Jake Gyllenhaal is known for many things. Mostly, these include his hard to spell name and his actress sister. More recently, his introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Misterio in Spiderman: Far From Home has given him some extra fame. However, Jake Gyllenhaal has been in the business for longer than most people realize. He has accumulated a wealth of awards and played a variety of interesting, albeit weird, characters. However, the tragedy of it all? He’s never won an Oscar. Although this may not seem like a huge issue, looking at his acting history may change your mind. So without further ado, here are some cinematic reasons why Jake Gyllenhaal should have an Oscar.
His Dedication to Art
Now, stay with me here. I know it sounds cliche, but truly, actors who care more about the art of film deserve so much more than those only in it for the money. Wouldn’t you rather an actor in a few films who gave it his all than one who appeared in nearly everything and did mediocrely? Well, this is Jake Gyllenhaal.
While Gyllenhaal has starred in plenty of blockbusters, most of his films are lesser-known or even cult classics. For example, one of his earliest films was Donnie Darko, a completely odd movie about a young boy who sees a man in a bunny suit and knows the day the world will end. As expected, the film didn’t immediately make history but it has grown into a well-acclaimed cult classic since. Not only that, but Gyllenhaal still continues to participate in smaller films, even with all of his success. This may be attributed to his parents, in the business themselves, not allowing him to take every role he got, rather focusing on his creativity than working.
His “Psychotic Abilities”
Again, this might sound weird but bear with me. If you look through Jake Gyllenhaal’s career, you’ll find a shocking amount of roles that lead to very similar themes. Namely, creepy psychos. Or just people that aren’t exactly mentally stable.
If you need some examples, take a look at Nightcrawler, Zodiac, and Velvet Buzzsaw. Not only is this trend exciting because it shows that Jake knows what he’s good at it, but it also represents his acting chops. There’s a possibility that acting like an insane person could be easy, however, Gyllenhaal does it with such subtlety that I can only applaud him. His “psycho abilities” as I call them, are not simply being able to scream and repeat lines. He puts an effort into creating a chill-inducing vibe that only escalates further until audiences are completely uncomfortable and unsure if it’s really an act.
While it takes plenty of commitment to play a chaotic role like stated above, Gyllenhaal hasn’t just stopped there. In his career, he has played a variety of dynamic characters. No doubt, many of these characters asked a lot from the actor, but he pulled through in the end every time.
One notable performance that certainly raised some eyebrows was Brokeback Mountain, where Gyllenhaal essentially played a gay cowboy, alongside Heath Ledger. While this film appeared controversial, Gyllenhaal (and Ledger) committed to these characters and carried out heart-breaking performances. Not only that, but Gyllenhaal has taken other difficult roles as well, such as a Boston Bombing survivor in Stronger and a struggling/grieving boxer in Southpaw. To say the least, Gyllenhaal is unafraid to put his emotions out on the line for audiences to see.
His Love of Weirdness
As cited before, one of Gyllenhaal’s earliest films was Donnie Darko, which is definitely one of the oddest films I’ve ever seen. This theme in his career certainly hasn’t stopped since. Films like Okja and Enemy are just the icing on the cake when it comes to Gyllenhaal’s eclectic acting taste.
Now, I know this isn’t really a reason why Gyllenhaal should be nominated for an Oscar, but I think it’s an admirable quality that he has. So many actors prefer to stick to mainstream roles, even sticking with specific ones for years. However, Gyllenhaal shows a fearlessness for the odd that is just unlike anything Hollywood has seen before.
Jake Gyllenhaal deserves an Oscar. Not just for his fantastic acting or for the majestic chaos that is his personality, but for his genuine commitment to his work. After playing so many iconic roles, it’s time. Just as Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar in 2016 after years without one, let’s get Jake Gyllenhaal the award he rightfully deserves.
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