Tuesday, January 30, 2018
A late start
It's a new year, and I think it's past time for a new post. Too much to catch up on since last time, so let's make it simple with some outtakes from the recent NY Times Jake interview.
The interview seemed like part of a last-minute, fruitless push for Jake and Stronger to get some awards traction. Like most of the promotion for Stronger, it didn't do much.
A shame, because the movie and Jake deserved so much more. As many people agreed.
Eric D. Snider Verified account @EricDSnider
Just realizing Jake Gyllenhaal isn't nominated for Best Actor. I haven't seen the Denzel movie, but I know Jake's performance was better.
David Gordon Green’s “Stronger” was an acting powerhouse that could’ve made any of its performers a nominee this year, from Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role to Tatiana Maslany and Miranda Richardson.
Dear Academy: Don't overlook these great performances
First and foremost, there are a few contenders that seemed strong coming into the season, but have somehow been all but forgotten. Take Jake Gyllenhaal in “Stronger.” Here is one of the year’s most critically acclaimed films (93% on Rotten Tomatoes), dealing in a well-worn, Oscar-friendly genre (a biopic centered on a disabled person who beats the odds), featuring another great turn from an actor who has delivered a number of awards-caliber performances lately that have gone unrecognized by the Academy (“Prisoners,” “Nightcrawler,” “End of Watch”). What’s it going to take to put his name on the ballot?
But let's not get bogged down. 2018 got off to a strong start for Jake, as Wildlife premiered at Sundance to very good reviews.
Carey Mulligan got most of the heat, but Jake's turn was lauded, as well.
Los Angeles Times
An exceptionally sensitive portrait of a marriage headed off the rails, beautifully acted by Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal and impeccably directed by actor Paul Dano.
Kenneth Turan again
Yeah, there are two others that I really liked. One is called "Wildlife." It's the first directing for Paul Dano. He's an actor who people will probably remember from "Little Miss Sunshine." He played the young Brian Wilson in "Love & Mercy." He's taken a Richard Ford novel - this is a novel about a marriage kind of slowly falling apart. The co-stars are Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal. It just was a pleasure to experience this film.
Paul Dano, in his directorial debut, stages an artfully deliberate small-town saga, with Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal as haunted parents.
Jerry is a man who likes his beer, and though we never see him flat-out drunk, Gyllenhaal gives him the self-pitying short fuse of an alcoholic; he’s like a Don Draper who never made it to the city. Jerry blames everyone else for his problems, and he has too much misplaced pride to even take his job back when it’s offered to him.
The Film Stage
Gyllenhaal’s role may be minor, but his missing presence is certainly felt, and when his inexorable return occurs, and the cards are laid on the table, his brings an unexpected ferocity. In fact, so much so that the climax can feel rushed compared to the patient touch Dano had previously built up.
The New Yorker
I like Gyllenhaal better here than in his showier roles. He hasn’t completely figured out Jerry, which I mean as a high compliment — Gyllenhaal sometimes pins his characters down too much. The key is that Jerry hasn’t figured himself out. He wanted to be a pro golfer, he wanted to be a big man, and he has shrunk to nothing in his own eyes. Seizing on the job of a faceless auxiliary firefighter living in tents alongside other men (many of them long jobless) is a way of burning off his ego as a start for reinventing himself. He works wonderfully with Oxenbould, who’s the opposite of your standard coming-of-age juvenile.
The Young Folks
Based on the synopsis, I was expecting Gyllenhaal’s presence to be minimal but was pleasantly surprised to find how much of the film he’s in. His earnest portrayal of a down-on-his-luck father and husband led by his pride is interesting and heartfelt.
I liked Paul Dano’s WILDLIFE a lot, even if it often feels self-consciously cautious and controlled. Mulligan and Gyllenhaal both excellent; Ed Oxenbould even better.
Nick Johnston @onlysaysficus
WILDLIFE: Oscillated between poles on this one while watching, but it’s ultimately a heartbreaking portrait of the collapse of a family. Dano’s got skills, especially with his actors and his staging. #Sundance18
Also Mulligan is brilliantly upsetting, and one scene with Gyllenhaal and his kid made me shed tears. “Grown men love each other, too.”
WILDLIFE is so quietly devastating. Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ed Oxenbould are pitch-perfect. Paul Dano is not only one of my favorite actors today, but now one of the most exciting directors. #Sundance18
WILDLIFE stunning debut! Paul Dano filmmaker is also great. A hard but very well written drama of a family falling to pieces, emotional and very powerful. Jake Gyllenhaal Super but my girlfriend Carey Mulligan is extraordinary! The best of #Sundance now 👌🏼
Man.Paul Dano’s #Wildlife. Beautiful. Jake Gyllenhall & *Carey Mulligan* supreme. A film about many things, but perhaps central: what no ££ does to relationships, families... and yet .. how wealth gilds over disconnect. Ambiguous enough to leave hope ✅
(Photo Credit Bryan Derballa for The New York Times)