It must be odd to be Jake Gyllenhaal at the current moment. At least, if you're in his fan base and have the idea that he should have kept receiving Oscar nominations for his last few roles. There was last year's Nightcrawler, which many consider to have been snubbed at awards season. Then came this summer's boxing drama Southpaw: a film that was so hyped that it's almost embarrassing to mention its lack of traction. Up next is another turn, and one that may be more promising considering the talent involved. Today marks the release of the trailer for director Jean-Marc Vallee's Demolition, which shows the actor having a great time destroying houses and getting his life back together... or something like that.
It's interesting that Vallee has become one of those directors intricately associated with the Oscars. His debut Dallas Buyers Club earned Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto Oscars. His follow-up Wild, while not as recognized, earned Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern nominations as well. He seems to be hitting a good streak that shows he is capable of bringing out the best in his actors. While I am more divisive on his first feature, I do find that there's far more promising fodder in Wild that gives me hope that he is at very least an interesting director. He isn't a name that I necessarily am enthralled about yet, but he definitely holds promise.
Meanwhile, I do think that there's this odd cult forming around Gyllenhaal that I partially agree with. He's a great, underrated actor that has made some compelling films in recent years. I thought that Nightcrawler was really good. I haven't seen Southpaw, but the hype around the film's Oscar chances feels like perfect fodder for my Failed Oscars Campaign in a year or two, provided that Harvey Weinstein doesn't have any last ditch efforts. I do think that he is more than deserving of eventual recognition, though I am not sure if it will come this year. The only catch is that Vallee's track record has been strongly in the acting fields, so anything is possible.
Check out the trailer below:
Looks entertaining. Here's the plot according to IMDb:
A successful investment banker struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash.
Sounds simple enough. From the looks of it, this may not be as challenging as his other films, which were noteworthy examples of an actor changing in weight significantly. More than any other gimmick, that is one of the most assured ways of getting recognition. Here, he looks fairly normal for what Gyllenhaal normally looks like. I think that he definitely has plenty of personality and the plot looks to be pretty heavy on comedy. If anything, I'm curious to see Vallee break away from his current dramatic style, which could allow him to form more of a personality. Don't get me wrong, I like Wild. I just want to see him do something that is a little more fun. At least, that's what I get out of the Demolition trailer.