Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Librarian Jake

Jake showing us his most bookish look so far! And other cuties wearing glasses prove the sexiest thing is a competent mind and worn out eyes who read avidly at night.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ellen Pompeo in the Emmys

So long the underdog, Ellen Pompeo has finally hit the big time as the star of the award-winning drama 'Grey's Anatomy'.
Male critics have sniffed at the 'vapid' scripts and 'mawkish' acting in the drama about five trainee surgeons at a Seattle hospital. But Pompeo's portrayal of a woman totally competent in her work and an utter disaster in her relationships has forced even veteran Hollywood producers to examine how a lead who is such a mess - prone to getting drunk in bars and picking up strangers - can prove so compelling.

She was 25 when she got her first break; an acting agent approached her as she was working the bar at the SoHo Kitchen. The agent put Pompeo up for three adverts; she got all three. Then Pompeo landed a part opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the 2002 film Moonlight Mile. He, by chance, had come up to her in a car park three weeks previously and told her she was 'the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my entire life'. For her the coincidence was life-changing. 'It sort of hit me that I was being guided,' she says. 'I had sort of spent my twenties up until then looking for some sign of my mother, you know, "Make the chandelier swing and show me that you're with me." And at that point I put my faith in the idea that life gives you signs and, whether it's my mother's spirit or not, I've had too many coincidences in my life for it to be normal.'

[...] I ask what she makes of her character's romantic travails in Grey's Anatomy. 'She has a complete lack of emotional intelligence,' she exclaims. 'I just want to smack some sense into her.' What would she advise her? 'Don't ever beg a man.' (She is referring to the scene where Meredith pleads with her married lover Derek to choose her.) 'He should be begging you!'

Monday, September 17, 2007

Do-Gooders Stars

"This week's hot Hollywood couple, Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, danced briefly but divinely last night at a beyond-posh Toronto Film Festival party co-sponsored by TIME magazine. Across the way in the huge Design Exchange room, once home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, George Clooney stood in a corner, pinned by the admiration of other, less famous swells. If the three eminences had come there to schmooze with a TIME movie critic, they missed their big chance. Even so, they seemed as happy as celebrities ought to be, given their privileged status in our bi-national movie culture.

Clooney, whom I'd call the exemplary Hollywood star, has been especially generous in lending his aura to well-chosen issues and charities. The top actors also appear in films that are, in their subject matter and their underdog status in the commercial movie universe, their own worthy causes. That's what brought Reese and Jake and George up to Toronto: to raise awareness of thorny issues, to speak up for movies that make bold statements and, in the process, to get rivers of publicity for their politically and emotionally charged endeavors.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke's famous phrase could serve as the text for both Clooney's Michael Clayton and the Witherspoon-Gyllenhaal Rendition. Both are fictionalized expos�s: the first of corporate malfeasance, the second of Bush Administration policy in its war on Muslim extremists. At the center of each is a man trapped in a dilemma between doing what is damn well expected of him and risking his livelihood, and maybe his life, by doing the right thing.

Clooney did that by not taking a salary on Michael Clayton. The entire film was made for about $20 million, or a top star's salary on a typical movie; but it has the sheen of a picture four times its budget. It also carries the deep distrust of U.S. corporations except for the movie conglomerates that has become the badge of Hollywood liberalism. (At the Venice Film Festival, where Michael Clayton played, Clooney got annoyed when he was asked to square the sentiments of this movie with his appearing in commercials sponsored by giant companies. He replied, "I'm not going to apologize to you for trying to make a living once in a while," then turning off the mic and kept muttering. A few moments later he was his genial self again.)

[...] Clooney keeps impressing me by his alternation of frivolous and serious roles, and his apparently effortless ability to make both convincing. He can go from heartthrob to Oscar candidate simply by relaxing his smiling face into a rictus of exhaustion. The frown lines dominate here; Clayton is worn out, and the movie spends a little too much time documenting his dissipation. It's more compelling when it follows the money, and the other clues Edens has sleuthed out about how far a company will go to protect its good name (and its stock price) by suppressing information about the toxic effects of its policies.

Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter (all three Bourne movies) making his directorial debut here, balances character study with thriller elements, while adroitly shifting the plot's sequence of tenses over a four-day period. Whatever lethargy his movie falls into in its early passages, it rouses itself for a finale about which I should say little, except that it's likely to send the audience home happy and satisfied. I guess it's just the contrarian in me that wonders if real corporations are so awful, and the stalwart souls and whistle blowers who work for them so numerous, as they are in the Hollywood films that mean to expose the one and praise the other. Source:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Maggie in "Stranger than Fiction"


Download "Whole world wide" song by Wreckless Eric.

"Ferrell cuts an improbably romantic figure when Crick, desperately trying to stay on track, faces a gorgeous hurdle right in front of him: Maggie Gyllenhaal as Ana Pascal, a bake-shop owner who has refused to pay all of her taxes except for ones she can connect to social services. Gyllenhaal is delicious as a woman who gave up law for baking when she discovered the joys of cooking for her law-school study group. If there's such a thing as a quick sensual languor, Gyllenhaal has it: She imbues Pascal with a sensory awareness that extends every gesture, every syllable, into something delectable. She helps you experience Pascal through Crick's eyes and heart and stomach. As a friend said, you want to eat her cookies".

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

TIFF 2007 Parade

Jake Gyllenhaal.Michael Caine.Sean Penn.Matt Damon.Charlize Theron.Ryan Gosling.Evan Rachel Wood.Abbie Cornish.Cate Blanchett and Abbie Cornish.James McAvoy and Keira Knightley.Jena Malone.Mark Ruffalo.

The Invisibe guy

Sep 09, 2007 04:30 AM
Geoff Pevere

"When it came to committing to play a CIA analyst who finds himself a reluctant but complicit witness to torture in the forthcoming thriller Rendition, Jake Gyllenhaal was sold on something that might hold a special allure for a movie star.

`"I liked the fact the guy was invisible."

Sprawled over a chair in a well air-conditioned hotel suite, Gyllenhaal, 26, is basking in relief from the stifling room in which he has just done a dozen or so consecutive TV interviews.

There was no air conditioning in that room and the fan was on the fritz, but for appearance's sake, the Academy Award-nominated actor was compelled to keep wearing his natty suit jacket and open white shirt collar ensemble.

Though that hardy qualifies as torture – and certainly not compared to that endured by the Egyptian-American chemist whose sudden, CIA-sanctioned abduction to Egypt is what propels Rendition across three continents, several characters and a gamut of competing political perspectives – it was uncomfortable nonetheless.

First thing in the new room, Gyllenhaal strips down to trousers and a V-necked T-shirt. Second thing, he muses on where he took his inspiration from.

"Richard Burton in The Spy Who Came In From the Cold," he says with a laugh, only to instantly adopt a more serious demeanour. "I'm not kidding. I learned a lot from that performance about how to play a guy who's invisible. And who's silent."
"But I hope people don't walk out of the movie cheering for the guy," Gyllenhaal observes.

"Because he's just one guy. And what I really liked about this script is that there's no right and wrong, at least as far as my character is concerned. There's only does it work or not? And since he thinks the methods aren't working, he sees no point in them. And who knows if what he ultimately does really does anything anyway?"

The son of TV director Stephen Gyllenhaal and Losing Isaiah screenwriter Naomi Foner (his sister is actress Maggie Gyllenhaal), the actor grew up in a liberal-leaning, Democrat-supporting household in Los Angeles. "I get about 15 emails a day from my mother," he laughs. "And each one has links to all these political blogs she thinks I should check out."

But while he's not reluctant to admit he's political, Gyllenhaal does insist that politics and performance should be strictly chaperoned when they get too close – lest one take undue advantage of the other.

"What I really liked about this script," he says, "And what I really admired about Gavin (Hood, Rendition's South African-born director) is that politics is secondary to the human story. And as an actor I'm always interested in the human side of politics. The thing about this movie is that everybody believes they're acting out of the best intentions. They all think they're doing some kind of good. And they're all acting on what they've been told.

"But who's to say what you're being told is the truth?" adds Gyllenhaal. "I think people question whether they're being told the truth in situations like this. And who can blame them? Even worse, a lot of people have even lost the want for the truth."

For Gyllenhaal, that's the issue: not that people are being lied to about what their governments may be doing on their behalf, but that they may not care.

"I heard somebody say recently that people actually prefer ignorance," he says. "I know I do a lot of the time. The truth can be painful."

If Gyllenhaal took a lesson away from making Rendition, it was what the filmmaker told him about art and politics. Gyllenhaal describes him as "robust, energized and very wise and very political" – and very wise. "He always said to me how important it was for him as a filmmaker not to judge. People tend to see artists talking about politics as a kind of judgement. And then you've lost them". Source: Thestar.comJake attending the US Open (Men's Final Championship Game). Pictures by

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thriller with conscience

"As as result, Gavin Hood's Rendition plays out as a crackling good political thriller with a simmering conscience.

In the fictionalized case of El-Ibrahimi– whose pregnant American-born wife Isabella (Reese Witherspoon) will instigate an investigation that will lead straight to Washington – the movie nails both the complexity of motivations behind the incident and a very good justification for paranoia.

Structured as a propulsive clock-ticker that spans several countries, a couple of dozen characters and a multitude of conflicting but equally articulated points of view, Rendition is about what happens when the machinery of government permits its own self-interest to trump those of the people it ostensibly exists to serve.

At what point, it asks, does the practice of protecting democracy contradict the very values that make it worth protecting? When do the means violate the end?

While the pregnant Isabella's campaign leads her to the office of a sympathetic Democratic senator's aide (Peter Sarsgaard), the detainment of El-Ibrahimi draws the callow CIA analyst Douglas Freeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) right into the belly of the beast.

Having been conscripted to replace the agent murdered by a terrorist bomb in a public square, Freeman must act as a silent advisor to the Egyptian interrogator (the marvelously imposing actor Igor Naor), as the latter – whose daughter is secretly seeing a would-be Muslim extremist – indulges any means necessary to extract the prisoner's confession.

His conscience increasingly strained by what he's seeing, Freeman blurts the word "torture" to the top-level CIA officer (a terrifically chilly Meryl Streep) when queried about the progress he's making.

Tersely informed that "the United States government does not practice torture," Freeman is ordered back into the dungeon to get results. It's either that or sacrifice his career – one that began, as one imagines so many well-intentioned careers did, on Sept. 12, 2001". Source:

Rendezvous with Reese

"And so it was when I ran into Jake Gyllenhaal in the kitchen. Not my kitchen -- where the only thing I do well is stir the occasional pot -- but the kitchen in Sotto Sotto, where one of the many things they do well is spoon-feed the stars. On Thursday, late, I just happened to be at the back of the Avenue Road restaurant, talking to some of the staff, caught in the storm of spaghetti and serendipity, when just a few seconds after being there, and to everyone's surprise, the actor suddenly appeared. Deeply V-necked, pleasantly broad-shouldered, and with that paralyzing dopey smile, he turned up solo, like one of those bit-partridges who had mixed up the time he was supposed to appear in a junior high production of The 12 Days of Christmas. His deep, baby-blue V-neck, by the way, looked comfortable but meticulous, as did the black tee underneath the sweater, and his near-pristine dark jeans. All very back-to-school clean. All coming together quite nicely under the unforgiving, hard and harsh kitchen light. The only thing casting a shadow? Jake's 10 o'clock fuzz. ''Mama would like a picture,'' seized one of the maybe five men, standing with me and the movie star in a part of the kitchen just marginally bigger than Nelson Mandela's old digs on Robben Island.
Actually, said one of the friendly wait staff, Mama has no idea what a Gyllenhaal is. She just likes the idea of having her picture taken with famous people. In fact, just a little later, Mama was insisting on having her pic taken with a friend of mine. ''I'm not a celebrity,'' my friend told her, to little avail. It was a glimpse, I guess, of the wider celeb-serum that much of the city takes at this time of year. Jake, meanwhile, gave us a glimpse of his singularly sporty-brainy-emo brand in Hollywood -- the kind of chap who can competitive-bike-ride, do crosswords and get teary-eyed via Keats. The night was almost done, and he, polite to the end, thanked everyone and told Mama in particular that he dug her lasagna. But Ms. Witherspoon did come to whisk him away after dinner. Take from that what you may, and indulge your deepest, vicarious fantasies.

Meanwhile, back at Sotto Sotto-- where Jodie Foster and Sienna Miller has also dined that night, incidentally -- Mama sent me packing with some of her secret recipe chili sauce". Shinan Govani, National Post. Published: Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Mr. Ebert "Rendtion" review

There is no ranking perfection, so I will discuss the perfect films in alphabetical order. The first is “No Country for Old Men,” by the Coen brothers, and the second is “Rendition” by Gavin Hood. The Coens are among our national treasures. Gavin Hood, at 44, was the South African director of “Tsotsi,” the masterpiece which won the Oscar for best foreign film of 2005.
Deserves nominations

Now to ”Rendition.” I owe director Gavin Hood an apology for writing, in a Toronto festival preview, that it is a “CIA thriller.” It involves the CIA and among other things it is a thriller, but it is no more a “CIA thriller” than Macbeth is a swashbuckler. It is a movie about the theory and practice of two things: Torture, and personal responsibility. And it is wise about what is right, and what is wrong. The original and tightly coiled screenplay, by Kelley Sane, should get one of several nominations the movie deserves.

The story involves the arrest of an Egyptian-American scientist (Omar Metwally) who is “disappeared” from a flight from Cape Town to Washington. His very pregnant wife (Reese Witherspoon) simply doesn’t believe “he was never on the plane,” and enlists a former lover (Peter Sarsgaard), now an aide to a senator (Alan Arkin), to investigate through back channels. This runs him up against the head of the CIA (Meryl Streep) who is terrifyingly professional.

Meanwhile, in an unnamed north African country, the new American attaché (Jake Gyllenhaal) is told that the scientist has been brought there to take advantage of its expert torturers, an interesting use of outsourcing. And we meet the country’s chief of security, his daughter, her forbidden boyfriend, and others, as several story strands are relentlessly gathered into a conclusion that makes perfect sense and causes us to rethink everything, and no, that doesn’t mean what it sounds like it means". Source:

Saturday, September 08, 2007

"Rendition" Screening in Toronto

September 7 - Arriving at the 'Rendition' Press Conference.8 September, Rendtion: Toronto Film Festival Screening.
Pictures by

RENDITION - World premiere at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto

6:30 pm, 7/11 TIFF 2007 Rattler’s Thoughts

"There is a certain point in Rendition when a haunting image will strike you. As the good battles despair, the bad seeks glory and the ugly raises its hydra-heads, Douglas stands and watches. He turns, as shadows on his face coagulate; and suddenly the light balances the dark. You notice the sadness within the blue, and the rest just turns into mundane. It is this simple sense of grief that will permeate through the rest of the film, linger while the note on the flute turns into whisper, gradually seeping into your heart. You realize that this sadness is meant to be universal; for the derivative emotions invoked will just depend on who is watching the film. A rapid chill will run through every immigrant’s heart, some will polarize into red and blue, some may just shake their heads, while quite a few will be glad that Arar received a settlement.

“This is my first torture”, you will hear Douglas say. You will laugh at the wordplay, and will be sad again. And this, indeed, is Gavin Hood’s coup the grace. He has done his homework well, and uses Morocco and Washington deftly, like an artist mingling two colors on her palette. Two cities and two cultures contradict and contrast each other, but in the end turn into shades of gray. He develops characters with both naiveté and brilliance. Some are stereotypes – Meryl Streep scorches, Alan Arkin slithers, while Peter Sarsgaard’s empathy soothes Reese Witherspoon’s despair. But it is the brilliance of Omar Metwally, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Yigal Naor that will mesmerize you. Three sets of eyes will cut your attention into three equal parts.

The plot is well-known, so there is no point going there. The plot twist is not novel; you have seen time wrapping up into one, and space splitting into two. Wong Kar-wai, Alejandro Iñárritu, and Chris Nolan have been there, done that. But what Gavin Hood offers is a poignant point of inflexion. Moral polarities neutralize amidst blood and gore. It is also at this point that the broken pieces of Douglas simply glue up. There is just one thing that irks you in the end – every sub-plot has a conclusion except one. Is there a hidden message after all? Perhaps hope is not supposed to end.

Rendition, like any other film that deals with moral issues, treads on thin ice. You always wonder – what is right and what is wrong? The answer could be simple – embedded within a name. While Metwally scintillates, that name belongs to Jake Gyllenhaal.

If Rendition does not win an Oscar, you will hear Rattler’s sigh for sure". Source:

And read the funny and educated encounter between Prophecy Girl from Jake Watch and Jake "in person" (and with Peter Sarsgaard too) HERE!.

Friday, September 07, 2007

From L.A. to Toronto

"A fellow journalist just informed me that Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal are scaling back their Toronto publicity for Oscar hopeful Rendition (the movie is Gavin Hood's follow-up to Oscar-winning Tsotsi, about a man yanked off a plane in the U.S. and shipped off overseas, where he can be tortured for information in connection with a terrorist attack). Seems the two actors — part of an impressive ensemble that includes Alan Arkin, Meryl Streep and Peter Sarsgaard — have canceled one-on-ones and will only be doing the press conference. Read into that what you will.
UPDATE: New Line publicity informs me that Reese and Jake will be doing a "handful" of one-on-ones, though they have been scaling back on plans". —Posted by Peter Debruge. Source:
"Rendition’s thought-provoking chronological structure particularly distinguishes the film. Narrative strands that seem to be moving linearly are suddenly woven in a brilliant series of loops suggestive of the sad reality of violence – that it only ever leads to more violence. The cast, which also includes Peter Sarsgaard and Alan Arkin, is tremendous: Witherspoon and Gyllenhaal passionately embody an American conscience waking up to the vileness of acts committed in their name, while Streep is quietly ferocious as the matronly governmental face that glosses over these same despicable crimes". Source:

"Today Jake Gyllenhaal was spotted leaving Toronto's premier 5 star hotel, the Hazelton Hotel on Yorkville Avenue. And I know this because I saw him! I couldn't get a photo - it was so quick but nevertheless a wonderful moment".
Posted by Wet Dark and Wild at 04:55

September 4 - Visiting a Medical office in LA. September 4 - Dinner at Jar Steakhouse in LA.

Courtesy of

"When the Toronto International Film Festival comes around, I do pretty much the same stuff — it’s just 10 times as much work every day (on a side note, if you have any pressing questions for Jake Gyllenhaal, feel free to post them in the comments section below, as I’ll be interviewing him tomorrow).

It’s not unusual for me to go through the entire memory card of my dictaphone twice and fill up four or five notebooks with my scrawled observations about Rachel Weisz’s unflattering top, Elijah Wood’s surprisingly cute and un-hobbit-like demeanor or the wilted salad Chloë Sevigny was eating for lunch".

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

More dames in lingerie