Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Why I Love Jake Gyllenhaal: Top 5 Films

Ahead of the double whammy of Nightcrawler and Enemy, I thought I'd have a quick peek back at the fine work of Jake Gyllenhaal in his previous films. From the sound of things, Nightcrawler might just be his best yet but it will take something impressive to top this lot. He's worked with the likes of David Fincher and Ang Lee, shaved his head and gone boldly gay for a town still terrified of homosexuality. Here's my favourite performances of his 23 year career so far:

Update:  Here is my review of Nightcrawler

5. Zodiac

From political cartoonist to obsessed detective and author, Jake Gyllenhaal's character in David Fincher's strange serial killer flick loses everything, including his wife and kid. His determination is painstakingly captured by Fincher who commanded up to 90 takes to get the performance he wanted from the stressed out star.

4. Prisoners

This time playing a real detective and up against a seriously unhinged Hugh Jackman, Gyllenhaal still more than holds his own in Prisoners. Some might consider his constant blinking a bit of an obvious trait, but it adds a brilliantly nervous tension to a character who is caught up in a hideously tense case.

3. Donnie Darko

Gyllenhaal finally got a decent break as disturbed teen Donnie Darko after the abominable likes of Bubble Boy. Moody, dark and funny, Donnie became an instant icon of teen angst.

2. Brokeback Mountain


In a way, the late Heath Ledger had the easier role here. He was a repressed ball of rage, ready to lock down his homosexuality into a dark hole within himself. Gyllenhaal had to be the believable gay cowboy; the guy that was open to his feelings and willing to take a chance with another man.

1. End of Watch

David Ayer's film is a blistering found footage cop thriller set on the mean streets of LA. Gyllenhaal is our guide; a cocksure cop hitting on Anna Kendrick while catching the bad guys on camera. His banter with Michael Pena is awesome, his swagger and bravado only brought down by the gut wrenching finale.

What are your favourite Jake Gyllenhaal performances?

My review of Nightcrawler
More lists from I Love That Film
Reviews at I Love That Film
Trailers at I Love That Film
Please buy my book on The Blair Witch Project

PS Here is the trailer for Nightcrawler which looks like a whole bag of awesome: