Finally, the trailer for “Southpaw” starring Jake Gyllenhaal is here!
I recently wrote an article about 5 indie films I’m looking forward to. Among that list was the film “Southpaw” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams. From the synopsis and pictures available, “Southpaw” seemed like a enriching underdog story, but from the trailer below you can see there is much more to the story than just competitive sports. Take a look for yourself.
After viewing the trailer for “Southpaw” a few films come to mind. I think of “Cinderella Man” from the aspect of boxing and losing it all and then Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” for the gritty feel of the film. Everyone tends to love an underdog story like “Cinderella Man” but “Southpaw” isn’t entirely an underdog story. Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t seem to be this lovable guy like James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) in “Cinderella Man.” Instead he’s more raw like Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler,” who still gains our sympathy but doesn’t fully gain our respect. While there are some similarities to both of these films this doesn’t mean “Southpaw” is not original. From the trailer it seems to be playing on the milestone aspects of both of these films and if executed properly, “Southpaw” could be an Oscar contender.
One other thing that I wanted to speak on was Jake Gyllenhaal’s role in the film. He seems to be pushing his way into Oscar recognition more frequently now with Nightcrawler gaining so much critical acclaim this past year. While “Nightcrawler” showcased a brilliant performance from Gyllenhaal, I have to say that “Southpaw” has the potential to be a role that overshadows “Nightcrawler.” With so much conflict and loss, “Southpaw” gives Jake Gyllenhaal a chance to broaden his acting range across a wide emotional spectrum. On top of that the physical transformation Jake Gyllenhaal underwent will just add to his character’s presence on screen.
While this film may generate Oscar buzz, I think it is more likely that that buzz will primarily surround Jake Gyllenhaal. Director Antoine Fuqua known for “Training Day” and The Equalizer was partially responsible for Denzel Washington‘s Oscar win but has never gained any recognition for his primarily action based films. While I hope “Southpaw” may be a chance for Fuqua to venture off his usual path, his history of films tells us otherwise. But hopefully he will prove everyone wrong.