Jake Gyllenhaal is being honoured at the Dubai Festival this week. As you know, as we’ve seen, Jake’s career choices over the last few years, ever since he decided to redirect out of Prince Of Persia, have been exceptional. He has delivered one outstanding performance after another. And he could have totally been nominated for an Oscar last year for his work in Nightcrawler. If it were me, I would have put in Jake over Bradley Cooper in American Sniper. If it were me, I’d put him in there over Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant. Just wait before you start yelling. To me Leo’s best work comes when he has to relate to people. Jakey vs Leo in The Great Gatsby. Two poser outcasts trying desperately to fit in to a society that doesn’t want them, and the emotional toll it takes on their personalities? Yes. That, to me, is the kind of vulnerability that I respond to most in Leonardo DiCaprio. Also the dark Leo who’s not afraid to be despicable, demonstrating recognisable human cruelty without veering into caricature territory – Calvin Candy in Django Unchained. That’s when Leo should be winning awards.
He might also have a better chance of winning public opinion too if he was more like Jake on promotion. It’s not like Jakey can’t brood. He’s always brooding on a photo wall. But when you talk to him, when he’s being engaged, you know this, he’s irresistible, he’s funny, he’s SO charming, he’s not Mr Serious bending over for a computer bear, his smile reaches his eyes. He’s a real person. Leo doesn’t want to show you his real person because he thinks it’ll compromise his art. Doesn’t seem to be a problem for Jake Gyllenhaal.