James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's musicalized version of the pointillist painter Georges Seurat-is an introverted and anti-social fellow, who seems to only find comfort when he is at canvas or sketchpad. Gyllenhaal, while properly self-absorbedly as he perennially tries to "finish the hat," gives George an inner gleam of vulnerability and sensitivity which is sometimes overlooked in the role. (Hidden in the script is the comment that the women "all wanted him and hated him at the same time.") Gyllenhaal shows us this inner layer, which has not always been visible in past productions, and properly carries it over to the 20th century George in Chicago.

Peter Marks, Washington Post: Can he? Why, yes, he can.

Sing Sondheim, that is! Sure enough, Jake Gyllenhaal pulls another exemplary credential out of his expanding portfolio, investing brooding magnetism into the role of a misunderstood master of French Impressionism in the new Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s “Sunday in the Park With George.”

In a springtime of illustrious leading ladies on Broadway — Bette Midler in “Hello, Dolly!,” Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole in “War Paint,” Glenn Close in “Sunset Boulevard,” among others — Gyllenhaal adds vital, measurable wattage on the masculine half of the musical ledger. Ben Platt of “Dear Evan Hansen” and Josh Groban of “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” have earned popularity, too, in other spheres and are front-runners for Tony nominations. But Gyllenhaal is the only bona fide male movie star doing the acting-and-singing thing on the theater world’s biggest platform this season (even as the producers of “Sunday in the Park,” with its limited run, opted to take the show out of the Tony running).

And here, playing opposite Annaleigh Ashford in an extraordinarily well-cast revival that had its official opening Thursday night at the Hudson Theatre, Gyllenhaal cements the impression of legitimate vocalist he made in a shorter-lived stage outing, as Seymour in a 2015 concert version of “Little Shop of Horrors” for City Center’s Encores! series. Gyllenhaal and Ashford create the kind of lust-driven connection that just may rise above the memorable heat generated by Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters in the original 1984 production, for which Sondheim and Lapine won the Pulitzer Prize. ...

Chiefly through Gyllenhaal's performance - at once intense and emotionally transparent - this version makes clearer than ever the incisive emotional channel from Act 1 to Act 2. In each half of the musical, too, there is a visual coup, in the form of an example of each artist's work. At the end of Act 1, it's the thrilling tableau of Seurat's painting come to life. And in Act 2, it's a demonstration of the artist's experiments with color and light in the form of a laser display that he calls a "chromolume."

Christopher Kelly, NJ.com: For the newest Broadway revival, though, we get not just humanity and warmth, but intimacy, tenderness, bursts of humor, and flashes of tremendous beauty -- we get, in effect, as accomplished a production of "Sunday in the Park with George" as we are likely to ever see. Headlined by a very impressive Jake Gyllenhaal (yes, he really can sing), and an altogether stupendous Annaleigh Ashford, what could be a mere exercise in coy postmodernism becomes something moving and true.

Diane Snyder, Telegraph: Gyllenhaal and Ashford harmonize not only when they're singing - Move On is a heart-tugging highlight - but also when George and Dot just gaze lovingly yet uncomprehendingly at each other. (It's a shame they won't be eligible for Tony Awards; the short run prompted producers not to invite voters.) But it's Sunday, the signature song that closes both acts, that brings down the house as the ensemble re-creates Seurat's painting.

Tyler Coates, Esquire: It's easy to understand why Dot loves Seurat, especially when he's played by the handsome Gyllenhaal, who has quietly revealed himself to be a musical theater nerd with acclaimed performances in staged concert versions of Sunday in the Park last year and Little Shop of Horrors in 2015. Gyllenhaal brings a subtle intensity to his performance, particularly in his rendition of "Finishing the Hat," arguably Sondheim's most brilliant piece of music, and the most emblematic of this musical and of the creative struggle as a whole: Sondheim described the song as being about "that phenomenon of losing the world while writing (or painting or composing or doing a crossword puzzle or coming to a difficult decision that requires intense and complete concentration)."

Matthew Murray, Talkin' Broadway: An artist whose brilliance goes unheralded because of other people's inability to put him into any of their conventional boxes? Though this certainly describes the version of French Impressionist painter Georges Seurat who resides at the center of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical Sunday in the Park With George, in many ways it also applies to the star of the beautiful if low-key revival of the show that just opened at the recently renovated Hudson: Jake Gyllenhaal.

After all, this is an actor who has been a legitimate movie star for most of the 2000s to date (and who was not unknown before that), and whose screen career, in the wake of films like Southpaw and Nightcrawler, is only accelerating. But although his stage work has been acclaimed, both Off-Broadway (his debut was in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet for Roundabout in 2012) and on (Constellations, 2015), Gyllenhaal is rarely considered a "natural" rather than someone who's merely visiting.

If there's any justice, this production will change that. Those who were lucky enough to see the City Center Encores! benefit concert in October where Gyllenhaal first tackled the role know that he's thoroughly qualified for heading this 1984 musical, and as capable of doing justice to Sondheim's challenging songs as Lapine's intricate scenes. And now, in this scaled-up translation, he's even better.

He throws himself totally into Georges's obsessions and idiosyncrasies without losing grip on the gentle soul who resides beneath them. You feel the heat of his drive when he's toiling away at the painting that will become his masterwork, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," in which he's pushed to the brink of madness by his pursuit of science-inspired perfection (his style, Pointillism, involves using countless specks of paint to create colors more vivid than traditional brushstrokes can), and that's critical to unpacking Georges; "I am not hiding behind my canvas," he says at one point, "I am living in it."

But unlike every other actor I've seen play the role, Gyllenhaal projects the knowledge—or at least the suspicion—that he might be losing something when he steps into the so-called "real world." He's almost visibly pulled between his art and his model, Dot (Annaleigh Ashford), and though he's always prone to choose the former, for this Georges the choice is seldom easy. It's not that he wants to compromise, per se, but that, beneath his professional aspirations, there's a tiny ember he may also want to fan into a different, but no less intense, flame.

Gyllenhaal develops this idea to its furthest extent in the second act when he plays Georges's great-grandson, George, an inventor-sculptor in the early 1980s, and who faces many of the same roadblocks while traveling down a very different artistic road. No other actor I've encountered has made the relationship between the two clearer, despite pulling no punches in presenting Georges as impenetrably hard-edged and George as softer and more contemplative. The artist-muse story is fully satisfying, but we also see how the two generations of artist need and feed each other just as much as George and Dot did when, in Gyllenhaal's hand, the two fuse into one eternal being at the instant dedication and inspiration finally reunite. Act II, which in some circles is less admired than Act I (some people don't believe it should exist at all), has never been more essential or more moving.

Could Gyllenhaal go further still? Yes. His tone is muted early on, and takes a few scenes to even out. And although his singing is surprisingly strong throughout the rangy songs (which, as far as I can tell, are in their original keys), his vocals could be more confident during the more contemplative numbers. But he unlocks so much earnest passion in "Color and Light" and "Finishing the Hat" (as Georges) and "Putting It Together" and "Lesson #8" (as George), that any complaints are ultimately little more than Monday morning quarterbacking. In every way that counts, he couldn't be more committed. ...

With his superb portrayal of those two men, Gyllenhaal brings, as Georges aspires, "order to the whole" in a way that dispels most nitpicking. You simultaneously love and hate the men, and you embrace and reject them, but above all you understand him in a way you haven't been able to before. What's more, you want to connect these dots and others and decipher the creation as well as the creator—on as many levels as you can in the time you have. It's a marvelous accomplishment that so accentuates every color that your brain and your heart will be just as pleased as your eyes.

Time Square Chronicles, He Says: First and foremost, Jake Gyllenhaal is spectacular in the role. Once again, he is devastatingly good right from the beginning. His last go at it at Encores! had the disadvantage of the shortest possible rehearsal schedule one can imagine, and even with that going against him, his performance of this challenging role was impressive. Now, with more rehearsal and a tighter enhanced production, he has only grown more into the dense complicated role of George. Sometimes the depth of character and tone in his voice actually reminds me of Patinkin as he carries a similar richness. His precision is never more apparent than during the complex song, ‘Putting it Together’. It’s the most demanding song of the show, and he attacks it with vigor. Also, his ‘Finishing the Hat‘ is one of the most heartfelt and layered performances I have heard of that incredibly emotional song. His George has more play and gentleness than any of the other Georges I have seen, while still maintaining the tortured focused artist. It is a tremendous feat he has accomplished here, rivaling his predecessors valiantly, and sometimes even besting them. ...

In the end though, it really comes down to the final song, ‘Move On‘. And as these two musical stars showed us in ‘Color and Light’ and ‘We Do Not Belong Together’ they do in fact belong together on that stage. They both have given us quite the gift, bringing back this masterpiece to Broadway in such beautiful order, design, composition, form, symmetry, tension, balance, light, and most importantly of all, harmony.

She Says: The show has always had it’s faults. In the 1984 production, the second act just never worked and you never quite understood why Dot loved George. The same with the 2004 and 2008 version. Sondheim’s glorious lyrics and hauntingly spectacular music drew theatre lovers, because it is musical poetry. The musical language seeps into your soul, seers it and you are never the same. With Jake Gyllenhaal as George, your heart aches with his entrapment into color and light. His obsession with his work, tugs at his wanting to connect to Dot and others. He is brooding, he is magnetic and we fall like Dot, in love. Gyllenhaal vocals are impeccable. He understands musical nuances and brings such passion and longing to the role.

As Dot, Annaleigh Ashford brings humor and a flirtatious quality that makes her more human. Ashford and Gyllenhaal generate heat and intimacy so the loss of their love in the 1980’s, makes a greater impact in 2017. Now the second act has past lives colliding with their present incarnations and it is fulfilling. ...

I could see this production every night of it’s run and never tire of its beauty and effect on my soul. This is why I review theatre.



The revival is playing at the newly restored Hudson Theatre, Broadway's oldest venue. The first two beautiful photos are courtesy of Carter Thompson on Instagram:



Jake posted this on his Facebook page. I think it is also displayed in the theater - or was for opening night:



Leave it to Steven Sondheim to bring Neon back. These are his beautiful words from #SundayInTheParkWithGeorge. They lift me up every time the incredible Annaleigh Ashford sings them to me on stage. May they inspire you too.


(Drawing by Justin “Squigs” Robertson.

294 comments:

1 – 200 of 294   Newer›   Newest»
UltraViolet said...

Loved this story on Facebook, from one of the early previews:

Just home from a fabulous performance of Sunday in the Park with George with Jake Gyllenhaal. mesmerizing and moving. Afterwards, I went down the elevator with an exuberant gentleman who raved about the show and then as we went to get off said, "And I didn't think about trump for two whole hours!" I and the workers in the elevator all smiled and nodded in agreement. Now THAT's a really good show!

UltraViolet said...

Also, I have to express my disappointment that no one commented on the last thread's title: Marquee March. It made me (and apparently only me) giggle every time I saw it.

UltraViolet said...

Some other tweets and posts I've been collecting. I lost a whole doc with tweets from the first couple of shows, which was a bummer. But you know the drill - it's a lot of gushing :)

We saw Sunday in the Park with George today. Run, do not walk, to get tix. Best show I've seen this season. Jake Gyllenhaal is brilliant.

I love Jake Gyllenhaal so much. He's amazing in @SundayBroadway! And @TheAAshford is so funny and incredible. Loved every second of today./Jake Gyllenhaal is such a doll. Thanked him for doing the women's march and he was so great.


Sweeney Todd cast sends best wishes to SITPWG
Can Jake Gyllenhaal sing?
Jake Gyllenhaal Opens Up About the Pressure of Starring In His First Broadway Show


Some funny posts/tweets:

Real New Yorker™ level unlocked: saw Jake Gyllenhaal on the subway. this is like the exact inverse of Taylor singing 'Welcome to New York', which is fitting because it's my last week -Digital west coast + evenings editor @teenvogue.

saw him at Bar Pitti in SoHo and literally almost followed him home

I see him in my dreams every night. Does that count?


Public service announcement: Don't let Jake Gyllenhaal on a chat show distract when your breakfast is in the oven. #nofilter #PlanB

Jake on Kelly

Avenue Q sends regards

Best wishes from A Gentleman's Guide

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to be rude, but I don't get it. Was it supposed to be funny?

bobbyanna said...

Aww, UV, thank you for including my "review" in this great post! I just thought of another word: "Intoxicating!" Or maybe "Mesmerizing!" Twitter showed there's a red carpet for tonight's "opening." I wonder who'll be there.

Ph0enicks said...

Now that I get it - Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! ����

bobbyanna said...

Here's part of one review that I loved, but I don't remember which one. : )

"As far as human effects, you will be suitably swept away by Gyllenhaal’s passionately acted, exquisitely articulated George, the most psychologically cohesive and sympathetic rendition I’ve witnessed live. (Mandy Patinkin on video will always remain the gold standard.) Comical and tender by turns, Ashford provides the flashes of light where Gyllenhaal turns inward to shadow. "

So far I've read the Hollywood Reporter, Time Out NY, and Variety. One or two more I can't remember.


They are all lavish in their enthusiasm for the show. Anna Leigh comes in for a lot of praise, and Jake does too, except in Variety which talks positively about the production but doesn't single him out for praise. They have always been shits about him even with movie reviews.

They have a hit on their hands for sure. All the reviews are very positive, very enthusiastic.

Rosie O Donnell, Fran Dreischer, Paul Dano, Gayle King, Maggie & Peter, etc. nice crowd. But I was most impressed that Bernadette Peters came to opening night. She was the original Dot.

bobbyanna said...

OK. Cary Fukunaga, Amy Irving, Uzo Aduba, and Holly Hunter were there, too.

Wish Getty & Wire Image would post more pictures.

Anonymous said...

So happy to report that all reviews are good. Some of them absolute raves!

Variety also praises Jake (albeit almost begrudgingly): Gyllenhaal returns in the leading role, his acting chops intact, but his voice refreshed and enhanced by what must have been professional coaching. (...) Gyllenhaal passionately commits himself to Color and Light, the dazzling number...

Reviews from legit Broadway critics are all raves for Jake: Ben Brantley's (again) a love letter to Jake's acting and vocal skills, and his deep understanding of both characters.

Hollywood drama critics are more scanty in their praise because by hyping Jake he becomes a threat to the favorites currently gearing up for Oscars, where they declined to sing live on stage. Nope, praising Jake too much for singing live on Broadway isn't something that Hollywood needs right now.

That being said, THR's review is a rave: I've seen this double role played by Mandy Patinkin in the original production and by Daniel Evans in 2008. But I don't recall ever experiencing the binding unity of creative vigor and purpose with such piercing solitude that Gyllenhaal brings to the two parts. (...) the sweet lightness of his singing is matched by a purity of feeling, a truth if you will, that makes his performance deeply affecting. (...) Critical praise no doubt will help make the transfer a sellout, and the absence of their names at awards time will do nothing to remove Gyllenhaal, Ashford and the production itself from assessments of the season’s high points.

and so is Deadline's:
Neither Gyllenhaal nor Ashford will be eligible for Tonys, as the producers have withdrawn the production from consideration because its abbreviated run will limit their chances of recouping (not likely to be a problem, given the accolades). Nevertheless, their names will not soon disappear from the thoughts of Tony voters come spring, for what was clear when the show was presented last October is more so today: This is a spectacular revival and the principals are simply breathtakingly good. The performances are assured – indeed, they’ve only grown in confidence.

Anonymous said...

But la crème de la crème is: Jake Gyllenhaal "seems to illuminate the dark" in "Sunday in the Park With George" http://nyti.ms/2l5NQnI

Ben Brantley, chief theater critic - New York Times:

But when the 19th-century French painter Georges Seurat, reincarnated in the solitary flesh by a laser-focused Jake Gyllenhaal, demands that you look at the world as he does, it’s impossible not to fall in love.

You could even say that the show’s star is not so much the isolated, obsessive Seurat as it is his eyes. (...) Living up to such accounts isn’t easy. But Mr. Gyllenhaal translates the intensity that has characterized his most memorable screen appearances (including “Brokeback Mountain” and “Nightcrawler”) into a searing theatrical presence, in which his eyes are his center of gravity. He embodies one of Seurat’s favorite artistic dictums, “concentrate,” with an unwavering focus that seems to consume and illuminate the dark.
Of course, it takes more than a great stare to anchor a musical. The revelation of the City Center “Sunday” last November was that Mr. Gyllenhaal had the vocal chops to deliver what is one of Mr. Sondheim’s richest and most intricately composed scores, ravishingly performed here by the orchestra, under the direction of Chris Fenwick.
Mr. Gyllenhaal invests every note he sings with the rapt determination of someone trying to capture and pin down the elusive. Watch Seurat at work, dabbing specks of color on his canvas, and listen to the vigor (and rigor) with which he invests the repetition of those colors’ names.
“Can’t you see the shimmering?” Seurat asks of his painting. There is no canvas on the stage. But of course you see the shimmering. It’s right there in his eyes.



Peter Marks, chief theater critic Washington Post:

Can he? Why, yes, he can. Sing Sondheim, that is! Sure enough, Jake Gyllenhaal pulls another exemplary credential out of his expanding portfolio, investing brooding magnetism into the role of a misunderstood master of French Impressionism in the new Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s “Sunday in the Park With George.”

In a springtime of illustrious leading ladies on Broadway, Gyllenhaal adds vital, measurable wattage on the masculine half of the musical ledger. Ben Platt and Josh Groban have earned popularity, too, in other spheres and are front-runners for Tony nominations. But Gyllenhaal is the only bona fide male movie star doing the acting-and-singing thing on the theater world’s biggest platform this season.

(...) Gyllenhaal cements the impression of legitimate vocalist he made in a shorter-lived stage outing, as Seymour in a 2015 concert version of “Little Shop of Horrors” for City Center’s Encores! series. Gyllenhaal and Ashford create the kind of lust-driven connection that just may rise above the memorable heat generated by Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters in the original 1984 production.

Chiefly through Gyllenhaal’s performance — at once intense and emotionally transparent — this version makes clearer than ever the incisive emotional channel from Act 1 to Act 2.

Anonymous said...

Time Out NY: As far as human effects, you will be suitably swept away by Gyllenhaal’s passionately acted, exquisitely articulated George, the most psychologically cohesive and sympathetic rendition I’ve witnessed live. (Mandy Patinkin on video will always remain the gold standard.)


Matthew Murray - Talking Broadway:
An artist whose brilliance goes unheralded because of other people's inability to put him into any of their conventional boxes? Though this certainly describes the version of French Impressionist painter Georges Seurat (...) in many ways it also applies to the star of the beautiful if low-key revival of the show that just opened at the recently renovated Hudson: Jake Gyllenhaal.

After all, this is an actor who has been a legitimate movie star for most of the 2000s to date (and who was not unknown before that), and whose screen career, in the wake of films like Southpaw and Nightcrawler, is only accelerating. But although his stage work has been acclaimed, both Off-Broadway (his debut was in If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet for Roundabout in 2012) and on (Constellations, 2015), Gyllenhaal is rarely considered a "natural" rather than someone who's merely visiting.

If there's any justice, this production will change that. Those who were lucky enough to see the City Center Encores! benefit concert in October where Gyllenhaal first tackled the role know that he's thoroughly qualified for heading this 1984 musical, and as capable of doing justice to Sondheim's challenging songs as Lapine's intricate scenes. And now, in this scaled-up translation, he's even better.

He throws himself totally into Georges's obsessions and idiosyncrasies without losing grip on the gentle soul who resides beneath them.

No other actor I've encountered has made the relationship between the two clearer, despite pulling no punches in presenting Georges as impenetrably hard-edged and George as softer and more contemplative.

With his superb portrayal of those two men, Gyllenhaal brings, as Georges aspires, "order to the whole" in a way that dispels most nitpicking. You simultaneously love and hate the men, and you embrace and reject them, but above all you understand him in a way you haven't been able to before.



Huffington Post:
Reports were rapturously enthusiastic, last October, when Jake Gyllenhaal appeared in a four-performance benefit of Sunday in the Park with George at City Center. (...) Let us happily confirm that said reports were accurate. Sunday plays exceptionally well at the intimate and altogether glorious Hudson.

Gyllenhaal is very good; so good, in fact, that we needn’t say “very good for a movie actor.” George is an introverted and anti-social fellow, who seems to only find comfort when he is at canvas or sketchpad. Gyllenhaal, while properly self-absorbedly as he perennially tries to “finish the hat,” gives George an inner gleam of vulnerability and sensitivity which is sometimes overlooked in the role. (Hidden in the script is the comment that the women “all wanted him and hated him at the same time.”) Gyllenhaal shows us this inner layer, which has not always been visible in past productions, and properly carries it over to the 20th century George in Chicago.

But it is Gyllenhaal, who made his Broadway debut in 2015 in Constellations, who not only sells the tickets but gives a compelling and welcome performance. He, Ashford and the rest — including, most certainly, Sondheim — make this a Sunday to see.


Speaking of Sondheim, he seems happy and Jake is beaming.

Ann said...

The times review is outstanding. Congrats to Jake, Annaleigh and everyone involved. I loved this production so much, I'm happy others are falling in love with it too.

Ann said...

Wanted to add, I saw Bernadette Peters in October at the city center. She's stunning in person. Glad to see her supporting this revival

bobbyanna said...

I agree, Ann!

I was just thinking abut the risks Jake takes being on stage. As an actor, live theatre really puts you out there. If you fail, if you're mediocre, it's all public. There's no film editing, or a director making choices about which take to use, etc. There's you and the audience. And if there was ever any doubt, or any argument about Jake's acting abilities, I think his theatre work has effectively erased them. He's brilliant.

Chica said...

The reviews are awesome, I am so happy for Jake! I'm seeing this tonight and I cant wait :)

Real Sal said...

I love the emotion on his face here:

http://www.iheartjakemedia.com/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=0&pid=120684#top_display_media

UltraViolet said...

Updated with a bunch of reviews, as well as Jake's latest FB post. Thanks to all who posted reviews yesterday. What a night for Jake and the whole cast and crew.

Some videos from opening night:

Jake Gyllenhaal, Bernadette Peters, and More Team Up for a Good Cause
Jake and cast take the red carpet challenge
Jake couldn't get through two bars at first
What does it all mean?
What were you thinking on stage?

I knew Jake was flummoxed by the flowers when I watched the curtain call.

Some tweets/posts:

I really dont think anyone should go see Sunday in the Park with George because it will render you incapable of thinking about anything else

Intermission of #SundayintheParkwithGeorge at newly opened Hudson Theatre. Finally stopped sobbing. Bring on Act II!

On my way to see Sunday in the Park with George. I've already warned Johnny that I will cry a lot./Welp, that's the most crying I've done in public since infancy.


There were some interesting interviews, but I'll have to get to them later.

UltraViolet said...

Anon said: Don't mean to be rude, but I don't get it. Was it supposed to be funny?

Do you mean my post about the previous post title? It was a play on Marky Mark. Thanks for getting it, Ph0enicks :)

Tweety said...

What a beautiful post UV!! Seeing this in March. Thanks for posting all the reviews from the critics and some very lucky GB posters!

Monica said...

What a mess, what a shame, but happy for Moonlight!

Anonymous said...

Hoping Mara Buxbaum can do for Jake what she did for Casey Affleck and Kenneth Lonergan

Anonymous said...

Rosie also loved the show. She tweeted after someone asked her if she like SITPWG.

https://twitter.com/NotADayGoesBy_/status/834982997535371264

"ROSIE
‏Verified account @Rosie

@NotADayGoesBy_ - what a beautiful show -- amazing in every way #Broadway"

Monica said...

"Hoping Mara Buxbaum can do for Jake"

Only if Jake wants to, anon. I hope he will never be that desperate.

Anonymous said...

I don't think they looked desperate at all. Especially Kenneth Lonergan. And say what you will about Casey, he's really talented and totally deserved it.

UltraViolet said...

Quite an Oscar night! I feel bad for everyone involved, but then you realize, as we have had to do with Jake, that none of it is all that important!

Some tweets and posts about Sunday:

Away from #Oscar2017, I can confirm that Jake Gyllenhaal is wonderful in @SundayBroadway. It's like his soul fills the room. Extraordinary.

Eric Rosen
A glorious night, one I'll never forget. Congratulations are not enough -- watching every writer and director I knew in the audience sobbing reminds me that SUNDAY is a perfect expression of what it feels like to make something. To see my husband (Claybourne Elder), who'll always be George to me, shine among such wonderful peers as we move closer to knowing something about children and art - pure joy. And to share the evening with dear friends Shanna and Nick - beyond words.

Jake sang the role of Seurat almost as well as Mandy Patinkin; and acted it ten times better. Same for Annaleigh Ashford in the role Bernadette Peters originated. As a bonus, Robert Sean Leonard of House and Dead Poets Society was also in the cast. The whole thing was, to risk redundancy, sublime.

Sunday in the Park with George is a masterpiece. Jake Gyllenhaal is absurdly talented. I could not have loved this show more. #ArtIsntEasy

Sunday in the Park with George. Man crush on Gyllenhaal confirmed. He's so expressive, hilarious, precise. A joy to watch him perform live

I liked him better than Mandy, especially in the second act. They made Putting it Together entertaining.
I agree. And he has a much richer voice than Mandy, and I liked the way he projected being preoccupied with with his art better.

After seeing the newest production with Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, I have a new appreciation for the play thanks, in large part, to Gyllenhal and Ashford's amazing performances. (Yes, our boy Jake really can sing). Neither Gyllenhaal or Ashford are "belter" divas like original cast members Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, but that is actually a good thing. (While very gifted, both Patinkin and Peters can grate on me). Gyllenhaal and Ashford bring humanity to their roles, and Gyllenhaal, in particular, is a master at interpreting Sondheim's brilliant and subtle poetry. And as we sat in the center of the tenth row of the theatre, I can swear that his big blue eyes were staring at me throughout the performance.

Beautifully acted and sung, it packs an emotional wallop. It's the sixth production I've seen, including the original. For the first time, the second act seems essential, as it seamlessly builds on and underscores the first act's themes of love, passion and sacrifice that accompany the creation of art. Chromolume VII, the second act light show, is breathtaking. Gyllenthaal is unbelievably great; his performance elicits sympathy and understanding that few of his predecessors have achieved. He earned the tears that one could see throughout the audience as we departed. He has the voice of an angel, matched by Annaleigh Ashford's perfect performance as Dot/Marie. Altogether, a towering theatrical triumph.

When I heard him sing, I thought he was better than Mandy. This is not a show I love. Like a few other Sondheim shows the second act is like watching paint dry without a fan.

Jake is better than Mandy. By a mile. There is none of the arrogance and anger that Mandy brought to the artist. Instead, Gyllenthall brings a sadness and vulnerability to the part. Yes, the second act in many prior productions seemed to be slower and less potent than the always thrilling first act. But, somehow, the second act in this production works flawlessly. The brilliance of the light show and the commitment of the cast gives the act real momentum as it moves toward the elegiac finale. As I noted above, this is the first time I've seen a production of "Sunday" where the second act seems as essential as the first.

Monica said...

Casey was desperate. Q & As, magazine covers, talk shows, screenings is desperate.
He's talented, I don't know if he deserved to win because I haven't seen the other performances.

UltraViolet said...

Lots of praise for Jake and Annaleigh and the production for making the second act feel more vital. I wasn't crazy about the second act when I first saw it, but it does have Move On and the incredible finale. Now I wouldn't want to get rid of it.

Some famous or verified posters:

Betty Buckley:

Ran into the great Dana Ivey @hekasia after a tremendous performance of #sundayintheparkwithgeorge ! Such an exquisite show! #whyIloveNYC ❤️

Take a bow

Spotted in the audience @davidmuirabc and @vanessawilliamsofficial

Fran Drescher Verified account‏@frandrescher
Loved the show Sunday in the Park with George. "The art of making art is putting it together" https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ5o5O3B2Jn/

Roland Swahili Verified account‏@rolandscahill
Jake Gyllenhaal will totally win an oscar for the film adaption of 'Sunday in the Park with George' that needs to start filming
By far, one of the very best shows I have seen in years. #JakeGyllenhaal is fantastic.#SundayintheParkwithGeorge

UltraViolet said...

From The Observer:

Alan Rickman, who generated plenty of goose-pimples in his all-too-brief career, once confessed his scariest moment occurred when auditioning for Judge Turpin in the Sweeney Todd film: “Stephen Sondheim walked into the room and said, ‘Sing.’”

So it’s good to report that Jake Gyllenhaal, who just made his Broadway musical debut in Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George, was spared this special terror even hardcore career singers know to dread. For that, he can thank Jeanine Tesori. …

“Jeanine and I went through the music, and I felt she was—without letting me know—testing me in the process,” recalled Gyllenhaal. “Maybe they were a bit sneaky. They made it seem like I didn’t have to, but I must have been auditioning.”

Gyllenhaal’s suspicions are correct: “Steve just said, ‘Can he sing it?’ and I said, ‘Yes. Absolutely!’ And that was it,” Tesori relayed. Not so fortunate was Gyllenhaal’s leading lady, Annaleigh Ashford, who plays Seurat’s mistress and muse, Dot. ...

So, how close does Seurat come to other characters that Gyllenhaal has played? “There’s an obsessive quality to him, a focused quality that connects to a lot of characters I relate to and have played. One way or another, they’ve all been leading to George, so I‘d probably say, really, all of them—even The Day After Tomorrow.”


Some interesting and some tongue-in-cheek answers here:

Q: What drew you to the role of French painter Georges Seurat?
A: Stephen and James have created two very distinctive characters in “George,” and it’s really that split that drew me to the show. It is about two different artists in two different generations, but their experiences are universal: They’re both struggling to connect, to find their voice, to understand the history of their family—how it holds us back and helps us move forward. ...

Q: What challenges did you find in portraying him?
A: The beard. Maintenance can be a real nightmare—it’s given me a brand-new respect for hipsters.

Q: Did the prospect of singing on Broadway, especially songs from theater legend Stephen Sondheim, make you nervous?
A: Of course it made me nervous—I have a pulse, after all—but why else do I do what I do? It’s certainly not to feel comfortable. I have sung my whole life, but never quite like this. Plus, Sondheim is a real playwright, which makes his show a dream for actors who sing.

Q: What is it like working with Annaleigh Ashford?
A: Annaleigh is just plain wonderful. Every time she walks into the room, I’m reminded that I have a heart! She shows everyone who works with her and anyone who sees her onstage how lovable a person can be. And she is precisely the kind of actor I want to work with: Someone who is better than me.

Q: Do you have any pre-theater rituals or superstitions?
A: I usually take a short nap and then pray at the Mark Rylance altar I have in my dressing room.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: I have a few films coming out this year. “Stronger,” a love story about Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing and his now-wife; Joon-ho Bong’s “Okja;” “Life,” a film set in space; and “Wildlife,” a story about a young boy’s journey to manhood. I’m all over the map.

Q: What’s your favorite neighborhood to hang in when you’re in NYC?
A: Midtown. I love Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Q: What’s a typical day for you in New York when you’re not working?
A: It’s usually some combination of throwing a ball for my dog, hanging with my nieces and eating smoked fish.

Q: You spend a lot of time on both coasts: Do you have a preference for one over the other?
A: It’s a toss-up—New York has the culture, but California has the year-round produce.

UltraViolet said...

Sorry - missed your posts in there! Thanks for the Rosie post - I missed that one.

It's easy to paint these folks as hungry/thirsty. Casey Affleck certainly promoted himself but I don't think he was obnoxious about it. I mean, he's obnoxious in general but not specifically in this way. He tries to play it cool, but it clearly did matter to him. And that's okay.

Some SITPWG art.

Another review, with some great stuff:

AS THE MOVIE industry indulges itself in awards and congratulations (and this year recriminations) to celebrate Oscar, here on the East Coast the medium of stage drama has hit one of its own commanding heights. And crucial to the success is a movie star, Jake Gyllenhaal.

He undoubtedly has legitimate acting chops on the boards, but in this piece, a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park, which opened Thursday at New York’s newly and lavishly overhauled Hudson Theater, Gyllenhaal is called upon of course to sing. In his leading role as the painter Georges Seurat (and also as another ‘George’ of less definite historical identity, in the second act) he gets to sing his heart out – and his head too, in subtle registerings of internal contradiction – with an exquisite control that does full justice to Seurat’s visual expressions of creative exuberance along with deep tension. ...

It’s often said that 1984’s founding performance, starring Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, remains unbeatable. That may be true, but I bumped into Peters at the opening night party for this latest effort. “I think it’s just wonderful”, she said; “it’s simply the best.” She felt that Gyllenhaal found wholly new dimensions in the ‘George’ character, and that Ashford too was a more than creditable successor in the role that Peters herself inhabited first – and for which of course she memorably gained a Tony Award.

Peters wasn’t just being gracious. And my own gushing today – not customary about anything on Broadway for a long time – is testimony to the fact that I absolutely agree with the originating lady.


I'm sure that made Jake's day!

From W:

At Thursday night's opening of the show—which got strong reviews, especially for Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford—guests promenaded into the 42nd Street branch of the New York Public Library, which was appropriately artsy looking with its marble columns, fake foliage, candles, and a string trio playing along to old Blondie tunes via the DJ. The food was just pass-alongs—were the producers being thrifty again, lol?—but the conversation was certainly filling. Journalist George Rush said, “Jake Gyllenhaal sings better than Ryan Gosling. He’s not as good a singer as Mandy Patinkin [the original George], but he probably has more range.” ...

Near the red-carpet room, I ran into Liz McCartney, who plays half of a hilariously gauche couple. (Tony nominee Brooks Ashmanskas plays her husband.) What was it like to work with Jake? “First of all, he has the most beautiful eyes ever,” McCartney said, mistily. “His entire soul is in this show.” Pause. “You don’t want to know what it’s like to work with Brooks Ashmanskas?” she laughed.

UltraViolet said...

One more review, from The Atlantic:

Gyllenhaal’s gifts as an actor are well-documented by now, so it’s his vocal talents that may come as a surprise (observe, if you haven’t already, Cary Fukunaga’s short video of Gyllenhaal singing George’s “Finishing the Hat” at the Hudson). His voice is rich, measured, and emphatic. But it’s the acting behind it that really cuts deep, in a remarkable fusion of technical accomplishment and intense absorption in a role. When he sings about mapping out a sky, sensing voices outside but being totally lost in focus, “dizzy from the height” of falling back to earth, you’re tempted, like Dot, to forgive him everything.

Okay, I think that's everything I was saving over the past few days, lol.

Anonymous said...

They all do Q&As, magazine covers, talk shows, and screenings. It's pretty normal. I'm not trying to defend Casey or anything. But Jake's been there, done that. Nothing wrong with wanting people to see and appreciate your work.

Maura said...

I loved that interview. So sassy!

Ann said...

Casey is awful for reasons beyond being thirsty. For someone who has remained pretty low key throughout his career he definitely woked alot to get these awards this year. In my opinion he shouldn't have won due to his shady past but Hollywood is forgiving if you meet certain requirements. Just look at Mel Gibson. I know Mara is doing her job but I wish she'd focus more on Jake who is less problematic than some of her other clients.


Thanks UV for all the updates I missed alot of these so I'm glad I could get caught up :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying he isn't shady. I'm just saying Mara did a really good job �� I just hope she can help Jake get to the finish line, just like she helped Casey. It should be easier, too, since Jake is not problematic

Monica said...

Mara did a really good job
She had the support of two powerful actors, that helps a lot.

She's only going to help jake if he tells "Mara I want an Oscar! Let's work on it". Sometimes I think he doesn't want as much as people think he wants.


bobbyanna said...

Thanks for sharing all these great reviews and feedback from SITPWG, UV! I'm loving it.

Mara is a hired gun. She is one of an elite group of publicists with strong ties to agents and agencies and the producers and filmmakers who are connected to those agents and agencies. She was thanked from the stage Sunday night. So she has a lot of influence.

Mara might love Jake to pieces, and it does seem like they have a great relationship, but if she'd been approached by the WME/Affleck team early on, she would've had inside information long before most people. It's even very possible she may have been the one to tell Jake that WME and the Afflecks were going to be making a major push for Manchester this year. For whatever reason, it seems like Tom Ford was no one's Oscar darling" this year.

It's only my opinion, but I think Jake had a real sense of the way things were going long months ago. I was SO happy that when they showed the film clip of Michael Shannon for best supporting actor Sunday night, there was Jake looking amazing, as his scene partner. Maybe it was my imagination but the camera seemed to linger there. : ) Reminding people of who was NOT at the Oscars. Because as Michael Shannon said in an interview, Jake put it all out there fo NA. Michael is a huge Jake fan and apparently a good friend, too.

Like most artists I believe Jake wants to be recognized for his work, and I really don't see anything wrong with "being accessible" and visible during the 'campaign season." I think the ones who put me off are the "eager puppies" who are everywhere in your face. I like the way Viggo and Denzel campaign.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bobbyanna. That's exactly what I was trying to say. Mara is a big deal. It's great that she works with Jake. If they sense that one of his movies might have some buzz, she could absolutely help him. She's a great asset. She's clearly great at her job. It's good that she's on Jake's team.

Maura said...

Okja release date + trailer

Scott said...

Life in March, Okja in June. I hope this is a running theme a Jake movie every three months. Not sure my heart could take so much Jake promotion but I will give it a try.

If Jake can't be eligible for a Tony maybe he will perform at the Tony Telecast and not just in between commercial breaks.

Real Sal said...

I don't think I've seen this before

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRF03hGjYab/

Maura said...

Fun little video. I really hope this movie surprises me, but I don't have a lot of faith. I'm sure it'll be fine, I guess.

UltraViolet said...

Oh, that is a fun video. I'm hoping the movie will be good. It's different for Jake, at least!

Jeanine Tesoro hopes there will be a SITPWG cast recording. Me, too!

Some photos from the people who did the design for the Sunday opening night party. It looked very cool.

More raves for Jake in Newsweek, the Village Voice and something called Swagger Magazine:

This is a complete masterpiece of its own that is a must see for all lovers of Broadway. This play will make you re-evaluate yourself in ways you never thought possible. Gyllenhaal and Ashford deserve a tony nomination and if nothing else should know they created such magic on stage that people will take a piece of their characters home with them as part of their own lives journey.

And posts - hope people are still enjoying these. Easier to post than all the photos and I just love hearing people's reactions to the show. And I don't post them all, even if it seems like I do, lol!

absolutely phenomenal. Jake is giving a once in a lifetime performance. One of my all time favorite sondheim shows with some of his best music. A must see

If you have the time to come to NYC before April 23, go see #SundayintheParkwithGeorge. If you don't have the time, make time

One of the first shows to truly make me fall in love with theater, Sunday in the Park with George will always hold a special place in my heart. It is ne of my favorite Sondheim scores and I've always loved the uncoventional structure. While I miss the immersive projections of the last revival, this paired down version has so much heart it makes up for it. Jake Gyllenhaal is giving a truly perfect and astounding performance and Annaleigh Ashford is a worthy match. One of the best things I've seen this year and I can't wait to return.

#SundayintheParkwithGeorge was the perfect picture of color and light. Thank you to the incredible company. #JakeGyllenhaal @TheAAshford

I'm posting this as a public service announcement: last night we saw Sondheim's "Sunday in the Park with George," starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and this morning we're still stunned by the outstanding performances--Jake G. and Annaleigh Ashford are phenomenal--and moving beauty of the show. One of the top three shows I've ever seen. Do yourself a favor and get tickets now--closes April 23.

A breathtaking experience with a phenomenal cast. This production is so intimate and real-- Jake Gyllenhaal is simply unforgettable.

It's a shame that a Tony worthy production and performance will not be recognized at all come Tony time.

I saw this Sunday. And it has stayed with me. He is wonderful.

Nothing is so New York as waking up in Florida, flying for two hours, then heading directly to see a Sondheim show featuring the most beautiful man alive, Jake Gyllenhaal. Ah New York.
I can always appreciate a minimal set that knows how to play with the lighting. Lighting goes greatly under appreciated by theatre viewers. This was fucking amazing. I had to show my appreciation to the lighting director. The play otherwise, was wonderful. Funny, sweet, wonderful music, characters. Paris. And of course Jake Gyllenhaal. Highly recommended.

Killian Donnelly‏Verified account @killiandonnelly
Cracking show. Really enjoyed watching #JakeGyllenhaal & @TheAAshford & co. Go see.


And Dana Ivey cried :)

UltraViolet said...

Jake and Annaleigh Ashford will do a Facebook Live today at 4:30 PM EST.

Anonymous said...

Best parts of facebook live: 3:30 | 17:13 | 17:50 | 18:45

Random video

Chica said...

If anyone wants to see pure magic please see Sunday in the Park with George before the end of its run 8n April!
Jake and Annaleigh are breathtaking, Jake voice is beautiful, rich and commanding. I haven't seen Mandy Patinkin in this role but people who have say that Jake more than holds his own and then some. He gives the role more heart and compassion.
At times it made me cry, the whole cast
Is amazing, it's a shame they took the show out of the running for the Tony Awards because Jake and Annaleigh would definitely be nominated.

bobbyanna said...

So glad you got to see it Chica!!!! I agree with everything you say : ) I thought Jake's George had so many layers, not at all one dimensional. He was a complicated man and Jake played him that way, capturing his vulnerable side. I never saw Mandy Patinkin, but it doesn't matter. I certainly don't feel the loss. Jake's characterization was perfection. He has a beautiful voice. And yes, he commanded the stage. He and Annaleigh are perfect together.

Anonymous said...

They're chemistry is great. Is there really no way they can be nominated? I know there's a group that chooses the nominees, and it's a fairly small group. Could they nominate them, even if they aren't in contention? I don't know... I'm probably overcomplicating.

Stefanie Picard said...

You guys are making me so excited to Sunday in the Park. I'm going on the 25th. I grew up listening to this musical.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! I meant "their chemistry".

Anonymous said...

I MEAN... part 1

I MEAN... part 2

UltraViolet said...

Those are very cute videos. This show has brought some gems.

Anon 5:48, I hate it when I make a typo and can't edit. I sympathize.

Chica, so glad you got to see it and that you loved it. Stefanie, it's getting closer.

Motion poster for Life

SITPWG tweets and posts:

Curtain call

Peter Gallagher ‏Verified account @petergallagher
Hats off to all for #SundayintheParkwithGeorge. More powerful now than ever. Thank you Sondheim,Lapine,Ashford,Gyllenhaal et al.

Isabel Leonard Verified Account
Official Facebook Musician Page of Grammy award winning opera singer Isabel Leonard.
Completely blown away by Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford today. Thank you so much for your honest and true performances and generosity afterwards.

AlizaW‏Verified account @AlizaTweets
Y'all, @SundayBroadway is SO GOOD. It was a lesser Sondheim to me until tonight. Now it's one of my favorites. Perfect production.

I got to see a beautiful piece of art tonight. One of my favorite shows with an amazing cast. Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford were brilliant. Art won't ever die.

I saw this wonderful show on Friday night & loved it. I had never seen it before & now am obsessed. I really hope that you will record the performances so that we can see it again. Just beautiful!

Big props to Gyllenhaal and Ashford as well for well and truly smashing it out the park @SundayBroadway

#SundayInTheParkWithGeorge pared back staging. Annaleigh Ashford & supremely talented Jake Gyllenhaal shine. Wonderful costumes. Loved it.

am I crying because Sunday in the park with George is so good or because jake gyllenhaal can't get nominated for a tony


And from the comments on the FB Live video:

One day I saw Jake sitting poolside at The Chateau Marmont playing the guitar and singing...so I can verify from real world experience that he is into performing music. It was just a chill afternoon. Do you think it's that much different singing in the park as George than it is singing poolside as Jake?

If that's true, what a fun thing to see! Can you imagine?

From an interview with author/editor Joan Juliet Buck:

Do you ever go to the theater?
I do. I saw Sunday in the Park with George two nights ago, which was very beautiful. Jake Gyllenhaal is fantastic.

UltraViolet said...

And more, from Saturday:

Alejandro Alba ‏Verified account @MrAlexAlba
Awww Jake Gyllenhaal just wished happy birthday to his mom during @SundayBroadway curtain call.

Jake Gyllenhaal held up a poster wishing his Mom happy birthday when taking his bows tonight. Cool move.

I hardly ever post during intermission but this show is one of the most amazing theatrical experiences I've ever had, and that's saying something. OMG God bless Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine, Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford. #SundayintheparkwithGeorge is so worth this trip. I was literally standing on New York sidewalk still crying. It's so great. Can't wait for Act II.

#annaleighashford and #jakegyllenhaal achieved a hat trick: made me cry three times. Sunday in the Park with George Broadway #love #broadway #sondheim #nyc

BlueJean said...

As much as I love reading all of this - I'm also very sad so many of us won't be able to see it and therefor aren't able to discuss. Here's to hoping for a DVD! A good quality one, if possible ;)

EFK said...

Go, Jake!! "Jake Gyllenhaal Gives Stephen Sondheim His First Million-Dollar Week On Broadway"

Btw, if it wasn't mentioned already, I love that the handwriting on that neon sign at SITPWG is Jake's. :)

UltraViolet said...

BJ, It is so unfair that everyone can't get to see Jake on stage. I really hope this is recorded for posterity. And for Gyllenhaalics.

That was a pretty nice headline, EFK :) Very happy to see the show doing well financially. And I love that about the sign too. I wonder whose Idea it was to do that.

Jake interview for Life. Some babble in there :) I hope the movie is good. Jake seems genuinely enthused about the making of the movie.

Extended Life sneak peek

Jake and Annaleigh Ashford surprise some students with tickets.

A love letter to Jake in SITPWG.

And a tweet:

So Jake Gyllenhaal sat next to me at a coffee shop today and all I have to say is...damn, he beautiful.

Maura said...

More red

Anonymous said...

Don't know if this is true or not (from Broadway World forum), but it would be great if it is: "For what it's worth, several of the cast members have told me that discussions are under way for a cast album. There have also been talks about recording it in HD for showing in cinemas." RH

BlueJean said...

^^^^^^

*fingers crossed* :)

Scott said...

Mandy made it to a performance:

https://instagram.com/p/BRjjoi3hwjW/

No performances next week, promo for Life I guess.

Anonymous said...

not sure how to share those things here but alla plotkin, one of Jake's publicists, posted an instagram story this morning in Paris with Jake to promote Life.

does he ever sleep? :P

Anonymous said...

Can't find it. Link please

Real Sal said...

Wonder if there will be a London premier? I hope so!

Anonymous said...

https://www.instagram.com/aplotkin716/

Anonymous said...

They're in Berlin

I LOOOVE Berlin

scott said...

From Paris to Berlin in a few hours, what a "Life".


From Neil Patrick Harris, quite a endorsement:



21h
nphSaw @sundayparkbroadway. Thanks to Jake Gyllenhaal, @annaleigh_ashford the rest of the brilliant cast and the entire production for an unforgettable performance. Best version I've seen. Not to be missed.

Anonymous said...

They just left Deutschland

Scott said...

Life opens next week, is it just me or does it not seem to be a lot of anticipation for this film?

Ann said...

I was thinking the same thing Scott, seems very quiet. Haven't heard of any critics going to screenings or reviews or embargos. Maybe when it shows at SXSW this weekend that will change.

But if they're keeping it from critics this close to release that's usually not a good sign.

Anonymous said...

I feel like it doesn't look great, but it also doesn't look like a disaster.

BlueJean said...

"Life opens next week, is it just me or does it not seem to be a lot of anticipation for this film?"

I thought that as well. I'll be totally honest: I know I'm not nearly looking forward to 'Life' as much as I was to some of Jake's other stuff (Prisoners, Enemy, even Demolition). Probably because I'm not into sci-fi at all. The trailers didn't do much for me, I'm afraid. It just doesn't seem to be "special" enough. Overall, I'm getting an 'Everest' vibe, and I wasn't crazy about that one, either.

Also, I think the focus on recent Jake news has been on SITPWG, more than anything else. Rightly so, of course, but it could be this movie is sort of overshadowed by his stage work at the moment.

Anonymous said...

The trailer seems to give too much away. I just watched the red band trailer and I feel like I saw the movie. I like Science Fiction if it's well done. This looks well done, but it also seems predictable.

Diana said...

Hi,

I agree with BlueJean, I think SITPWG really overshadows the movie and the focus is much more on the stage work right now. I am not sure whether I should go and see this movie in the cinema. I have not seen Nocturnal Animals in the cinema because it would have been too much for me to take. I prefer to see movies like that in the safety of my living room. It´s easier for me to keep a distance that way. Apart from that cinemas that screen movies in English are hard to find and I prefer to watch a movie in the original language (in case it´s in English)!

I cannot really focus on LIFE anyway because I´m still blown away by Jake´s performance in SITPWG! But it was not just him, it was the combination of all the actors, the way they performed together, the musicians, the set, lighting and sound, the way it was directed, the atmosphere in the theatre....just everything around the whole production. I´m on a constant high. Hell, what have they put in that champagne?? *lol*

EFK said...

Yeah Jake is doing the rounds in Paris and Berlin. Pics/vids are around Twitter, etc. He even posted a video from Paris.

But it is SITPWG that's all the buzz for Jake!!

Neil Patrick Harris raved, Josh Gad raved and someone in NPH's Insta comments said Joaquin Phoenix saw it too "joaquin phoenix saw it the day I saw it if that means anything".

The big review Jake can be very proud of is making Mandy Patinkin cry! Per Page Six and Vulture. I also love the pics of Jake and Mandy together. :)

Anonymous said...

Londontown

Stefanie Picard said...

I'm counting down I got see SITPWG next Saturday. 12 days !!!! I am also seeing Amelie while I am in town. A day of theater is always good.

Anonymous said...

The One Show

Scott said...

If would be nice if they could do a special performance of George on PBS, AE or other artsy network. Of course I hope they do the audio recording.

Scott said...

The link to the One Show doesn't work for me.

Anonymous said...

So sorry! This is the link. Hope it works.

Scott said...

Thank you anon for the link.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome ��

UltraViolet said...

Thanks, everyone, for posting all the tidbits. I expected Jake to go to London, but Paris and Berlin were a fun surprise. I love, love, love that he went to the Île de la Jatte. I love that Mandy Patinkin went to see the show and everyone cried. I love that the celebs all raved.

I was actually at that show and saw no celebrities. But it doesn't matter. It was enough to see Jake, Annaleigh and the show all over again.

I read a FB post from someone who sat next to Martin Short and Andrea Martin. He was thrilled but not by their behavior. Apparently they chatted through the whole show.

Stefanie, it's getting close. Diana, there is something transformative about the experience. Not for everyone, of course, but for so many. I do hope there is a recording of some kind. Ideally both audio and video!

BJ, I am actually looking forward to Life. It's not high art, but it doesn't all have to be. Read a couple of tweets predicting it will be a box office bomb, which would be a shame. Fingers crossed for a surprise hit.

Diana said...

UltraViolet, I am trying to convince my OH to let me fly to NYC once more for another show! So far to no avail, but I´m still trying!

Jake and Rebecca did a facebook-live Interview in Berlin. OMG it was horrible! I had a question of mine answered but it was really awkward. I feel sorry for the two who did the interview to say that, but it was soooo badly prepared!! You could think they´ve never done it before. Bless them you could tell they were nervous, but.... I couldn´t help myself and posted a complaint on the fb-page. There is only such little time to do an interview and it shouldn´t be wasted!

Their fb-page is "Filmstarts", I can´t put a link in here...the icon is a white arrow in a white circle on black ground (looks like a "play"-button)

Stefanie, can I be excited with you? *lol*

Someone posted a photo of himself and Jake on facebook. It just read "at the studio working on a recording" or something like that. I cannot find the posting again! It had my pulse go up in excitement right away! I really want a good recording, especially of Annaleigh. Her voice really blew me away!

BlueJean said...

A Dutch Facebook interview was recorded as well. It will be online next week. Hope it won't be as bad as the German one - although I can't seem to find it :(

BlueJean said...

Oops. Found the German interview. It was a bit of a mess, wasn't it?

Ann said...

Does someone have a link to the German interview? I kinda want to see the mess, Lol

BlueJean said...

https://www.facebook.com/Filmstarts/?fref=ts

Not sure the link works... and I still don't know how to post proper links on this blog, sorry guys ;) The interview was posted on March 14th.

Ann said...

Thanks BlueJean, it worked. That was pretty bad but Jake and Rebecca tried to make the best of it.

Stefanie Picard said...

Of course you can!!

Anonymous said...

This is how I feel about life:

@labuzamovies
"Debates re LIFE will destroy Film Twitter (whether it's a Jake Gyllenhaal mid life crisis film or Ryan Reynolds' transition to Oscar films)"

Just kidding. It looks fine. Not gonna set the world on fire. Not horrible. Just okay.

Scott said...

That twitter statement is kind of confusing, Jake mid life crisis? It took me awhile to get past that statement since Ryan is older than Jake. Is the reviewer trying to be intelligent? I can't tell whether it's a positive statement or a negative one.

I will go with negative.

Anonymous said...

I think it means no one knows if it's good (Oscar film) or bad (mid life crisis). It's hard to tell. I don't like Ryan, but I hope it's an Oscar film (good), I guess.

Ann said...

Hmmm he kinds clarified the Ryan part:

"@SonnyBunch no it's superhero movie then serious genre movie *then* Oscar movie these things take time"

Basically implying there's a formula that actors use to get to an Oscar nomination and this is the "serious genre movie" that is the next step for Ryan.

He hasn't clarified the Jake part. Maybe because Jake has done mostly indie-type films and this isn't in that category. Then again, Everest wasn't either so, idk.

At the end of the day, Jake doesn't seem to care about critics and opinions so I'm going to try to follow his lead and taking all future reviews and awards talk with a grain of salt. I'm just going to enjoy what he's doing with his career.

Anonymous said...

He'll be a guest on the Tonight Show on Monday

Anonymous said...

@mikeryan
I've seen LIFE. These Venom theories are dumb. Stop.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that 'Life' will open pretty much everywhere on the same weekend. That will facilitate our discussion about the movie.

Boxoffice.com thinks 'Life' will do quite alright at the box office.

Boxoffice.com: Life has gained a bit of momentum of this week thanks to solid industry tracking and social media activity. Our primary concern for it remains the heavy amount of competition that will still exist in the market when it opens next week.

Hagen said...

^^^
I forgot to add my name.
Hagen

Scott said...

Thanks Hagen, I think everyone has to worry about Beauty and the Beast even after this week's opening. Maybe it will be front loaded much like Logan was last week but I think Logan's ending may have something to do with it's numbers.


But so far no reviews but I am going to believe that Life is purposely shrouded in mystery. LOL. I get the sneaky suspicion that Rebecca, Jake and Ryan will be in Austin tonight. In my earlier statement about the movie not being on anyone's radar it was not a dig a the movie critically.

UltraViolet said...

Just saw this:

ErikDavis ‏Verified account @ErikDavis Managing Editor @fandango
Hearing LIFE has nothing at all to do with the new VENOM movie, so I'd squash that one.
(Also hearing LIFE is pretty rad)


Fingers crossed!

Also looks like there's a Dutch interview we'll need BJ to read for us to let us know if there's anything new/interesting in it. And a few German ones for Hagen :)

UltraViolet said...

According to this Iger, Jake is in Austin already.

Several tweeters saw Jake last night at Hedda Gabler in London. Ruth Wilson is starring in the National Theatre production.

Anonymous said...

Just a funny little tweet about the title

UltraViolet said...

LOL - that's funny.

IHJ has all the video interviews. Haven't watched The One Show yet. That German FB Live was painful, but it was kind of fun to watch Jake and Rebecca together and in that weird environment.

From an LA Times interview with Life writers:

This year’s SXSW festival had an emphasis on innovative genre storytelling, and so it makes sense that it should conclude with a sci-fi action horror hybrid that is by turns thoughtful and incredibly intense.

And from an interview with interview with Life director, Daniel Espinosa:

DEADLINE: The first time I wrote about the movie, Ryan Reynolds was going to play one role and then he switched with Jake Gyllenhaal. How does the qualities each actor brings impact the characters they ended up playing?

ESPINOSA: They represent two different styles of actors. Ryan always makes everything seem so easy. He has a levity to himself, a Robert Redford quality. Robert always made it seem like an easy trick, to make those excellently beautiful performances. Jake is the ideal of the concerned actor who always contemplates, and tries to find new ways. He’s like a young Dustin Hoffman. So the idea to take a Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman of their generation and let them play out their scenes together is something that as a director you can never deny. Really, one day, if I’m lucky enough, I could make an All The President’s Men with them, too. That would be a dream.


TV appearances net week:

CBS Sunday Morning
The Tonight Show (Monday)
GMA (Thursday)
Late Night w/Seth Meyers (Thursday)

bobbyanna said...

Wow, Daniel Espinosa comparing Ryan to Redford, and Jake to Dustin Hoffman is really high praise. It's funny to me because I often picture Jake in remakes of Redford movies. : ) Of course every time I see a young Al Pacino I think of Jake too.

I've never been a huge Ryan Reynolds fan, but I'll admit my attitude is softening towards him lately. I'm looking forward to seeing Jake's TV appearances this week. I'm sure they'll talk to him about SITPWG, too.

(Just one thing: there are some movies that should never be remade and All the President's Men is a personal favorite of mine.)

BlueJean said...

"Also looks like there's a Dutch interview we'll need BJ to read for us to let us know if there's anything new/interesting in it."

:) With interviews like that - it sometimes seems like they haven't spoken to Jake at all. A lot of it is just quotes from all over the internet: on Trump, on his family, on Hollywood... But he did say why he wanted to film 'Life': to have a change of pace and to prove to his dad he was able to have fun :)

So I take back what I said about 'Life' not being "special" enough. That's just what Jake wanted, he said - so who are we to complain about that?

And it's a joy to see Jake on the cover of a Dutch magazine for once! It's his Details photoshoot from 2015, but that's one of my favorites, so...

Hagen said...

And a few German ones for Hagen :)

German newspaper "Die Welt" interviewed Jake: Jake's father advised him to accept the part in 'Life'. Stephen thinks that Jake should approach his job more relaxedly. Jake offers his directors many ideas to elaborate the characters. Unfortunately hardly any of his ideas were brought to life in 'Life'. He dedicates 'Life' to his recently deceased grandfather. His grandmother was the first female pediatrician in Brooklyn in the 1940s. Jake gets gloomy: 'The truth is: We get old, we die. And during this process we live in an ageless world.' He says that he's fallen in love only two or three times in his life. He complains that the entertainment industry isn't taken seriously. (Didn't he say that actor is the most ridiculous job?) He prepares for his roles for a long time. However reporters ask him silly questions like 'What have you just eaten?'. And he isn't always nice, particularly not in traffic.

BlueJean said...

Thanks, Hagen. Don't you just hate it when you're only able to read online interviews when you have a subscription? ;)

Hagen said...

Hi BlueJean! I didn't need a subscription to read the article. I had to register (only email, no further data) to read one article for free. However I don't know how I got there.

Tonight 'Life' will premiere at SXSW. Hopefully the audience will take kindly to it.

Anonymous said...

@colliderfrosty
Interview with @VancityReynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal for #lifemovie had me laughing beginning to end. Can't wait to post on @Collider.

I love this guy. Can't wait to watch the interview.

Anonymous said...

10 minutes of Jake

UltraViolet said...

The Jake/Ryan interviews are very funny.

I was wrong about Jake being on CBS Sunday. It was Saturday, in a feature about Annaleigh Ashford.

Some Life reviews from twitter and FB:

Thanks to the generous @ochocinco enjoyed the popcorn & movie! Go see @LifeMovie

Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal at their new movie closing SXSW. It's a space thriller not to be missed: Life.

Just caught the world premiere of Life at #SXSW... wow, what a thriller. But also I'll probably be having nightmares tonight.
good movie?
yeah, i was on edge the whole time!

good movie?
no, but the Q&A was fun!

I watched this movie and I was really tense and suspenseful.I sometimes didn't get a chance to catch my breathe..I want sequel lnow
good movie bro? people like?
Damn good movie! A lot of surprises and the fear is there! ����

LIFE! Incredible film! #SXSW finale


Jake Gyllenhaal and @VancityReynolds brings thrills, terror, and horror to space with Life. #SXSW Review
Comicbook.com Review:

It's impressive that a movie taking place in the middle of an endless universe feels incredibly claustrophobic. This is what Life set out to do in its brisk 110 minute runtime, nailing its objective with every sharp turn on the ISS space ship....

Still, Life is sci-fi thriller at its best. It's terrifying. The movie is a non-stop thrill ride, with high stakes, terror, and intense moments around every corner. You'll have to buckle up and never look back with this film, as it's the most thrilling trip to the movies since Alien. Director Daniel Espinosa crafted a movie unlike anything you'll have experienced before it. Just don't head into the theater looking for anything too much deeper than a claustrophobic film based purely on survival.

Bottom Line: Life seems to refuse to accept its identity as a sci-fi horror film but provides a thrilling, disturbing, claustrophobic space tale. 6.8/10


THR is negative:

An Alien-derived creature feature that would be serviceable (if underwhelming) under ordinary circumstances, Daniel Espinosa's Life faces the unenviable prospect of emerging less than two months before Ridley Scott's new chapter in that franchise. Like its eponymous carbon-based critter, which spends most of the movie rushing from one corner of a space station to another as our heroes try to starve it of oxygen, the movie may suffocate in the anticipatory atmosphere surrounding Alien: Covenant, and the PR boost from this unmerited closing-night SXSW slot shouldn't help much. Insatiable genre fans who do buy a ticket will likely send lukewarm responses back to the wait-and-see crowd....

Surprisingly, the best-known members of its cast are not necessarily MVPs: Even if they may have more to do, A-listers Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds register no more solidly as distinct characters than, say, Ariyon Bakare's Hugh Derry, the scientist who makes first contact with the alien, and soon regrets it.

UltraViolet said...

Reviews from Letterboxd:

★★★½
"Terrible."
-Random Lady outside ZACH Theatre

Not really.

This movie has definite flaws, but at least there was real effort and love poured into those effects. The visuals are stellar, the acting is great, and it scared me half to death. Granted, that's not very difficult to do, considering I'm a wuss who can barely stomach The Thing, but still. The finally seemed a bit implausible, but at least it was set up fairly well. Actually, a lot of the conflicts are set up quite well, making it feel less like a "Because Movie" experience and more of an organic, flowing experience. Technically, it works very well; on a story and character level, it slips up in the beginning, but has some great moments. Also, has some lovely subversion of classic horror cliches in it, so that's nice. I think it's worth giving a shot if you like this type of idea. If you are going to see it, DEFINITELY watch it in theaters. The stellar lighting, sound design, and cinematography make it worth the price of admission.

p.s., if you're like the lady who sat a seat away from me who was speaking out loud whenever somethings scary was happening, you ought to wait for this movie to come out on VOD.


And more from LB:

★★★★
"Alien" meets "Gravity" meets "Solaris" meets "2001: A Space Odyssey" meets "The Thing"... and it could very well be the unsuspecting "Venom" origin story.

★★½
What starts off as a solid, promising, single take shot quickly deteriorates, much like the situation of the crew in Life, except less exciting. The worst part is the major misuse of talent here, although Jake Gyllenhall does well enough with what little he's given and Ryan Reynolds recycles his old suave schtick. Also note the couple of GOOD moments in the film are beaten down by the films ending

★★★½
this was wild from start to finish. the zero gravity camera was cool but also a bit dizzying at times. calvin was super gruesome it was cool i liked it. ending a little too predictable but overall had great performances from each actor

UltraViolet said...

Variety is mostly positive:

Slipping into theaters two months before 'Alien: Covenant,' this slick, suspenseful sci-fi thriller features smart characters making dumb decisions in space. ...

“Life’s” a thrill when it’s smart, but it’s even more exciting when the characters are dumb — which is ultimately a paradox the film wears proudly, to the possible extinction of the human race.


FYI, I am just skimming these reviews, so I don't know if they are spoilery.

UltraViolet said...

Oh and a belated Danke/Dank je to Hagen and BJ for giving us the scoop on those interviews. Interesting answer from Jake about his father's influence.

I think the title of the Welt article was "I'm not always nice." Sounds like he proved it in the interview! He does always say he tries not to take himself too seriously. But he does seem to resent silly questions sometimes. Except in TV interviews.

Hagen, was the Welt article the one in which he says Christmas was the last day he wasn't busy, or something like that?

3/5 stars from Den of Geek:

Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds battle an unfriendly ET in Life, a fun (if serviceable) monster movie with a hell of a creepy hook. ...

Nevertheless, despite its flaws of characterization and structure, Life is still fun, an inch-deep but serviceable monster movie that stars one hell of a creepy creation (Calvin has a way of wrapping a pseudopod around a person’s arm or leg that made even this hardened horror fan a little squeamish). The horror aspects of the movie may outweigh the loftier sci-fi ideas that fleetingly surface here and there in the movie, yet Calvin will get a grip on you that’s hard to shake. Life may be more B-movie than classic, but it would not be surprising to see a “restored deluxe edition” show up as a Scream Factory Blu-ray 10 or 15 years from now.


Edward Douglas:

For decades, the pinnacle of the sci-fi horror genre was Ridley Scott’s Alien, although it’s territory John Carpenter explored just as well with his version of The Thing in 1982 and plenty of others have followed suit. Life, written by Deadpool scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese and directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe Haven), pays tribute to both those classics with a film that offers insight into the fairly simple idea of what it might be like to find life on another planet and what might happen if that existence proves to be hostile. This type of premise has driven the best science fiction in all formats, and while the way Life sometimes falls back on ways this premise has worked before that might make it feel derivative, it also offers enough tension to keep you invested throughout. ...

For diehard fans of science fiction, Life is a welcome addition to the genre, even if it may not be as entertaining to mass audiences as The Martian or others, mainly because it is slower and more grounded in reality than the science fiction movies to which modern audiences have become accustomed. Rating: B+

BlueJean said...

"I had to register (only email, no further data) to read one article for free."

Ha! It works right now! Reading the article (am able to read a little German). Did Jake really tell the reporter not to watch 'Love and Other Drugs'? :( It's not one of his best, I agree, but it's not that bad. He shouldn't deny his own work - I hate it when he does that.

This... "Tatsächlich ist das Schönste im Zimmer Gyllenhaal selbst" was very nice :)

Anonymous said...

What does that mean?

BlueJean said...

:) "Actually, the most beautiful thing in the room is Gyllenhaal himself" (Jake made a comment on his dark, gloomy hotel)

Anonymous said...

If my rusty Deutsche serves, it means: "Actually, the most beautiful thing in the room is Gyllenhaal himself".
I'm in complete agreement :)

Anonymous said...

Beaten to the punch by Blue Jean :)

BlueJean said...

LOL!

Hey, has anyone read this? It makes for some pretty uncomfortable reading when the interviewer asks Jake about Taylor Swift... that proves to be a huge mistake - or maybe Jake was just in a bad mood that day :((( Maybe he just should've answered and get it over with.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/mar/19/jake-gyllenhaal-i-would-love-to-not-talk-about-my-personal-life?CMP=twt_gu

Real Sal said...

Yikes, that was an awkward interview. The journalist came across far worse than Jake. It must be annoying as hell to be questioned about a girl you dated over 6 years ago (and, in my opinion, I don't think it was a significant 'relationship' to him). No actual information was given about the movie he was there to promote - poorly written article to match the interview, and I wouldn't be surprised if Jake avoids him in the future.

Thanks UV for the reviews. I'll be watching Life next weekend :)

UltraViolet said...

Sigh. Jake, Jake, Jake. Tantrums are not a good look. Totally legitimate for him to react that way to the Taylor Swift questions. But then asking if the guy had ever seen his work? He got a little too precious there.

The reporter gets to shade everything in the light most favorable to himself, of course. The privacy question, e. g. He says he wouldn't mind Jake's asking him questions, but the reality is that no one cares about the reporter's private life. Jake wouldn't be writing it up for an international newspaper.

OTOH, when Jake says people think anyone can be an actor, the writer should have said, "You mean like you did when you started out."

Ugh. As one tweeter put it: This interview seems ridiculous from both guys.

Another review. Positive Playlist:

Movies today are too long and overstuffed; “Life” is lean, mean, and terrifying. It doesn’t have much to say beyond “hold up, maybe we shouldn’t poke around uncharted terrain so much,” but with actors this committed, set pieces this exciting, and direction this confident, it doesn’t really matter. It’s a B-movie, through and through, knows exactly what it is. To quote another movie currently in theaters, choose “Life.” [B]

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who knows the reporter who wrote the guardian article and she tells me he is a bit of an idiot. So whilst Jake may not come out glowing it is good to know that actually he was faced with a tricky one. His actual name is Tim Jones not Jonze-sums it up really!

Hagen said...

Hagen, was the Welt article the one in which he says Christmas was the last day he wasn't busy, or something like that?

Yes, and the reporter noticed that Jake was tired. Maybe he's over-worked which might explain his moody behaviour in "The Guardian" interview.


I'm pleased that the reviews of 'Life' are very decent so far.

Real Sal said...

He does look pretty knackered. Hopefully he'll have some time off when SITPWG ends.

And lol, UV, Jake did get too precious! Not the first time and most likely not the last.

Office of Nancy Pelosi said...

There is so much news to catch up on ! Thanks UV and everyone one else here for all the updates to date posts:)
I'm not a Sci-fi fan but Life looks like a intense ride, Jake and Ryan are,having a blast promoting it !
I want to see SITPWG so bad, I will be in New York on business next month so I will get my chance to see it, can't wait.
Jake came across cranky in that interview posted, he must be exhausted with doing the musical and promoting Life.

bobbyanna said...

OONP!!!! SO glad you'll have a chance to see SITPWG!!! Hope all is well with you!
#Resist!

Diana said...

Oh dear, that Guardian interview had me squirm uncomfortably in my seat. When I read this was the last interview of the day I thought oh-oh..... but we know Jake has temper. So do I so I can understand his reaction, still it was a tiny bit over the top. Too bad his temper was coming up during an interview, too! Ah well....sh..ining things happen!

I was really surprised to see Jake in Europe so soon. The Welt-article explained it to me, he really must have flown here right after the last SITPWG-performance! That´s a tight scedule... Real Sal, I can only agree with you and hope, that he´s got some time off after SITPWG! But I also hope with all the stress right now he get´s to enjoy the rest of his performances at SITPWG. It would be a shame if he couldn´t.

One thing is for sure: the video-interviews with Jake and Ryan had me in giggles all the time! Brilliant!

I am really tempted to put on some nappies, bite the bullet and go to see Life in the cinema. I might need some therapy after that, though *lol*

Diana said...

When Jake and Rebecca where on The One Show in London, there was a funny part with Jake in the interview part with Sheena Easton, so you should check that out as well! The first part of the show with the "main" interview with Jake and Rebecca doesn´t include this part!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SBVgFsoAVM

You should watch from about 6 minutes into the interview!

Anonymous said...

@garymwalters
At the Stronger final playback at Dub Studios. Sounds fantastic!!! #JakeGyllenhaal @TatianaMaslany @Lionsgate

Scott said...

I didn't know until recently that the same producers for Stronger also produced Beauty and the Beast. I saw the film this weekend and is it wrong that I preferred the beast on Dan Stevens' reveal? The long hair and paleness (more than usual)did nothing for Dan.

Luke was fantastic though.

Hagen said...

Jake and Rebecca Ferguson played a prank on an ill-prepared German host(Pro7).
They've done quite a lot of promotion for 'Life' in Germany.

Anonymous said...

This is entertaining

Hagen said...

Variety: Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled,” Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck,” Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” with Jake Gyllenhaal, and John Cameron Mitchell’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” with Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning are strongly tipped to world premiere as official selections of the 70th edition of Cannes Film Festival.

I don't have Netflix. No idea if I will have the opportunity to watch “Okja”.

Anonymous said...

LOL at the Soul Cycle info.

http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/105536046.html?page=2#comments

BlueJean said...

"I don't have Netflix. No idea if I will have the opportunity to watch “Okja”."

Same here, Hagen.

Anonymous said...

Jake definitely has his flaws/faults, as do we all. However, I take the Guardian interview, and even the third hand Soul Cycle account, with a grain of salt. Since there is no video of either it's easy to over dramatize the situations. Sure, it sucks reading that and seeing it spread around but the writer sounds like an ass as well.

On a positive note, there are lots of hilarious vids of Jake and Ryan. They should do a comedy together lol.

Fun videos of Jake and SITPWG cast warming up, singing happy birthday to Stephen Sondheim (Jake in one of the ladies hats lol) and singing happy birthday to Stephen onstage with the audience.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) was at the show last night and he and his husband have some cute pics with Jake.

Anonymous said...

i feel like anyone who has been a fan of jake for a few years shouldn't be surprised by that soulcycle information. if you build up celebrities to be perfect and flawless then you're in for a lot of disappointment.

there are worse things he could do than what was written on ontd

Real Sal said...

I...don't know how I feel about this.

http://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/829505-jake-gyllenhaal-daniel-espinosa-board-the-anarchists-vs-isis

Scott said...

It's a project that Jake chose so I will trust him but a lot depends on the screen play.

Anonymous said...

"Tune in alert: Make sure to watch @GMA tmrw for a special interview w/ #JakeGyllenhaal on stage at @hudsonbway! #SundayintheParkwithGeorge"

https://twitter.com/sundaybroadway/status/845008859936833540

Maura said...

For some reason I really trust Riva, so I'm okay with this

Monica said...

That's why I don't like ONTD, girl who cares if he's a douche? Try to know if any girl he asked for the phone number said something like unforgettable, wonderful, great, amazing,...!!!

I'm surprised Mara allowed the interview for The Guardian knowing she did a good job with Casey Affleck.


I've seen some people complaining about this new movie that's going to be another one about "the white savior".

Anonymous said...

Isn't it based on a true story, though? Sometimes people just like to complain.

BlueJean said...

"... if you build up celebrities to be perfect and flawless then you're in for a lot of disappointment."

Exactly. They're only human, just like the rest of us. I'll admit while reading the Guardian interview, I thought: "whoa, he didn't handle that in the best possible way", but then again... who knows how many times he's been asked about TS before - and maybe he'd had a lousy day, was jetlagged or stressed or whatever. And the interviewer was deliberately out to provoke Jake about his personal life, I thought.

Monica said...

"sn't it based on a true story, though? Sometimes people just like to complain.

I have not read the story yet, but I can understand why people are complaining. I think some people are tired of seeing these types of movie, the white man as savior, all the time in Hollywood.

Scott said...

Well it's not fictional, some white people really do try to help others through Christianity. I have met white people who actually try to do the right thing. I don't think Jake as jewish man (whose religion is under attack from hate groups right now) would make a white man savior movie without seeing both sides.

Besides it based on a true story, if the people were white what do you want to do, change them to black or brown to make it ok with the internet? I have not read the story so I don't know if all the players are white or not.

It's ISIS, I really don't give a fuck who stops them as long as they are stopped. But it was a black man and white woman who stop Bin Lama even the republicans would like to forget it.

Hagen said...

I have not read the story yet, but I can understand why people are complaining. I think some people are tired of seeing these types of movie, the white man as savior, all the time in Hollywood.

Anarchists are hardly 'white saviors'. I watched a documentary about an anarchistic German kindergarten worker who joined the Kurdish militia to fight ISIS. An absolutely clueless person, definitely not a hero.

Hagen said...

I don't want to go into details yet, but 'Life' is a suspenseful, gory and literally very gripping movie.

UltraViolet said...

Sorry for the lack of posts - I've been out of commission. I haven't even gotten to see Life yet, which bums me out. Sounds like a positive review, Hagen. That's good. Have other GBers seen it yet?

The Friday box office was middling, which is a shame. I hoped the very viral bromance would propel some more people to the theater. In any case, I hope to get to the movie tomorrow. And the junket interviews have made it all worth it.

The new project sounds iffy. I am not informed on the subject - have read a few articles but not the original Rolling Stone one. I'll have to read up.

Thanks to everyone for keeping us gallup to date.

Anonymous said...

Is this interview working for you?

Hagen said...

Is this interview working for you?

Yes, it's working for me.


'Life' has grossed a bit more overseas ($16.1 million) than in North America ($12.6 million) this weekend:

Deadline: Columbia/Skydance’s Life found $16.1M in 56 markets.

Hagen said...

Vulture: Here’s an Exclusive Look at Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton in Okja, Bong Joon-ho’s Follow-up to Snowpiercer

Maura said...

Okja looks so incredible! I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Don't you think it's weird "Life" didn't have a premiere (other than the SXSW festival premiere)? They had a bunch of photocalls, but no premiere. I just think it's strange.

Anonymous said...

What is this supposed to mean?



Matt Patches‏Verified account
@misterpatches
O my gah, Jake Gyllenhaal is the new Nicolas Cage. It's the "baroque acting" eyes, man.

Anonymous said...

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have set an awards-season release date of Sept. 22

Lionsgate teams with Roadside Attractions to co-distribute Stronger. Platform release

Stronger will be a platform prestige release that hopefully will build word of mouth. Having Gyllenhaal so personally vested in Bauman and the subject matter will certainly help.

Don't let anyone (wink: AW) bring you down: it's a very smart date for a movie that would be crushed during the late Oct-Nov-Dec clusterfuck. "Stronger" lacks the requisite buzz and industry support (wink: Damon and Affleck). Nor is it directed by Tom Ford, with his perfumes and haute couture that Hollywood loves. End of September gives it visibility, it could build buzz from there and fly under the radar all through October, dare I say November.

Roadside Attractions did wonders with Manchester by the Sea.

Sicario opened Sept 18. Black Mass, same day. Both were part of awards conversation. "99 Homes" opened Sept 25. Shannon snatched nods for SAG and GG.

Prisoners and End of Watch opened Sep 20-21.

Anonymous said...

those movies were in conversation but went nowhere this date is a dead end for the movie

Anonymous said...

Nope, not exactly:
Michael Shannon (99 Homes) was nominated for all precursors (save Oscar) for an indie released Sept 25.
Johnny Depp (Black Mass) was nominated for a movie released Sept 18.
Sicario was the most heralded indie and snatched 3 tech Oscar nods - limited release Sept 18.

Knowledge is power :-) Late September platform releases for awards worthy movies do work, if carefully planned by a skilful distributor. Which Roadside Attractions is.

Stefanie said...

I saw Sunday in the Park... Saturday night. It was amazing and the best show have have seen on Broadway! Jake and Annaleigh were fabulous. I am so happy I went and got to have the experience. I'm still on cloud 9!!! Amazing Amazing !!

Anonymous said...

shannon didn't get an oscar nom for 99 homes. depp only got a SAG nomination and critics choice. neither got oscar noms.

knowledge is power. it needs strong reviews with that release date or decent enough reviews and a weak year with little competition

Anonymous said...

Multi-awarded "Boyhood" was released in... July. It marched all the way to Oscars. The campaign strategy and buzz is everything. The "good/bad release date" narrative doesn't fool anyone anymore.

Anonymous said...

david gordon green is no richard linklater.

UltraViolet said...

Johnny Depp didn't get an Oscar nomination for Black Mass.

This isn't a great release date for awards consideration, but at least it's a date. I assume it will play at TIFF. If it does well commercially, perhaps that will give it a boost.

The Nicholas Cage comment seemed to be some kind of joke between friends. Not sure there is anything to be read into it, really.

It's a little strange that there wasn't a Life premiere in NY, LA or London. But the whole movie was done (relatively) inexpensively, so I guess that includes promotion.

Hagen, you mentioned the prank video Jake and Rebecca Ferguson did. Was it well-received. I felt so bad for the guy, though I did also laugh.

UltraViolet said...

Stefanie, yay! I missed your post. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I really, really hope this performance is taped for posterity. I'm going again in a few weeks and can't wait. Jake mentioned in several interviews that he willl be sad to say goodbye to this role.

Anonymous said...

All precursors (save Oscars) = except Oscar. That's what I said ;-) All the nominations from last year paved the way to this year's Oscar nod for Shannon.
If Jake is nominated for GG, SAG and BAFTA, except Oscar again, I'll take it! His buzz for next year will be huge. And next year he will have the Audiard movie - tailor made for Cannes and beyond.

Monica said...

Easy, anon. I agree that it's not a good release date for the awards season, but you never know for sure. I don't know if the movie is good, but it could be that his performance is so good that it will get him the nomination for best actor. He already has a baity role. Unless this is will be very strong year.
All I know is that it's too soon to think about Oscar. And I just want the movie to be good.

Scott said...

I might get my wish and I have Jake film every 3 months. June, September and Paul Dano's film hopefully after. Who knows maybe that will be sleeper? I know there will be negative comments about Paul being a first time director but the same comments were made for Dan. And then Jake has a few films for next year to (well a lot of films again next year).

Anonymous said...

"Easy, anon"

I am a free person. If I want to be hopeful, I'll be hopeful and no one can rain on my parade!

Anonymous said...

Hopeful and emotional: Gary Michael Walters just tweeted a photo that could melt the coldest heart. Jeff Bauman went to see Jake in Sunday in the Park with George. Can't make a link, but the photo is so emotional, Jake is clearly overwhelmed.

BlueJean said...

"What the fuck is wrong with you people?
You care only about awards????"


I have to say that was more or less what I was thinking when I was reading. Why all this fuss about a release date for a movie that's months and months ahead? It's out of our hands. Let's wait and see, shall we? I have very high hopes for 'Stronger', particularly Jake's performance, which will be great, no doubt. Not much hope for it to be a huge success because of the nature of the story.

I would love for Jake to be all over the place in every award discussion on this planet. But there are onmy very few roles that are able to do that for him, and Lou Bloom was the last. I'm perfectly fine with the fact that not every movie can be award material - but somehow Jake manages to be fabulous in almost all of them, and to me that's what counts the most.

Would love to see the Jake and Jeff Twitter pic!

BlueJean said...

Oh, that comment was deleted just now :)

Bever mind, I still stand by what I said. I'll leave now ;) ;)

Diana said...

Hmm... I remember a interview with Jake when he said something like as long as he can make movies that matter to him and have something to say and they make enough money to cover the costs (more is great, no doubt!) and there are people who are willing and wanting to listen and watch, he´s happy.

I simply assume this was genuine, even though nobody knows, of course. The choices he made/makes with his roles somehow make it believable to me. But let´s be honest: none of us knows Jake personally. And since I do have my very own experiences with the press (personally and through friends) I am ALWAYS sceptical about the content of an interview. I am reading interviews, I do spontaneously react to them but then I´m sort of taking them apart for myself, trying to figure out what was ACTUALLY said and what was ACTUALLY meant from both sides. Whatever I read I always bear in mind that these interviews are meant to make money for the papers/newssites and it´s also part of Jake´s job to promote his work. I don´t think he was always happy with what came out of a project, but that´s life. Like he always says, as an actor it´s not in his hands.

I think of Jake as a regular guy with an extraordinary job. I really have a massive amount of respect for the work that he does, especially since I am not just watching movies, but also doing research on them.

When it comes to awards, I´m torn. I´d LOVE to see Jake get an Oscar or GG or whatever, but on the other side it doesn´t matter to ME personally because it wouldn´t change whether I like a movie or not.

Stefanie, I was thinking of you!! It´s unbelievably amazing! Since I saw it I wake up every day with a part of it being the first thought coming to my mind! I like that! I could afford it to go and see it again, but I still couldn´t convince my OH - it would be roughly 2000-2300 Dollars, that´s too much he thinks.

I´m off to go sulking.

BlueJean said...

"When it comes to awards, I´m torn. I´d LOVE to see Jake get an Oscar or GG or whatever, but on the other side it doesn´t matter to ME personally because it wouldn´t change whether I like a movie or not."

I hope that goes for all of us :) I hope Jake's aware of how many people (not just us) have massive respect for his choices and projects - awards or not.

Stefanie Picard said...

Lol awe. I was blown away by all of it. I walked out of the theater so happy and so inspired. I live like 4 hours from NYC and my ticket was $59 dollars and a great seat. I was pretty even with Jake on stage. I watched him draw on this sketch pad and he did not miss a beat. The drawings were ok he definitely understood form and value. Lol fine arts major her lol I would go see it 100x but tickets are sold out sadly. There is talk about recording and filiming. We will see. I'm still waking up singing in the morning 😊

Stefanie Picard said...

I'm praying for st least a cast recording. It was magical and I'd say the best Broadway experience I've had. I did go see Amelie in the afternoon. It was not good at all. I don't recommend, definitely a filler show.

Diana said...

You live 4 hours from NYC Stefanie?! Oh my, what I would give... I´d be constantly broke, though lol.
I´ve just been on the phone to my OH whilst I was checking on tickets, flights and hotels. Still couldn´t get him to say yes. Grrrrrr.

I´m wondering what´s next after SITPWG and the promotion for Life (that I still didn´t dare go to!)? I was so consumed by these two things that I haven´t paid attention to what´s next. For Jake I hope it´s at least a little time off!

Have you guys read the script for Stronger? What do you think? I´ve read the book and the script and I was suprised at the choice of scenes from the book.

I am wondering how to watch Okja.... do movies from Netflix get released on DVD at all? I never paid attention to that, I´ll have to check.

I could do with Professor Dumbledore´s pensieve right now, I feel my head is going to explode with so many thoughts lol.

Hagen said...

Hagen, you mentioned the prank video Jake and Rebecca Ferguson did. Was it well-received. I felt so bad for the guy, though I did also laugh.

I think it was well received. Jake and Rebecca didn't come across as malicious pranksters. 'Life' does a bit better than 'Power Rangers' at the box office in Germany. So I do feel that Jake's promotion had a positive impact.

Anonymous said...

Do you know why Jake got a "the director wishes to thank" for A Bigger Splash? I've been thinking about it... Am I missing something? A connection?

Stefanie Picard said...

Lol awe Yes I let myself go a few times a year. I visit my friends and have a day of Broadway. Now I'll go in November with my sister because she has a conference in the city. And she wants to see a few shows. I hope you get to go. The show was amazing and I was inspired by it.

Diana said...

Anon, I have been wondering about this, too! I couldn´t find anything on that matter so I decided to book it onto my "this-is-weird"-account and forget about it.

Stefanie, I´m going!! And now I´m glad it took so long to convince my OH because there were a few tickets left for the last show on April 23rd! The show was marked as "sold out" for quite some time, some tickets must have been held back (which is not unusual but still makes me quite angry!). It´s not the best ticket but I really wanted to go to the last show! I think that´s a nice wrap - 1st preview and last show!

Anonymous said...

the guy behind 'The Anarchists vs. the Islamic State' article is not happy about the film being made and wants to have it stopped.

They have now reunited for the journey home. Chapman, who has learned to speak Kurdish, hopes to work with Kurdish organizations in the United States. Belden wants to marry his girlfriend and return to Syria with her - to join a Marxist-Leninist political organization, not to fight.

He also has another wish - to halt production of the planned movie, which is based on an article in Rolling Stone called "The Anarchists vs. the Islamic State." The proposal for a film to be directed by Daniel Espinosa and starring Gyllenhaal as Belden was recently announced by the Hollywood Reporter. Belden, who says he is not an anarchist, was as surprised as all of his friends when he found out about it.

"I've got to stop this movie. It'll probably be exploitative and orientalist. It will taint everything I do," he said in a message as he prepared to leave Syria this week. "I'm a communist. I don't want fame."


http://m.sfgate.com/news/article/sf-florist-on-syria-front-lines-fighting-isis-11041082.php?cmpid=fb-mobile#

Anonymous said...

The socialist-comunist-unstable guy is completely clueless and stupidly arrogant. The joke is on him though: the movie won't be about him. Go figure!

UPDATE (03/30): Seth Harp, author of the original Rolling Stone article, has responded to Belden's comments. He made the following statement to Exclaim!:

It's not true that there's a movie in the works based on the life of Brace Belden/PissPigGrandad. The article I wrote was not a profile of any one person. I started reporting it in November 2015, one year before he arrived in Syria. Of the 75 to 100 leftist volunteers currently in Rojava, I interviewed 12 of them, and had space to write about seven, only one of whom was Brace. Anything he has to say about the project should be taken with that in mind.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Talk about that Belden Pisspiggranddad being an attention seeker with delusions of grandeur. It's also the media's fault for rushing to report it's about Belden, when in fact nowhere in THR or Nine Stories' statement was Belden's name mentioned. The only one mentioned by name was the journalist whose story (about a group of 70 people) they optioned. For all we know, Jake could be playing the journalist.




"Jake Gyllenhaal is reteaming with his Life director Daniel Espinosa for an adaptation of the Rolling Stone article, "The Anarchists vs. ISIS."

The Rolling Stone article, written by Seth Harp, tells the true story of a ragtag team of American volunteers, socialists and outcasts who are fighting alongside the Kurdish militia known as the YPG to beat ISIS in Syria and establish an anarchist collective amid the rubble of war.

“Thematically, we’re often attracted to material about the search for identity, especially in a world where it’s become easier to feel less and less connected," said Marker in a statement. "Seth’s story is about people who abandon everything that’s familiar as a means to connect in the most brutal of circumstances.”

Stefanie Picard said...

There's not a bad seat in that theater. It's one. othe smallest Broadway theatres I've ever been in. You will see no problem. I'm so happy for you, it's magical. "White. Ablank page or canvas. So many possibilities!" ❤️

Diana said...

I will have to read the article "The Anarchists vs. the Islamic State" I think. I am wondering how close to that article the script will be and whether Jake is really taking on a role in it. Maybe in the end he´s "only" producing? Who knows! One more project to keep an eye on! It really never gets boring....

Stefanie, I agree with you on the Hudson, it´s got an almost intimate atmosphere because it´s so small. I loved it so much when I was there. I usually prefer small venues for live performances, unless it´s a really huge production with huge stage, many actors/dancers, a lot of action etc. In my opinion, the Hudson is the perfect place for this musical. The building itself is pure art.

I like to be quite at the front of stage, if possible not much further back than 4th or 5th row. The reason is that I love to study the actors very closely, and that´s the best spot not to miss out on anything. Acting includes the whole body, and being further away the facial expression and gestures etc. are not that clearly visible. To me it makes the whole experience of watching a performer even more intense and I love that.

Real Sal said...

It's quiet around here :) Everyone good?

I went to see 'Life' a few days ago...one of my least favourite films of Jake's but still watchable.

Monica said...

Twitter: Rufus Wainright

Anonymous said...

http://www.etonline.com/features/214543_why_donnie_darko_still_resonates_today/

There's a video interview.

BlueJean said...

Somehow I think, and I've mentioned it before, that Jake's performance in SITPWG completely overshadows 'Life', particularly for the people who have been lucky enough to see Jake on stage. I bet they're still in their "bubble"! I saw some pics of Hugh Jackman with Jake and Annaleigh backstage yesterday :)

"...one of my least favourite films of Jake's..."

Ouch! :) I won't be seeing it. Not in the cinema, that is. I have some physical issues right now, which make it a little harder to travel - plus I'm really not into sci-fi. I think I'll wait till it's available online or something. Sorry Jake! ;)

Hagen said...

Get well soon, BlueJean!
'Life' isn't particularly highbrow, but I enjoyed it.

bobbyanna said...

I like Lainey's movie reviewer, Sarah. She does excellent reviews most of the time, and she adores Jake. Her movie review of Life was hilarious.


Blue Jean, be well. Hope you're out and about soon.

Anonymous said...

I really like Lainey. She really likes Jake, she's always fair. If he's a little annoying, she'll say it. If he's great (most of the time), she'll say it too.

BlueJean said...

Aw. Thanks, guys! xxx

Anonymous said...

Lainey is trash posting trash and lies.

Anonymous said...

I've just seen Sunday. What a beautiful show. Annaleigh was fabulous and Jake was astounding. His voice is just beautiful - tender and moving. He was made for this role.
-Malavika

Anonymous said...

I hate that someone filmed this, but af least we get to see a little bit of Jake as George.

https://twitter.com/gyllenhaalbr/status/850902478472306688

Anonymous said...

Fresh infos about "The Sisters Brothers": Early this month, the Spanish press reported that Audiard's movie will be filmed in Almeria, specifically the desert of Tabernas - which is very similar to Arizona and the Wild West. It's regularly used as a filming location (Lawrence of Arabia, Indiana Jones, Exodus).

"...responsable de grandes obras como ‘Un profeta’, se introducirá por primera vez en el western con ‘The Sisters Brothers’, para el que cuenta con Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix y John C. Reilly.(...) Según ha podido saber LA VOZ, el cineasta francés visitó Almería el pasado noviembre para visitar algunas localizaciones de Tabernas. El rodaje podría comenzar en junio y comprendería otros escenarios desérticos españoles, como las Bardenas Reales de Navarra o los Monegros en Aragón."

("As LA VOZ has learned, The French filmmaker visited Almería last November to visit some locations of Tabernas. The filming could begin in June and include other Spanish desert locations")


Today comes the casting call for extras:
Manuel Carretero‏ @manuelcarreter1
Atencion casting #Almeria Les freres Sisters western Jaques Audriard (sic!) "Un profeta" Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal y John C. Reilly


The call is for April 20, with the mention: "Fechas de trabajo aproximadas: días en Mayo e Junio de 2017" (Approximate work dates: days in May and June 2017)

Now we know why SITPWG was scheduled until late April only. Jake will likely start filming Audiard's movie in May. No rest for the wicked...and talented :D

Still hope they can extend SITPWG for at least one week, until April 30. It would be such a gift for the audiences and the actors alike (we know Jake will have a hard time saying goodbye to George(s) and the Company). Also hope for Okja to be screened in Cannes, with Jake attending!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what role Jake will be playing in The Sister Brothers? It's not specified on IMDB yet.

BlueJean said...

I'm also wondering when Jake will start filming 'The Son', actually. He's a busy man!

Maura said...

Okja is going to Cannes

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