Jake Gyllenhaal

Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal at the press conference for "Okja" at the Cannes Film Festival

Netflix is the new villain Cannes loves to hate

“Okja” is a novel twist on the big budget monster movie, but it was the studio behind it that first caught the audience’s attention at the festival

TIFF 2014 Diary: How do you like it so far?

Highlights from the first two days of the festival, including partying with Jake Gyllenhaal and diving into the latest Cronenberg

Villeneuve, Cronenberg and the two Jakes

With ‘Enemy,’ a Quebec auteur doubles down on Jake Gyllenhaal in a diabolical portrait of Toronto

Denis Villeneuve makes a stunning Hollywood debut with ‘Prisoners’

I was trapped in a movie called Prisoners yesterday, and like a good book that you can’t put down, it was a place I didn’t want to leave. This intense thriller is one of two TIFF entries that mark Denis Villeneuve’s double-barrelled English language debut—both starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The other is Enemy. While Enemy is a small Canadian film set in the existential wastelands of Toronto and Mississauga, Prisoners is a studio picture set in America’s heartland. It arrives at TIFF on a wave of positive momentum from the Venice festival. And it catapults Quebec’s hottest director into the major league of Hollywood directors. It’s an exceptionally dark and harrowing story about the abduction of two young girls—a grisly suspense picture that verges on horror. Gyllenhaal gives the performance of his career as a laconic, tight-wound police detective trying to crack the case; the same can be said of Hugh Jackman, who is scarily explosive as a father who abducts a mentally handicapped man initially linked to his daughter’s disappearance (Paul Dano). We are deep in David Fincher territory. As a genre clinician, Villeneuve shows he’s in Fincher’s class, yet achieves a more profound level of intimacy and gravitas. As a diabolical genre piece, his film recalls Silence of the Lambs and Fincher’s Zodiac. But its stark, wintry compositions also remind us that this is the director who dramatized the Montreal massacre in Polytechnique (2009). Occasionally I got lost in the labyrinthine plot twists, but at almost two-and-a-half hours there’s not an ounce of fat on its gripping narrative. From the opening scene of hunting venison for Thanksgiving—an grim echo of The Deerhunter set to the Lord’s Prayer—it begins a procedural descent into an American darkness of unquestioning faith and almost biblical violence. And if there’s any justice in that America, Villeneuve, who was Oscar-nominated for Incendies, should see his film score in major categories. A nomination for Jackman at least seems inevitable.

Sarah Gadon: this smart blonde didn’t let Cannes go to her head

The Canadian actress, cast in three Cronenberg films in a row, hates cutesy roles

Trapped on a train with Jake Gyllenhaal in Source Code

Film critic Brian Johnson calls Source Code an efficient, serviceable thriller

Opening Weekend: No Strings Attached, Incendies, The Company Men, The Way Back

Reitman and Villeneuve are both Canadian—but from different planets

Opening Weekend: Made In Dagenham, Love and Other Drugs, Faster, The Nutcracker in 3-D, Waste Land

Sally Hawkins and Rosamund Pike shine in a frustrating mix of heart and hokum


A romantic comedy—plus sex. Lots of it.

‘Love and Other Drugs’ mixes Viagra, rare chemistry and screwball satire


The r-word

The word “rendition” was thrown around a bit yesterday during Question Period, directly as a result of Friday night’s report from CBC. This is both a phrase loaded with implication and the title of a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon.