Tuesday, July 08, 2003

A Gyllenhaal Sunday

It was a back-to-back movie Sunday for me: First, watched Secretary, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, then popped in Donnie Darko, starring brother Jake (and Maggie, actually).

I first saw the trailer for Secretary at some movie in the Embarcadero theater. I remember thinking that it looked more like a comic sex romp type movie rather than what it actually turned out to be - a very dark look at a woman's struggle to turn her feelings of self-hatred and loathing into a more positive, affirming form of self-expression. My big issue is whether or not a sexual relationship based on S&M really fits that bill. Marjorie Baumgarten's review from Rotten Tomatoes makes a pretty good case that it does, but I'm still unconvinced.

Donnie Darko was unnerving, ominous, edgy and well-acted. Jake Gyllenhaal seems to be making a lot of good decisions lately - film credits since 2001 in addition to Donnie Darko include The Good Girl, Moonlight Mile, and Lovely & Amazing, all of which I saw and enjoyed (though I had a few issues with Lovely & Amazing).

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