Before I even start this special post, I must thank all of you who contributed to the birthday video gift to me, with all your messages. What an amazing thing to give me! To receive a gift of such value has knocked me out and I'm so happy - and not a little weepy... Thank you, thank you, dear friends! I hope you don't mind me sharing the card and video here - I'm just so proud of them! Thank you, TL.
On with the post...!
Today is Wet Dark and Wild's Birthday - I cannot believe how fast this year has gone and I am truly grateful for the friendships I have made along the way. But not only that, through posting here and discussing Jake's projects and ideas - always the emphasis of this site - I have learned so much about the world of film. More than that - I have been encouraged to visit some of the world's greatest film festivals and experience the true thrill of Jake Gyllenhaal the actor and moviestar - on screen and on the red carpet. Thank you so, so much for making this last year so incredible and life-changing and here's to the next year and all that it may bring.
To mark WDW's birthday, this post is the first of just a few to mark the highlights of the year - this one features one (or two) chosen post for each of the months. No doubt, you may have other favourite memories from the last year - please share them with me and with everyone else.
Early days and I was barely learning on my feet, but this was my favourite post of the month - our first glimpse of Uncle Jake with Ramona and Maggie.
How could May be anything but Cannes, and an amazing pointing, listening, cheering encounter with Jake on the beautiful red steps of the Palais? Unbelievable, really unbelievable. As a result, there are two posts here from Cannes - here is my elated post the day after the fabulous May 17. And the second post gives more details on the amazing day, along with my 'best' picture of Jake, David Fincher, Chloe and Mark and Mark's lovely wife Sunshine.
Obviously this is going to be difficult, because June also has two posts... Firstly, the totally unexpected and sensational appearance of Jake on stage with Rufus Wainwright in NYC. The other post I particularly enjoyed doing was the one looking at the music of Zodiac.
During July, I attended Live Earth, the huge concert at Wembley, which aimed to raise awareness for environmental issues while giving Chris Rock the opportunity to use the kind of language that makes one say 'Did he really say that?' This gave me the chance to have a look at Jake the Greenie.
August was quiet and so I had time to explore Jake's motivations and choices through his career, but I think we were all happy when he showed up on Martha's Vineyard, rolled trouser legs and all.
But one of the highlights of the entire year was our discussion of Jake's incredible early performance in October Sky. The response to the two posts was extremely memorable.
In September, Jake reappeared on the public stage, this time in Toronto. An amazing experience and so there can be only one choice for favourite post for this magical month. I will remember my weekend in steamy hot Toronto for the rest of my life.
We also got to see the new pictures of Jake in Interview magazine during September and I'm sure I'm not the only person who was captivated by the Wood Chopper.
In October 2007, the Rendition roadshow moved on to Rome, one of my favourite cities, which meant I was able again to sit in the same theatre as Jake and cheer his film on. It was also great to see the Gorgeous Kelley Sane again as well as the occasional monument. Blimey, it was cold...
The rumours about Nailed resurfaced in November and, even though we'd heard from Jake's own lips that he was getting ready for The Moon Project, Nailed was becoming a reality, albeit a suspect one. This post also featured one of the many interviews that Jake crammed into his flying visit to the UK in October. Talking of the UK, Jake knows how to get about the streets of London when he's here.
Two posts stand out in my mind for December. New Year's Eve saw my birthday and so I used that as an excuse to look back on a landmark event of 2007 - the BAFTAs in Covent Garden, London, and the first time I saw Jake.
Other posts that I particularly remember during this special month were rememberances of TIFF and the first and only glimpse of Jake - tattoos and all - on the set of Brothers.
January brought with it a shock. On 22 January, totally unexpectedly, Heath Ledger died and knocked the ground from under us.
In February, I went for a break to Los Angeles. Previously, when I've been to LA, Jake has always done his best to avoid me - this time, Jake tried with all his might to be just a few hours behind, almost driving me to distraction. Beginning with the Night Before Party - from which I was ejected - and ending with a near miss at LAX, the biggest 'not meant to be' situation occurred at Urth cafe on South Beverly Drive. We were just hours apart.
I can't complain though. I saw Orlando Bloom, Nicole Kidman, Mary J Blige and Christina Applegate in the Polo Lounge and saw Liam Gallagher in the Beverley Hilton's sushi lounge. I also had a lot of fun chatting with the barman about his lovely encounter with Tom and Suri Cruise earlier that day.
March was marred by Jake's injury. It wasn't pleasant to see him on crutches and it appeared to be very frustrating for Jake himself. To distract ourselves, I enjoyed writing a post on kissing Jake. I also revisited a favourite interview with Jake about Jack Twist, recorded during the Venice Film Festival.
Columbia, South Carolina, was taken over by the production of Nailed in April. Many of us are far away but we were able to reach out to Jake on set thanks to Nicole who not only met Jake on the set but gave him a note which included messages from us. An amazing experience and a huge highlight of 2008. Nicole also took photographs and videos, which is no mean feat when coming face to face with Jake Gyllenhaal, I can assure you.
Also in April, I was walking to work and, completely unexpectedly, I came across the set of An Educaton. I thought they were filming in London, but no they were in Oxford, and so I enjoyed a great encounter, not to mention hug, with Peter Sarsgaard. You just never can tell what will happen.
This past glorious year has been full of surprises and memorable adventures, experienced by me and by the readers of WDW. Who knows what will happen in the coming twelve months? I can only thank you all for being there with me as we find out.
This post is dedicated to all of the dear friends I have made over the year. It is also dedicated to Mr WDW who has been a constant source of encouragement throughout the year and has never complained (well, hardly...) about the passion of his Mrs. He seems to know it makes sense. Last but not least, it is dedicated to Jake, without whom...
Pictures from IHJ, WDW and Nicole.