All posts tagged: Jake Gyllenhaal

Standout Performances of the Year

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite performances of the year based on what films and television shows I watched in 2014. What performances stood out to you this year? Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up) → Although Get on Up had its flaws, Chadwick Boseman’s performance as James Brown was practically flawless. I believe he deserves an Oscar nomination, but unfortunately that’s not likely to happen. Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) → Ralph Fiennes is delightful as Mr. Gustave H. I could watch The Grand Budapest Hotel an infinite amount of times and never get tired of his dapper and charming character. Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”) → Kevin Spacey is Kevin Spacey, so he’s basically amazing in anything and everything, but there’s something special about his role as Frank Underwood. When he breaks the fourth wall and talks to you in that smooth southern accent, it’s awfully scary and spectacular. Reese Witherspoon (Wild) → Reese Witherspoon is a great actress and truly takes the audience somewhere deep and personal in Wild. Matthew McConaughey (“True Detective”) → Rust Cohle is possibly the most dark …

‘Prisoners’: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

A few weeks ago I saw Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard and Melissa Leo. The trailer was very well done and I had high hopes for something truly terrifying and thrilling. What I found, instead, was a complete contradiction. On the one hand, Prisoners is particularly well done – shot spectacularly in a starkly beautiful location with a great cast and performances. On the other hand, it’s long. Far too long. And it plays with drama the way a Lifetime or Hallmark movie would. But because I was a production undergrad and understand what it’s like to put your heart and soul into a project, it’s difficult for me to sit down and write a scathing review. The only movie that was bad enough for me to review “meanly” was Joshua Michael Stern’s Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher (read my review here). But after watching Prisoners, I left the theater confused. I expected something so wonderful, but what I discovered fell flat. Because Prisoners redeems itself in some ways, I …