I am very ready to see out my birthday and see in the new decade in a heightened state of relaxation. This follows a wonderful couple of days in the Big Smoke spent in fine company discovering new muscles while clinging to the sides of the Natural History Museum ice rink. So, while I look for a dark man to cross my threshhold carrying coal - take that as your cue, Jake Gyllenhaal - time for the final survey of the decade. I hope you'll join me in raising a glass of the fizzy stuff to make a toast - to Jake for ten years of roles to make him proud and to us for cheering him along, from the sidelines, on his way to another decade of brave, triumphant and entertaining filmmaking. Cheers!
Here is my totally personal list of my top ten favourite moments from Jake's cinematic appearances over the Noughties. Brothers is in the fortunate position of straddling a couple of decades. These are in no particular order as a choice would be far too difficult.
1. Two scenes in Brothers - the bar scene between Tommy and Dave and the decorating scene - who could fail not to fall for Tommy's charm (except Grace)?
2. Jake's first appearance at the start of a new day in Rendition. When I see one of Jake's films, I'm always thrilled to see his first scene, but this reached whole new levels with Rendition.
3. Swoff making white footsteps in the blackened sand.
4. Robert Graysmith discovering that some houses in California do have basements after all. I wanted to push Jake through that door to safety. We've not seen Jake do horror often, but he'd be good at it.
5. Jimmy Livingston stealing beer in Bubble Boy. Jake can also do physical comedy. He's very good at it. One moment, Jake can make us laugh as Jimmy badly robs a store of a can of beer while, in the next, he can make us cry as Jimmy and his father dream of escaping to the moon.
6.The Dozy Embrace - the stillness of Jake here. Nothing more to say about this moment.
7. The courtscene in Moonlight Mile. Another example of how Jake can pull the heart out, even during a courtroom scene.
8. For me, one of the iconic moments of the last decade of cinema, is the sight of Donnie Darko racing down that hill to the sound of The Killing Moon.
9. Wet Sam leaping over the cars to rescue Laura from Certain Death. This was one of those defining steps on the path to Gyllenhaalism for me.
10. The blue eyes hiding under the hat of a young cowboy as he sees Ennis Del Mar for the first time. The first time we saw Jack Twist, too.
Who knows - we may even get Nailed in this coming decade! That's got to be worth celebrating.
Happy New Year to you all and to Jake! And thanks to each of you for keeping me company through the last year.
Includes pictures from IHJ.