The last time Jake Gyllenhaal was in Pittsburgh was when he was filming 2009’s Love & Other Drugs. Now, he’s back in town filming Southpaw. Directed by Hill District-native Antoine Fuqua—who led Denzel Washington to his Oscar win in 2001’s Training Day—the currently-filming drama follows the rising boxing career of Billy “The Great” Hope as his personal life declines. Sadly, this entry has no juicy behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Sorry about that.
If Southpaw is anything like last year’s Pittsburgh-filmed boxing movie Grudge Match, I don’t have very high hopes. Have any good sports movies even been made since Space Jam in 1996?
I didn’t think so.
Anyway, I’ll probably still see it because, as I’ve mentioned, I like seeing Pittsburgh on film. And I like Gyllenhaal as an actor, even if I’ve always seen him as a teenager. This is probably due to his roles in Donnie Darko, The Good Girl and the 2001 remake of Bubble Boy. Even seeing him in the spectacular Zodiac and the wonderful Brokeback Mountain, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was watching a kid playing an adult.
That all changed when I saw the two films that Gyllenhaal put out last year: Oscar-nominated Prisoners and Enemy, both helmed by Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve.
I’ll talk about those two films on the next page.