Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Jake's back - and he's got Reese with him!

Jake's been gone from public view for over a month and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's missed him. Well, our wait is at an end and, after all these months, the latest, much longed for picture of Jake is also, rather ironically, that never before achieved photo of Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon together. This time they're actually in the same car and, in my opinion, that's a relief. This post has now been edited to add more photos, courtesy of IHeartJake - and it is good to see Jake and Reese smiling and sharing a joke (click and they shall be bigger). The observant ones at DC have pointed out that these pictures are from two separate occasions - different cars. Well spotted!

On Monday, according to TMZ, Reese picked Jake up from his Hollywood house and then drove them both to her Brentwood home. So glad to see you Jake! You're looking good!

Pictures from IHJ and TMZ.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Jake - don't put me in a box

Over the last day, we've had a good chat here about Jake Gyllenhaal's role choices, which probably isn't suprising as I think we're all eager to find out what's next for such a versatile actor. That made me think about what Jake is like when he wants a role and what will he do to get it? For clues, I looked to Jake's words and those of his directors, Ang Lee and Sam Mendes, both of whom, as did David Fincher, had Jake in mind for their respective projects, although they needn't necessarily have told him that. Fun and games.

So first to Brokeback Mountain and Ang Lee tells us that he cast Jake first for the role and did not audition Jake and Heath together; he didn't need to see any chemistry between Jake and Heath before casting Heath Ledger opposite his 'romantic lead'. The first time that Ang, Jake and Heath all met together was in a LA restaurant. When asked how he knew that they would have chemistry, Ang replied: 'I just imagined they were a good couple. I cast Heath very much as the short story required. I did something quite different with Jake. In the novel, he is even stronger, bulkier, shorter, very rough. Jake, of course, is more like a city boy. I think he is a good romantic lead, and I think he is a good counterpart to Heath. I cast Jake first and then Heath. I was hoping I would meet somebody like Heath. As soon as I met Heath I imagined they would be a good match for a romantic love story.'

Ang comments on how different Heath and Jake are as actors: 'they are pretty opposite. I think Heath is very methodic. I don't usually ask them. They don't have to tell me, they just understand what I tell them. When I see something I like, that's all that counts. What they use, how they get there—I never bother them. I guess Heath has a very meticulous way of approaching the character, because from take to take there is not a lot of difference. It's not like he pre-programmed it. He would respond, but he set himself in a certain zone that seemed to me pre-determined, and he kept refining it. Jake on the other hand was more free style. Every take he would have a wide variety, [but] with an understanding of what the scene was about, what the character develops. He'll respond differently. In a way, I think it's good, because Heath is really the anchor for that Western mood. So, it's good he's reliable and always that way. Very subtle changes. Jake, I sometimes had to remind him that innocence is on his side. As a young actor they are scary good, but they can forget that innocence is on their side. [If] they are too skillful, they are too good, they take away some of the innocence. So, basically just remind them.' Jake has said in the past that there were times when he didn't know what Ang expected from him and one suspects Jake may have felt a little lost and lonely in Ang's process of direction by osmosis.

Ang also says this: ' It never occurred to me that female fans, girls—what would happen to their careers.' I find that odd, I must say, that he didn't think that women would fall for his cowboys.

Jake had a far more difficult time winning the role of Swoff in Jarhead - it took four months before he even heard if he'd been successful or not, despite Jake's succession of midnight calls to the Mendes household (I believe Jake and Kate Winslet are still friends...). The fact that Jake made no attempt to disguise his eagerness to win the role seems to have counted in his favour, as Sam Mendes says: 'I am probably launching a whole series of midnight phone calls to me when an actor wants to play a role, but it does make a huge difference to a director to know that an actor is willing to go the distance. And they are willing to push themselves to the limit. And that’s what happened with Jake. He had let me know how badly he wanted it, and how hard he was willing to work for it... It was a pleasure to work with him. Apparently I made Jake wait four months to hear from me before I gave him the part. It wasn’t deliberate. I wasn’t being cruel. But I think one of the things that I was worried about is that we all know Jake as soft and puppyish, sensitive and fluffy-haired. But he became a tough young marine. Yes, he was innocent. And yes, he had to be accessible. But he had to be angry, frustrated and difficult… I had never seen Jake do all that before.'

'soft and puppyish, sensitive and fluffy-haired' - not much of that on show in Jarhead.

Jake told the UK's The Independent, in the comfort of a suite at the Dorchester, in the first days of 2006, why he had to do Brokeback Mountain: 'My agenda is to tell stories that I care about and that move me. And those were two stories that moved me. I didn't go, 'Oh, if I do Brokeback Mountain, it's not gonna put me in a box.' I'm crying after I finished the script and I'm, like, 'I will do anything to do this movie.'' Jake also talks about how terrible his initial audition for Jarhead was: 'I did a really bad job. And then I got ugly. Then I got really upset... I didn't punch him in the face or anything, but I would have if he hadn't given me the part... Ultimately, it was just my passion for it - calling him up in the middle of the night and telling him that and letting him know.' Neither role was mainstream: 'For me, growing up as a teenager was more like struggling with, y'know, identity in general, just who I was. I could very easily in the way I was feeling be talking to a big rabbit [as in Donnie Darko] and maybe I could be having an affair with an older woman [The Good Girl]. Those topics were more realistic.'

The Guardian in October 2005 reported on Jake's success with directors Ang Lee, Sam Mendes and John Madden [Proof]. Sam saw Jake acting in London in This is our Youth: 'I don't think I had realised until I saw him on stage how masculine he was,' recalls Mendes. 'He's a big guy, and he has the combination of soulfulness and "man of action" I was looking for. Also, he's very accessible. His face is accessible. His soul is accessible.' Madden says of Jake: 'He's got a very instinctive, unusual, loose kind of talent,' and so cast him in a role originally intended for an older actor.

In addition to learning that Jake starred in a home version of Cats, directed by Maggie, we also hear that Madden ''had auditioned a lot of people for Proof'. In London, Paltrow and Madden gave him his 'sides' from a crucial scene and, as Madden recalls, 'he nailed it. He was free with us, and as soon as we finished reading one very long scene he wanted to go back and read it again - and different things came out.'' Ang had decided to 'go with young and innocent and rely on their acting - because there's something about youth and the lack of knowledge that I think is the best part of the material. Heath Ledger is a natural cowboy, ranchhand type, and that's very quiet. And the other person should be more talkative, on the verge of being a city boy, but with all the open, romantic character in him - and very smart, of course.'

Sam Mendes recalls, 'I felt like he had not been stretched at all as an actor, but he was ready to be. And just meeting him, he was desperate to be punished on some level - made to feel things that he'd never felt before. You could say that he probably felt he's had it ... not easy, but not that difficult in his young acting life. Because, you know, he entered at a young age, and he's a goodlooking boy, and he's got showbiz family and all that kind of stuff, and he's come up sensing that that was always where he was going to go. But he felt, on some level, that he hadn't earned it. And he wanted to earn it. He wanted to work, and he wanted to explore himself. And I couldn't be more excited about the performance he gives.' Jake said that working on Jarhead was 'lifechanging.... Because I've worked with directors a lot who thought I was a certain thing and fit me into that box, you know. And Sam wasn't like that at all. And Ang is, though I hate the word, an auteur. The last two movies I shot, though I didn't know it at the time, were really about loneliness - and what you find in the loneliest of places. Plains and mountains that go on forever, deserts that are hot and dry with nothing growing ... and go on forever. That's why I gravitated toward them, I suppose.'

'Some movies you fall a step behind, and some you stay in the same place, make the same choices. And then sometimes there are people who know more than you but show you, and that's the maximum you can hope for - doing that with someone who says, "I like you for what you are, and I want you to be in my picture." I didn't have to fake it or put on a mask - all the resources I had inside me were more than adequate. I don't want to pretend to be something ... I'm not pretending any more to fit somebody's mould. That's a longwinded statement but - why not do what you really think, even if it's a mistake?'

Final word - how rumours catch fire

By way of contrast, I thought I'd also look at a good example of one of those rumours regarding Jake's 'next project' and how it spiralled out of control. The rumour was Captain Marvel and here discussing this case of 'celebrity arson' is screenwriter John August: 'It’s frustrating how in the digital age, random speculation turns to fact in about .003 seconds. And once it starts, it’s like a tire fire: any attempt to extinguish it merely creates a lot more smoke. Since it’s impossible to put the conflagration out, we can at least try to figure out how this case of celebrity arson began. My hunch is that it was a combination of factors:

1. The announcement that I got hired to write the movie.
2. The Captain Marvel illustrations that ran with the story, leading to questions of, “Who does that look like?”
3. Gyllenhaal’s recent visibility in Zodiac.
4. Jake’s sister Maggie being hired for the new Batman.
5. Recent trailers and leaked photos from Spider-Man 3, re-igniting… the old rumor that Jake Gyllenhaal was replacing Tobey Maguire.

'Amplifying all of these factors is what I call the Sticky Celebrity Constant: associating a recognizable star with a concept makes it exponentially more interesting.'

As far as John August was aware, Jake never knew of these rumours although, of course, should there have been a list of desired cast members, Jake's name would certainly have been on it - right at the top. Pictures of Jake as superhero Donnie Darko seem appropriate here.

Includes pictures from IHJ. I have replaced all of the pictures and so I hope this has solved the bug with this post.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Here we go again... Jake to play Broadway Joe?

In the absence of holidaying Jake, it's become harder keeping up with the rumours surrounding 'the next project' - the result of wishful thinking, perhaps? The latest rumour is in today's New York Post: Jake Gyllenhaal is Paramount Pictures' favourite to play Joe Namath in the story of the life and career of this New York Jets player.

At this point, you'll have to bear with me as my only knowledge of American football is David Beckham and that might not be quite the same thing. I do know that these photos of Jake are of him playing a different but equally mysterious sport. So I've done some basic research, and I can inform the better informed that Joe Namath (aka Broadway Joe for a reason I cannot fathom) played most of his career for the New York Jets, he modelled women's underwear in commercials with Farah Fawcett, he wore full length fur coats by the side of the football pitch, and he was fit, muscular, beloved, good-humoured, a hard drinker and a ladies' dream. We've heard rumours of Jake playing a sporty hero before - rumours that dragged and dragged - and this may well be no different but it supports the general widely held belief that when it comes to the portrayal of physical, athletic heroes, you can do no better than Jake. Of course, that doesn't mean Jake wants to do it...

As the NYP says: 'If you ever saw Jake as the Marine in "Jarhead," you know he can bulk up impressively. He can look like a star quarterback. And he is a terrific actor.' I hope the film, should it happen, skips over this phase of Joe's career:

Rendition gets better and better

Thanks very much to a WDW reader for pointing out this little Rendition treat to me. According to someone who has seen a Rendition previewer, Jake's characeter Douglas is no Robert Graysmith - there's a 'make-out scene, not full on sex scene...it's like the second or third scene in the movie. Jake wakes up, shirtless and sweaty, goes to find his hot woman (I honestly don't remember if she even had a name? Regardless, she's Moroccan and really hot) who has just gotten out of the shower, and is wearing just a towel. They exchange some sort of pleasantries, then he pulls her against him, up against the bathroom door. They start kissing, and he runs his hand up under her towel just under her ass, lifting her thigh up and just barely around him, and they make out.'

Yes, you heard right, shirtless and sweaty. Let me say that again - shirtless and sweaty. The baseball photos seem apt for this story as well.

Off topic

A few days ago The Good Girl was on UK TV and a comment was made here about how talented Good Girl actress Zooey Deschanel is. Some people may be aware that I have a thing about penguins and I'm looking forward to the new animation Surf's Up. It turns out that Zooey is (at least her voice is) one of the penguins. In an article in yesterday's Daily Mail, Zooey reflects on her starry childhood. It seems that 'From the age of five, she attended Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, a private school in Santa Monica favoured by show-business families, alongside such classmates as Kate Hudson and Jake Gyllenhaal.'

Pictures from here, here and IHJ.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Jake and Reese help keep Rendition budget down

This year Hollywood studios are producing a number of movies that tackle the serious subject of the international world of terrorism. The two that spring most readily to mind are Angelina Jolie's A Mighty Heart and, of course, Jake Gyllenhaal's Rendition. There are also to be several films on the war in Iraq. These recurring themes have given the studios a headache - how to package them to audiences and how to market them and make them distinct. A consensus is don't try to disguise the nature of the content. This is also a convenient excuse to repost my current favourite picture - I hope we soon have more.

There was an article in Variety yesterday, which discusses this subject and includes quotes from Russell Schwartz who is responsible, it seems, for marketing Rendition for New Line. Interestingly, he points out that both Jake and Reese Witherspoon reduced their fees to keep the budget of the film under $30 million. This suggests to me that both actors believed in the film they were making and had faith in its message. Schwartz also 'admits the fusillade of war movies hitting screens is a concern. The studio is still fine-tuning its strategy, but plans a mid-October bow to avoid the competish. "We wanted to get ours out sooner, rather than later," Schwartz says. "I don't envision it a platform, and I don't envision opening it on 3,000" screens.'

The Joker gets the girl

A new photo has been released for The Dark Knight and is one of the few photos we have of Heath Ledger and Maggie together - although, admittedly, neither look quite at their best!

Includes pictures from JJ and Out Now.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Here's a story about a boy named Jake

There's no doubt - Jake Gyllenhaal is an inspirational figure. I discovered more evidence of this indisputable fact today when I happened across the music of young Brit Amy MacDonald. The debut album of this young singer and composer from Glasgow is the album of the week on two shows on national Radio 2 and is receiving attention in the wider media. The album This Is The Life is released on July 30 and one song, LA, is dedicated to Jake.

In an interview in The Sun newspaper, Amy says of Jake "People think I’m some sort of celebrity-obsessed loon, but he is my favourite actor and the song says you can make your dreams come true." The lyrics describe how even though she has only seen his face on the screen and only heard his voice utter words from a script, she wants to follow him and he can help her to realise her dreams. You can listen to part of this song, and others on the album, at Amy's Myspace. Lots of other information about Amy, including videos can also be found there and at Amy's website.

Reading about Amy, she says that one of her influences is the Guillemots, another of those bands Jake's made no secret of liking. The legend goes that Jake actually requested a meeting with them and, about a year ago, Jake was seen at one of their concerts in New York. I cannot rave enough about the Guillemots - I've seen them in concert and it was one of the best nights I've had out - at a students union so I thought I'd drink a lot in order to fit in with all the youngsters.

The Guillemots played at the Glastonbury Mud Bath this year and were interviewed for the Glastonbury website. And this is what they said of their famous fan: "F.D. [singer Fyfe Dangerfield]: Jake Gyllenhaal was nice. Very shy. Didn’t seem like a movie star in his hoodie… G.S. [Drummer Greig Stewart]: …But he did have a girl with him. F.D.: And he was very cool. He told us he sang along to our songs in his car… Strange." I think that the girl was probably Kirsten as she is also a fan of the band and they have attended Guillemot gigs together. I regularly sing along to the Guillemots in my car and I find nothing strange in that at all! Check out their website - it's... imaginative.

The trouble with Sherry

Today is the 27 July, meaning SherryBaby opens in some, but not all, cinemas across the UK. Already, this film is being called the film that many will miss. The Daily Mail praises Maggie's performance as a career best but says: 'The best new film of the week will also be the least commercially successful. It's humane, intelligent and beautifully acted, so it has little chance of surviving long. Catch it while you can.' The paper also says that this may be a hard film to watch if it weren't for Maggie. Great praise indeed.

Includes pictures from IHJ.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Brokeback Mountain on Broadway? And Venice says no to Rendition

What with all this talk and speculation (without an end in sight) about Jake Gyllenhal treading the boards, it should have come as no surprise to me to hear this rumour: Brokeback Mountain the Musical. But to say that it made me gasp out loud and almost choke on my Dairy Milk chocolate would be an understatement. And then I heard who is being associated with the roles and that made me almost throw myself into the English floods - X-Men Hugh Jackman (Ennis Del Mar) and James Marsden (Jack Twist). Marsden is currently starring in the new version of Hairspray while Jackman has already been awarded a Tony for his singing in The Boy From Oz. At the moment it's not known for sure if the project will be a play or musical but the singing talents of both actors have prompted the opinion that it will indeed be a musical.

What springs to my mind is how on earth will the mountain be given its power and breadth on a stage? How can they possibly contrast the small towns and the small rooms with the wide open space of the mountain? And Ennis Del Mar singing? There are too many hows for me in this project and, I know I'm biased, but will I ever be able to accept two other men calling each other Jack and Ennis?

Venice says no to Rendition

The other surprising news today is that Venice Film Festival announced its list of films today and unexpectedly Rendition was not on it. I suppose this now means a concentration of effort in Toronto in September. The Venice festival will present Ang Lee's Chinese thriller Lust, Caution, not to mention 32 spaghetti westerns.

SherryBaby cut for the skies - UK trailer

SherryBaby reaches British cinemas tomorrow and the UK trailer has just become available. You can watch it here. Apparently, Maggie has announced her disapproval with British Airways because she has heard that they have cut the sex scenes from the film. I'm afraid, on this occasion I don't agree with Maggie. I would have thought that the advantages of having this film publicised in the skies far outweighs any scene cuts - after all, these are planes not theatres and not everything is suitable for all passengers. Better that they show the film without the sex than remove it all together for its content. I sympathise with Maggie's view that this would 'drastically change' the film but it's my experience that watching a film on a plane often spurs me to watch it properly when I'm on the ground and not shaking in my boots.

The reviews for SherryBaby are being published thick and fast and are almost entirely complimentary - to the film and to Maggie's great skill. One review caught my attention today. Sherrybaby is featured in an article in the Guardian about the films that make you cry. In the words of the reviewer: 'Here at Film Weekly, we'll stick to our old-school indie guns and look at Sherrybaby, which is a New York indie film par excellence. Maggie Gyllenhaal is great as a single mom coming out of jail and off heroin to pick up the pieces of her misspent teen life, the largest piece being her four-year-old daughter. I talk to the film's director, Laurie Collyer, who sounds as if the struggles of getting somewhere on the indie scene are getting her down a bit. Still, she offers fascinating insights and lots of hope for anyone wanting to get a film going - if you write a good enough script, the stars will come (especially if they're still young enough to take risks and take their clothes off). I like Sherrybaby a lot. And I cried.'

Last words

Jessica Alba is single, having just split with longterm partner Cash Warren. Cosmopolitan asked her who she had her eye on and she replied: "I would have to say Johnny Depp, Michael Caine... Morgan Freeman, and Jake Gyllenhaal." With the exception of one name on this list, I'd like to congratulate Jessica on her excellent taste in men.

By the way, I have no knowledge of many of Hollywood's ladies and I thought Eva Mendez below was Jessica Alba - she sure looks like her to my untrained eye. Thanks to Jantoinette for putting the right name to the right lady. But I'll leave these up anyway as they look a lovely pair ;D

Includes pictures from IHJ.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Jake on the stage and what's in a name?

I discovered today that our wait to discover whether Jake Gyllenhaal will appear in the play Farragut North is going to be longer than we had anticipated. I received an update from Second Stage Theatre and this is what it said: 'WINTER 2008, FARRAGUT NORTH by BEAU WILLIMON - Hot-shot press secretary Stephen Myers is at the top of his game with his candidate poised to take the presidential nomination. As primaries commence in Iowa, Stephen's world unravels when colleagues become competition, lovers become liabilities and one election becomes his last hope of survival.'

Winter 2008, eh? At least that gives Jake time to do at least one film and one musical before this project gets going. I wonder what the reason for the delay is. It does make one think.

I was doing some furtling about after I heard this news and came across a play which was performed at the New York International Fringe Festival in August 2005 which was called 'Sex with Jake Gyllenhaal'. Well, I never. Written by Anthony Giunta and directed by Mark Harborth, the comedy explored "how the search for love often ends up like a bad train trip with missed connections and delayed departures." All parts were performed by a cast of four: Jason Alan Caine, Tara D'Antonio, Oliver Ralli and Laura Walczak. Not surprisingly, this got me thinking about how the writer could be so knowledgeable about sex with Jake Gyllenhaal. So I turned to a review: 'Sex With Jake Gyllenhaal... and other fables of the Northeast Corridor has received quite a bit of FringeNYC buzz based on its catchy title. However, the play is not about Jake Gyllenhaal, or his sex life. In fact, Jake Gyllenhaal is only mentioned in the show once, and briefly at that. Yet, just as US magazine devotes several pages a week to the on-again off-again relationship between Gyllenhaal and actress Kirsten Dunst, Anthony Giunta’s play explores the ups and downs faced in the search for true love.'

'Through a series of vignettes, spanning the years from 1962 to 2019, the play creates several self-contained stories about relationships and the inherent human desire for connection. The stories range from a woman reuniting with her grade school crush, to a woman who shares her secrets with a model on a billboard, to a gaggle of geese flying south for the winter.'

The lesson here would be that, if you want lots of people to watch your play, call it 'Sex with Jake Gyllenhaal'.

What's in a name?

We've been having a discussion in the comments here lately about the name 'Gyllenhaal' and bemoaning the fact that the presenter on the UK's Film 4 last night introduced two films as part of a Gyllenhaal night without bothering to find out how to pronounce the name. I know that I am constantly correcting my non-enlightened friends, although I fear this has something to do with their love of winding me up and making me shout Gyll-en-haal at the top of my voice in crowded pubs...

So, for the benefit of this misguided and ill-informed presenter, this is a link to Jake's lesson on how to say his name. I think Jake has (or had?) more patience with this ignorance and rudeness than I do. The picture of Jake below - showing that the Bubble Boy suit was as heavy as it looked - dates from the around the same time at this interview clip.

For all those interested in family history (I knew I'd get my father interested in WDW somehow), this is where the Gyllenhaal name comes from. To sum up, the first known use of the Swedish name Gyllenhaal was in 1652 when Nils Gunnesson Haal was ennobled Gyllenhaal by Queen Christina. The Haal or Hahl element of the name was possible associated with agriculture (or hares). The noble term 'gyllen' was also used as the prefix golden and was used to praise brave and noble soldiers.

Bringing the story through to the 21st century and the most famous - I think that's fair to say - branch of the Gyllenhaal family, have you ever wondered why Jake's mother Naomi Foner finally adopted the Gyllenhaal surname? Apparently, Naomi took on the name as a 25th wedding anniversary present to her husband Stephen. In this interesting article, Naomi discusses the meaning of a name - not literally in this case - but as a tool of power in Hollywood. In the past, Naomi's children received respect in Hollywood because of their mother's name Foner. But now the tides have turned and Naomi also realises that the huge success of her children has brought new 'value' to the name Gyllenhaal. Naomi's pride in her children shines through her words in this interview and also, the interviewer notes, in her eyes as Jake walks through the room.

Includes pictures from IHJ.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

It's a busy night for the Gyllenhaals

Tonight I am faced with a host of Gyllenhaal choices - more of that below - but it can't have escaped your attention that today is 24 July - a most anticpated date for some of us. It seemed like we were made to wait for Zodiac forever, with all those delays without explanation. And the wait for the Zodiac trailer... the only wait that's seeming longer is that for the Rendition trailer. But now all that is in the past (for Zodiac anyway), because today the DVD (barebones as it is) is out in the US. This release has been accompanied by a whole fanfair of reviews, some of which have been critical but many more have positively raved about the film and are looking ahead with more excitement to the release of the all-singing and all-dancing edition, possibly in the New Year.

So I've been looking around at some of the reviews and enjoying this spotlight upon Jake Gyllenhaal, because he surely deserves it. For instance, Chicago's Daily Herald says: 'Fincher abandons the look-at-me camera tricks and pyrotechnics that have marred his previous films... and lets himself disappear into the story. The result is a stripped-down but elegant narrative that mesmerizes for the film's full 2¨ hours. The three lead actors - Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Jake Gyllenhaal - are similarly low-key in their performances, and all the more effective for it. "Zodiac" resembles the morally complicated cop movies of the 1970s; it's an absolute must-see.'

Blogcritics Magazine says of the 'criminally ignored' Zodiac: 'The procedural form of the narrative doesn't allow for the visual kinetics that are something of a trademark in Fincher's films. However, that does not mean that this is a bland looking film — this is Fincher doing mainstream, which is better than mainstream. There is still room for some visual flourishes, and he even makes a static shot of a conversation interesting to watch... Despite the lack of outside touches, this is a movie that delivers the goods. It is an engrossing twist on the serial killer genre. It is highlighted by a tight script, effective editing, and good performances. This is another winner for David Fincher, and a fascinating look at the way a life can be consumed with the search for the truth, and the procedures employed in that search, a personal procedural, if you will. Methodically paced, but never slow, despite the lack of gunfights, car chases, and explosions, creating a more intellectual journey.'

The Toronto Star says of Fincher: 'A fan-boy fave ever since he edged up the serial killer genre with Se7en and nailed cubicle-culture nihilism with Fight Club, Fincher has made his most assured, intelligent and resonant work with Zodiac. And while the apparent maturity may cost him his geek base and some initial box-office action, it bodes well for those who miss movies that lure you into darkness and slowly close the door.' Interestingly enough, the San Francisco Chronicle itself is little affected: 'David Fincher's dramatization of an infamous unsolved serial murder case certainly doesn't drag on as long as the investigation itself, but the overlong movie sometimes feels like it.'

In a new interview, Robert Graysmith describes how he felt during the reality of one of the film's most frightening moments, which will now affect how I view it. I won't describe that here as I know not everyone will have seen Zodiac yet and are waiting for their copies. But I will highlight his description of his next project: 'I've got on my screen right now Shooting Zodiac which is those three years I followed David Fincher around taking his picture and all that. It's an odd choice for a book. Usually, they do something as they're filming. Well, my book actually ends before they film anything. It's just simply them writing the script and all their adventures and becoming obsessed with the case. Also, trying to convince the studio to make this film. It simply ends with, "We've been greenlit, we're making the film." I love that. It's simply three Hollywood detectives. I think it really gets down to that.' It seems as if Zodiac will remain Robert's lifelong obsession.

In a previous interview, Robert Graysmith described the different approaches of Zodiac's actors: 'Now I spent a few days with Jake Gyllenhaal (who plays Graysmith in the film) – he was just off of filming Jarhead, and his cell phone was all scratched up from being dropped in the sand so much. Now, I think he must act a lot internally, because I never told him I was a Boy Scout., but that's in the film. But anyway, he's so different from Mark Ruffalo, and from Downey too. They really got three different kinds of actors. But Jake, he isn't doing an impersonation, although somehow they got the same clothes I used to wear, the same car -- not the exact one, but the same make and model, and even the license plate number... So one of the things is that Ruffalo, he's a very good actor – he plays Inspector Toschi, who's been my friend for many years. And Ruffalo, he is Toschi all the way, it gets a little annoying after awhile, because he is Toschi, he's got the hair and everything. But one of the things he doesn't have is Toschi's way with a gun. So he's got this one scene where he's supposed to cock this gun expertly and do something with it. And Ruffalo just couldn't get it. So they only shot him from here up (indicates his chest), and they dub in the sound of the gun cocking. That's the only way that scene was ever gonna get done. So you've got Downey who transcends the physical, and Jake who does everything internally, and then you've got Ruffalo who is Toschi. So it's a good mix.'

When I see the below picture of Jake and Robert Graysmith from the New York screening of Zodiac, I find myself thinking that Jake can't help himself from reverting to character when beside this man.

Today is Gyllenhaal Night on UK TV

I'm faced with a dilemma tonight - I'm more than ready to settle down with the wine and chocolates to wallow in all 2 hours and 38 minutes of Zodiac, but the UK's Film 4 has decided to coincide the DVD's release (I feel unintentionally), with a Gyllenhaal night! This begins at 9pm with The Good Girl, which is followed at 10.45pm by Secretary. Finally, at 12.50am there is a brief programme in which Maggie discusses SherryBaby. At least one site, has started to associate Maggie's performance in SherryBaby with an Oscar nomination - I fear this is wishful thinking.

This has given me the opportunity to continue my selection of photos of Jake at premiere events and screenings! Here we have Jake and Jennifer Aniston at screenings of The Good Girl in Hollywood and at Sundance, both in 2002. The photographs with Maggie are from the New York premiere of Secretary.

Talking of The Good Girl, here is a video from The Today Show in which Jake, fresh from filming Moonlight Mile, discusses working with Jennifer, and what it was like to walk into a room and people think you unbalanced. And if you want to hear Jake tell you how to pronounce his name, this is the perfect video for that. He concludes with Dustiin Hoffmann's advice, "You're good but you've got to get better. Get on stage". Of course, that is exactly what Jake did and we are reaping the benefits of that with Zodiac and, no doubt, Rendition.

Includes pictures from IHJ.