Doesn’t it seem like Jake Gyllenhaal should be bigger? Certainly, he’s famous, but in a way that still suggests potential not yet met. He’s able to get a movie green-lit, but not necessarily able to open it. He’s got a crush-worthy mug and a famously enviable body, but fan campaigns don’t spring up when he’s snubbed for Sexiest Man Alive. And though Gyllenhaal earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain, he hasn’t been in contention since.
It would seem like I’m building a case for career mismanagement here, but actually, I’m arguing quite the opposite: Over the past few years, Gyllenhaal has been turning in consistently excellent, surprising work in a series of underseen films like End of Watch, Enemy, and Prisoners. The problem is not with Jake Gyllenhaal, then — the problem is with us, the public that demands new movie stars yet has a more-than-capable one flying under the radar. We’ve been sleeping on Jake Gyllenhaal for years now, and it’s time we all woke up.