Jake Gyllenhaal is an actor of immense ability and talent, this is undisputed but he has never really been recognised by the academy…until now it would seem. I am aware that the Oscar nominations aren’t done until January and so this is nothing but hearsay and hope but the general consensus is that Jake’s portrayal of boxer Billy Hope in Southpaw is worthy of such. For me Jake’s acting ability has been showcased in his last two big screen outings in 2013’s Prisoners and last year’s Nightcrawler. Obviously he was recognized for a nomination back in 2005 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Brokeback Mountain. Something he should have potentially been nominated for again in 2013 as Detective Loki in Prisoners. The attention to detail in the character was second to none. Gyllenhaal has maybe not always made the best movie choices but this for me was the first step in what has become a charge for an inevitable Best Actor Academy Award.
If people are skeptical on my passion for his role in Prisoners which I can understand, then I’d like to draw them to my next example. Lou Bloom, the psychotic, work obsessed, nightcrawler from Nightcrawler. For me Jake Gyllenhaal should have replaced Bradley Cooper (for his portrayal of Chris Kyle in American Sniper) in the Best Actor category of last year’s awards. Not saying that he would have won the Oscar, because Eddie Redmayne was going to win from the second he was nominated, let’s be honest. But I think Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of Lou Bloom was seriously over looked. Anybody that has seen the film will know how oddly fascinating the character is. Gyllenhaal is almost unrecognisable as the skinny wierdo with a desire to get to the top of his field with no consideration for others. It was really one of the unsung heroes of last year’s cinematic smorgasbord.
Gyllenhaal has also recently turned his attention to hard hitting indie films. Accidental Love and Enemy respectively. If anybody reading this who is a fan of Gyllenhaal or shares my passion for his acting prowess absolutely must watch Enemy. From the first time I saw it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s a powerful film about a down on his luck man Adam who finds his doppelgänger whilst watching a movie, a guy called Anthony. Gyllenhaal plays both parts and it is mesmerizing. The two identical characters have such different mannerisms and it’s easy to differentiate between the characters. For me this was a significant stepping stone in the quest for the Best Actor nod. The film may not have the recognition of his other movies but it is an undeniable example of his acting ability.
So today, 24/07/2015, Southpaw comes hurtling to our screens. A hard hitting drama about a boxer who loses everything. I’d like to add at this junction that I haven’t seen Southpaw yet but I am going to see it on Monday and will write a follow up piece then. But until then all the build-up has been about Jake and his character Billy Hope and more specifically Hope’s relationship with his daughter. So by now we all know he’s acting ability is well up there with other Academy Award hopefuls but Gyllenhaal has undertaken a huge transformation for this role. The opposite to what he did for Nightcrawler, where he was rumoured to have dropped 30lbs, not only has he re-found those 30lbs but he’s reportedly added 15lbs of pure muscle on top to look like an out and out athlete. The Academy love a good transformation. Southpaw literally embodies blood, sweat and tears. The trailer is loaded with emotion and action and I for one cannot wait to see the finished article.
Not only has it got great talent on screen (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker etc) it also has immense talent behind the camera; Antoine Fuqua is in the director’s chair, previously directing Training Day. Kurt Sutter wrote the script, the writer of Sons of Anarchy has shown he has a knack for emotive story telling whilst sacrificing no action and holding no punches when it comes to making hard decisions for the sake of good story telling. So you know Southpaw is in very capable hands.
Southpaw is out now! #believeinHope #believeinGyllenhaal
Thanks for reading