Jake Gyllenhaal has worked with many visionary directors, including Ang Lee, Denis Villeneuve, and David Fincher, and his personal taste in film touches on other notable cinematic influencers. From icons like Federico Fellini and George Cukor, to era-defining powerhouses like Cameron Crowe and Richard Donner, take a look at the actor’s favorite movies.
“I remember feeling very specifically about that movie that I love so much, which is how Spencer Tracy cracks his eggs while he’s making an omelet. I will always crack my eggs like Spencer Tracy because of that movie,” Gyllenhaal said about George Stevens’ film during a 2014 interview.
“I don’t know if you can say one of them but ‘Adam’s Rib’ and ‘Woman of the Year,’ like the Hepburn/Tracy movies. The two of them together will never, ever age. There are scenes in those movies together that could be when you’re watching them today, in this moment. I remember those movies and my mother would always love those movies, and I would watch those movies with her,” Gyllenhaal said in 2014 about George Cukor’s classic.
Gyllenhaal raved about this Federico Fellini film in 2014, saying, “Giulietta Masina, I mean every performance, but particularly the last scene in the movie, with Anthony Quinn and just being on the beach, and everything about that movie is beautiful. And there’s something always about his films that, knowing that audio was recorded post shooting the film — I’m pretty sure that’s true with that movie — just to know, in a way, if it is true, it’s just to know that there are two sort of performances happening simultaneously. You can see and hear that. And I love that idea and what skill and sort of the presence to this day that movie has.”
“I remember watching ‘Pete’s Dragon’ when I was a kid, and I’d just never know what happens at the end. … It was my favorite movie, I had a ‘Pete’s Dragon’ shirt, and I still have no idea how that movie ends,” Gyllenhaal said in 2016.
Gyllenhaal raved about this childhood favorite in 2014, saying, “I have no words for how awesome ‘Goonies’ is. I happen to be working with Josh Brolin on this ‘Everest’ movie I’m about to do, and I still geek out. You know, I want him to wear a headband in the Everest movie because it’s such an amazing character choice. If I remember correctly I feel like he wore sweatpants over jeans in that movie? I’m pretty sure. I might be wrong about that. And that was a pretty dope character choice as well. Just incredible acting, and the scenes with Chunk still move me.”
Gyllenhaal discussed his top five favorite movies in a 2014 interview and included this in as something of a technicality, saying, “I would actually put ‘Jerry Maguire’ and ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ right up there with each other, in the same spot. I know I’m filling up two spots but I know Cameron Crowe wrote ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.'”
“The first movie that comes to my mind when somebody asks me about favorites is ‘Searching for Bobby Fischer’ by Steve Zaillian. First of all, it’s a beautifully, beautifully shot and acted movie. I mean, the screenplay is brilliant, but more than anything, Conrad Hall shot the movie, and it’s one of the best performances I’ve seen by an actor of any age in a movie. The honesty and the presence of the lead kid in the movie is amazing. And every actor surrounding him is extraordinary,” Gyllenhaal said in 2014.
Gyllenhaal raved about this Cameron Crowe blockbuster, saying, “Inevitably it’s just something I can never turn off whenever it’s on the television, and I think that has a power of its own.”
“Jacques Audiard — I love every single one of his films, most obviously, ‘A Prophet,'” Gyllenhaal said in 2015.
Gyllenhaal had kind words for this Asghar Farhadi masterpiece in 2015, saying, “I love ‘A Separation.'”
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