Gyllenhaal was still a youngin' when he starred in this movie as Homer Hickam, a man who was inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 as a teenager and took up rocket science as a hobby. He later became an actual NASA engineer as an adult. It's a lovely drama about following your dreams, and the fact that it is based on a true story only makes it more inspiring. Although prestige relationship drama films are pretty much guaranteed to be critical successes, this particular film that rests near the top of Jake Gyllenhaal's Rotten Tomatoes ranking is a pretty standard movie type with a bit of a twist.
Wildlife is based on a novel of the same name by author Richard Ford, and fellow renowned actor Paul Dano actually directed the film. Jake plays the character of Jerry, a sporadically employed father who is having problems in his marriage and is too helpless and stubborn to do much besides sit back and watch as his entire family seems to fall apart. Before his role in Nightcrawler , people used many words to describe Jake Gyllenhaal, but creepy generally wasn't any of them.
However, Jake really showed off his considerable acting chops when he took on the role of Louis Bloom. Bloom is a sociopathic loner who discovers an exceptional talent for finding horrific accidents and crimes to film throughout the night in LA so he can sell the footage to local news stations for the morning news.
Eventually, Louis isn't satisfied just capturing the scenes he finds and often winds up creating even more dangerous and deadly scenarios that he can record and sell to the press. Although it was nothing more than a sleeper success when it was initially released, Donnie Darko has undoubtedly become one of Jake Gyllenhaal's most recognizable and beloved films. Different iterations of the movie the original and the director's cut also appeared in Gyllenhaal's Rotten Tomatoes top ten, which we edited out so a few other Gyllenhaal movies could get their due.
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