Saturday, September 8, 2007

Rendition Premiere - Toronto International Film Festival


World premiere at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto

6:30 pm, 7/11 TIFF 2007

Rattler’s Thoughts

There is a certain point in Rendition when a haunting image will strike you. As the good battles despair, the bad seeks glory and the ugly raises its hydra-heads, Douglas stands and watches. He turns, as shadows on his face coagulate; and suddenly the light balances the dark. You notice the sadness within the blue, and the rest just turns into mundane. It is this simple sense of grief that will permeate through the rest of the film, linger while the note on the flute turns into whisper, gradually seeping into your heart. You realize that this sadness is meant to be universal; for the derivative emotions invoked will just depend on who is watching the film. A rapid chill will run through every immigrant’s heart, some will polarize into red and blue, some may just shake their heads, while quite a few will be glad that Arar received a settlement.

“This is my first torture”, you will hear Douglas say. You will laugh at the wordplay, and will be sad again. And this, indeed, is Gavin Hood’s coup the grace. He has done his homework well, and uses Morocco and Washington deftly, like an artist mingling two colors on her palette. Two cities and two cultures contradict and contrast each other, but in the end turn into shades of gray. He develops characters with both naiveté and brilliance. Some are stereotypes – Meryl Streep scorches, Alan Arkin slithers, while Peter Sarsgaard’s empathy soothes Reese Witherspoon’s despair. But it is the brilliance of Omar Metwally, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Yigal Naor that will mesmerize you. Three sets of eyes will cut your attention into three equal parts.

The plot is well-known, so there is no point going there. The plot twist is not novel; you have seen time wrapping up into one, and space splitting into two. Wong Kar-wai, Alejandro Iñárritu, and Chris Nolan have been there, done that. But what Gavin Hood offers is a poignant point of inflexion. Moral polarities neutralize amidst blood and gore. It is also at this point that the broken pieces of Douglas simply glue up. There is just one thing that irks you in the end – every sub-plot has a conclusion except one. Is there a hidden message after all? Perhaps hope is not supposed to end.

Rendition, like any other film that deals with moral issues, treads on thin ice. You always wonder – what is right and what is wrong? The answer could be simple – embedded within a name. While Metwally scintillates, that name belongs to Jake Gyllenhaal.

If Rendition does not win an Oscar, you will hear Rattler’s sigh for sure.


Jerseytb/Tom said...

Beautifully written. I can not wait to see this movie. Rattler you are such a lucky guy.

Special K said...

Again thanks Rattler. A wonderfully written review.

"But it is the brilliance of Omar Metwally, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Yigal Naor that will mesmerize you. Three sets of eyes will cut your attention into three equal parts."

I know that I will be wanting to see what happens, while at the same time trying to look away. But will it be in horror what I see or out of guilt knowing that I know that this is a reality?

me said...

Now that Jeese has died an ignominious death, the fair-weather fans and trolls have latched onto Chris as the way to keep Jake straight. (Chris is straight, and if he's the bf then so must be Jake).


Had to come here for a little Jaustin sanity.

AHHHHHH!!! Looking at the banner soothes my embattled nerves.

Thanks, Special!

Anonymous said...

Rendition could be nominated but it won't win against some VERY strong competition: Atonement, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, In the Land of Elah, the Coen Brothers film that's getting great buzz, Into the Wild, etc.

If it was a weaker year for films, I think it could get an Oscar nomination. But with these films also coming on, it's doubtful.

Special K said...


Is there a name we can call you? Perhaps Movie maven?

destiny said...

Thanks Rattler and Special.

Wicked, I'm going to temporarily join your brigade. I am not loving the beard with short hair.

Wicked said...

Destiny, this is when I hate his facial hair the most- when he has the short haircut!

Although I have to say, the bastard takes nothing but great pictures! How does he do that?!

Hair Expert said...

Well his hair grows quickly. I don't like the look either.

frenchy said...

I am not loving the beard with short hair.

When I first saw these new pics I thought his beard was much more trimmed and his hair much shorter than that, hence my swooning (ha, ha!). Which makes me wonder if he shaves more regularly when he's with Austin... ;)

Now Rendition: Thanks for these great insights Rattler. I realize you saw the movie yesterday and that films like these often have to “sink in” before we can fully appreciate them but I’m taking a chance with the following questions anyway. :)

Do you think this movie is much in the line of a conventional thriller or rather more akin to a Costa-Gravas drama (re: “The Confession”, “State of Siege”, “Missing”)?

Reviews were generally good up to now except at “Hollywood Reporter” where the writer expresses reservations about the way Westernized and old country Arabs are portrayed and also about the lack of credibility of the numerous connections between the characters and some of the circumstances depicted. Do you think that guy has a point in each case?

And you, personally, were there elements in the film that truly bothered you? Was there something you were not expecting from Jake and which left you pleasantly surprised?

Did you pay attention to the music? I’m asking this because I found out this element can be a real turn-off factor for me when it is too intrusive.

Ok, enough for now… but get ready because I’ll probably have more questions later. :D

Anonymous said...

"Now that Jeese has died an ignominious death"

well you dream a bit i think
many jeese fans are halas happy because they denied nothing and they acted toward each others rather oddly during the end of the film when actors were on stage!

i simply repeat what my friend who was in theater( and not very interested in jake 's sexuality), said to me : well watching the little game between them , i think they need to get a room "

and of course for chris fan it's a glorious day LOL
chris always there for him !

but for those who are either jeese fan nor chris fan like me what's happening?

more seriously i can't wait to see this film!


orchid said...

Rattler, thanks for the review. You did a great job of explaining the feel of the movie without giving anything away. I'm really looking forward to seeing this film now, and apparently won't have to wait long to see it - I read in a Canadian magazine that it is opening October 12. This makes me very happy since I'd previously read on IMDB that it didn't open in Canada until Dec 22.

frenchy said...

Good reviews, cont'd!


Special K said...

Yes indeed Frenchy. Another great review!

I suspect that Rendition will be a favorite in the Golden Globe race as well.

suspicious TB said...

Even here, the one place in all of cyberspace I thought would be fangirl and troll free has been infested with their delusions.

Sad and disappointing to say the least.

No wonder Jake and Austin have lingered so long in the closet.

Special K said...

OT: Congratulations Ang!

Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" is the surprise winner of the Gold Lion for best picture at Venice Film Festival. Just two years after winning for Brokeback Mountain.

Ang Lee film is Surprise Winner in Venice"

Special K said...

Entertainment Weekly's Interview with Jake at TIFF.

Jake Gyllenhaal talks Rendition

Wicked said...

Suspicious, we can't stop 'em from coming, but rest assured they will not be encouraged here! :)

Special K said...

Couldn't have said it better Wicked.

Stubborn TB said...

Hey Rattler,

I know I'm late, but thanks so much for your review. I'm really intriguided about the movie and especially Jakes performance now.

I just hope the movie will premiere earlier here this time.

who'sthat said...

I am not loving the beard with short hair.

Maybe this will change your mind...

who'sthat said...

Even here, the one place in all of cyberspace I thought would be fangirl and troll free has been infested with their delusions.

There's easy way to fix it - delete button.

Special K said...

who's that

Nice picture.


Special K said...

Trolls feed on anything you throw at them, especially reacting to them or deleting them.

Not feeding them,they either move on they kind of wither and fade away. Because the fun of disruption is not there. The are ignored then there is no point.

Wicked said...

I am curious to see how Muslim culture is portrayed in Rendition. Rattler, what were your impressions of this?

Special K said...


Does Gavin make a political statement, or does he just present ideas for the audience to draw their own opinion from.

Rattler said...

Do you think this movie is much in the line of a conventional thriller or rather more akin to a Costa-Gravas drama?
Rendition is both a thriller and a drama.
Do you think that guy has a point in each case?
Yes. Rendition will invoke a unique response depending on who is watching it. I see it as a strength of the movie. We have to understand that some of the characters are reacting to their circumstances. But it is how Jake reacts to his is very interesting.
Were there elements in the film that truly bothered you?
Yes. There are several. It is easy to be judgmental about a character, but you have to take a step back and rethink. Is there a basic sense of goodness in everyone after all?
Can a suicide bomber love and hate with the same intensity? In the end which part of his soul won? Very difficult soul-searching questions.
Was there something you were not expecting from Jake and which left you pleasantly surprised?
Yes. You have to watch the movie to get it :) I am not telling you.
Did you pay attention to the music?
Simply superb. Haunting and heart wrenching.

Rattler said...

I am curious to see how Muslim culture is portrayed in Rendition. Rattler, what were your impressions of this?
Wicked, this is an extremely difficult question to answer. IMO, Gavin Hood has tackled an extremely difficult subject quite well. What I understand so far is this:
The "bad" can present itself in a thousand different forms. But the "good" is simple and spontaneous. It is the essence of being human. And being free.

Rattler said...

does he just present ideas for the audience to draw their own opinion from.


Blue Velvet said...

Thanks for the great review, Rattler. I'm planning to see this movie as soon as it opens.

Blue Velvet said...

And Thanks, Special, for this haven. I can't believe how insane the Jake/Austin and Jake/everyone else tug-of-war is getting. It's disheartening how quickly some people are willing to dismiss Austin just because he hasn't been photographed with Jake for a while. Hasn't TB history taught us that no photos aren't indicative of anything? I'm willing to concede that it's possible that J&A may not be together at the moment(though I believe they are), but it makes no sense to think that they broke up and now Chris has taken his place (or that Chris has always been the bf). I've spent too much time examining every clue to ever think that J&A aren't or weren't TT and his bf.

frenchy said...

Thanks for your answers Rattler.

Good night and sweet dreams to all of you!

me said...

Beautiful post, BV! Summed up my thoughts perfectly. Your words should be shouted out loud and often.

Oh, and extra judos for the avatar! It's definitely big and huge!

Anonymous said...

posted on FCC:

"From The National Enquirer September 17, 2007


Baby claim last straw for ‘Brokeback’ star

“Brokeback Mountain” star Jake Gyllenhaal is fuming over Internet rumors that he’s gay and having a child with his male lover!

The hunky screen star – who played Heath Ledger’s homosexual lover in the controversial Oscar-winning film – says he had enough with the anonymous Web site jabs that he’s more than just buddies with actor Austin Nichols.

“Jake’s been a good sport over gay rumors – up till now,” a source close to the 26-year-old star told The ENQUIRER.

He even went as far as spoofing himself when he hosted “Saturday Night Live.” He mugged for a crowd of “gay cowboys” planted in the audience and also did a dead-on impression of Jennifer Holliday singing “And I Am Telling You” dressed in drag!

Jake – who’s dated “Spider-Man” beauty Kirsten Dunst and Natalie Portman of “Star Wars” – has always been the first to laugh at the Hollywood gay buzz because he’s straight, the source said.

But he stopped laughing when an Aug. 28 story on the celebrity Web site Jossip carried the headline: “Jake Gyllenhaal is gay and having a baby!”

That report was picked up from an obscure Web site called – which linked him to Nichols, star of the HBO series “John from Cincinnati.”

The site quoted an unnamed “former Hollywood publicist” claiming: “Jake Gyllenhaal is planning to come out some time by the end of next month…He and his boyfriend of several years, rumored to be actor Austin Nichols, are expecting a baby in September.”

The site ran a photo of longtime pals Jake and Austin sitting together and laughing at a basketball game.

“Jake has been dating this guy for years, even before he broke up with Kirsten Dunst,” according to the report.

“Kirsten found out about his bf and confronted him at Chateau Marmont. The confrontation was loud and they broke up right there. News of their breakup followed a few days later.

“Jake and his bf are currently expecting a baby through a surrogate. They used a company based in Westwood, Calif. The baby is due in September.”

The story – which pals swear is pure fiction – incensed Jake.

“There were all kinds of rumors that Jake was gay after ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ Apparently, some people don’t realize that he was just acting,” another pal told The ENQUIRER."

bltb said...

Thank you for your beautifully written review, rattler, I'm really looking forward to seeing Rendition the night it opens in Toronto...oh, to have seen it on Friday, alas. Happily, the wait won't be long.

I, too, am really irked by this wave of "Chris is the bf" trolldom. I'm not one to usually talk like this, but: HELLO! Seriously. And there's something even more disturbing about somewhat well-spoken trolls. I actually think it's no more than a couple of posters doing the work.

I've made my "body language" posts about J & A in the past, and the depth I've what I've seen makes me believe they're still together.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does that EW title--'Jake at Stake--seem, well, odd? I know it rhymes, but what other meaning could it have? I guess it could refer to the uncertainty of how well the film does. But is it possible that it could be a hint at the coming out/Baby Tile stuff and the possibility of it affecting his career?

It just struck me as strange.


mad as hell said...

Just to add a little levity into the stressful mix here.

Over on Crazy Days and Nights, Ent Lawyer has named Jake as Toothy, complete with picture. (Below the letters)

mad as hell said...

Sorry about the link not getting you there immediately. It's at the bottom of the second letter of the first post on the second page.

You know, that's almost too much work on a lazy Sunday morning. But, Jake is shirtless.

Anonymous said...

So much for Jeese dying:


This week's hot Hollywood couple, Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, danced briefly but divinely last night at a beyond-posh Toronto Film Festival party co-sponsored by TIME magazine. Across the way in the huge Design Exchange room, once home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, George Clooney stood in a corner, pinned by the admiration of other, less famous swells. If the three eminences had come there to schmooze with a TIME movie critic, they missed their big chance. Even so, they seemed as happy as celebrities ought to be, given their privileged status in our bi-national movie culture.

And looking at some blogs they are still on board using words like dodging and avoiding rumors, or being professional (Jared) Even D-listed said that they were dodging the rumors. BTW, the 9/17 issue of NE is out and the story isn't there and it's not on the site either. Maybe someone should e-mail the person on FCC and asked them where they got this and asked if they got the date wrong.

suspicious TB said...

Kate from WDW, who is there in Toronto, reported that Jake had left Toronto before the Time party.

So much for Jeese reantimating.

suspicious TB said...

reanimating, I meant.

Sheesh, and I even have spell check!

who'sthat said...

So much for Jeese dying

You didn't really expect it to be gone in 2 days, did you?

scylla said...

I'm stepping in today for some solidarity with long-term tbs, as the whole faux Chris thing is irking me too. I will read Rattler's Rendition review as soon as I've seen the movie; thanks Rattler!

Wow, doesn't the Enquirer report sound made-up?

I'm not even going to bother to read Jeese lies any more.

Austi Spumanti said...

Morning you... mmmm...this haircut is addictive


you know walking around like that is distracting



What is a 6 letter word for "refer obliquely?" Ending in "e"?

Sooooo... what are we going to do today?

Anonymous said...

10:51AM: There are pictures of Jake attending the Michael Clayton party dated 9/7: Friday. The Time reporter, who posted it online was reporting on the goings on at that party. When they said last night you assumed that they meant the 8th but I doubt that there would be two parties for Michael Clayton. There was a press conference for it on Saturday.

And there is no reason for Time magazine to make it up.

Special K said...


Talking to numbers is not fun is it?

Names are so much better.

h said...

Thanks for your post at 11.02 scylla. I agree with that (and your posts at WFT today).

I've enjoying the relaxed atmosphere at OMG over the last few days. Also, this is the only place I feel comfortable mentioning Austin anymore!

I know we normally only get Austin pictures when he's with Jake, but I would love to see a picture of him right now. It seems like we haven't heard about him since the DUI. I just want to know that he's doing ok.

Special K said...

So I am heading up to the Leedo Deck grabbing a chair, putting my rose colored glasses and turning on my Ipod.

Anyone want to join me?

Special K said...

We are all about the celebrating Jake and Austin here at OMG!

And yes more Austy love is on the way.

suspicious tb said...

No real reason for Time to make it up.

Oh really? That reporter is still a gossip monger, whether it's Time or any other magazine, and chasing the non-existent Jeese right now is hot

And 'divinely'? That's not just fact reporting, only regular gossip embellishing, no different than In Touch or Life and Style, IMO.

But, playing along with this game a little longer, they did dance only briefly. Sounds like a really hot couple time to me.

Special K said...

Ok ok ok.

Feeding the troll is not good.

I do not want to clean up after bloated troll belches.

As hard as it is not to feed them, it is better if we don't.

Blue Velvet said...

Scylla said: "I'm stepping in today for some solidarity with long-term tbs"

I think you hit the nail on the head here, Scylla, when you mentioned long-term TBs. It seems that there's suddenly a rash of newbies who have no knowledge of the TT BIs and how obviously they point to Austin or to Jake's history with Chris. People (and I have a feeling it's just one or two posting repeatedly) seem to think Jake is gay, but don't seem to have the slightest clue about the TT BIs. I hate to say it, but without the BIs, and without the corroborating evidence of the J&A relationship, I would have no solid reason to think that Jake was gay. It's exasperating in its way, but I've come to learn to ignore most of it the same way I ignore troll posts. If nothing else, I've become much more patient and much less subject to getting easily irritated as a result of being a Jaustin fan.

I do have to add one thing about Ted though: I do think it's possible that he's lost his Jake contact and that he's being lead down the primrose path with some of his recent TT tales. I'm not certain of it, but sometime I feel as though he is being set up so that he can be easily dismissed as not knowing what he's talking about. Once again, only time will tell.

A. Noid TB said...

It's laughable that this same Broadwing/Lana Turner troll who you are NEVER going to get to leave a name and who goes to great lengths to slag off DL, DC, FCC and WFT at the same time goes around using these same sites (and now this one) to her advantage ----to post and to pick up her next meal ticket for the next round of bad language.

I would not care except it reeks of hypocrisy to scream the place down about gay gossip sites and then use these same places. I don't go on IHJ or Jake Weird and scream at them or post fakehoods or plant false leads or annoy everyone. I leave them alone and let them get on with it.

It's ironic that this individual cannot leave us since it hates us so much. I think it must be scared and having a meltdown most of the time.

frenchy said...

An interesting Jake interview about Rendition, actors and politics. Link originally posted at WFT:
More Jake & Rendition

frenchy said...

Special, I'm all for some more Austin love! :)

frenchy said...

Forgot to mention the link above was posted by Trilobyte. Sorry!

Blue Velvet said...

Thanks for the link to Jake's interview, Frenchy. These are the types of interviews I enjoy - ones where we get a little insight into Jake's thoughts about a project plus a little insight into him. I'm always impressed by his take on the issues that are being discussed. It's a shame that so many of these interviews focus on extraneous topics. I remember being very disappointed by his TV interviews for "Zodiac", not because of anything Jake did or said (he's always entertaining and appealing), but because there was so little discussion about the film itself.

Blue Velvet said...

FYI for JFC fans: Emily Rose (Cass) has landed a role on "Brothers and Sisters".


bltb said...

I can't remember if this has been linked on WFT among the squillions of posts, but you'll find the press conference video for Rendition here. It's wonderfully long.

I'm becoming more and more impressed with Jake's personal views on the work that he does, the reasons why he chooses said work and I was incredibly fascinated with how he sees his character, Douglas. Jake can be quite subversive, which I love, but he's always genuine and passionate.

joker said...

thanks for the video link, bltb I enjoyed watching it.

frenchy said...

Thanks a lot for the link to that great video bltb!

Jake is articulate and totally focused. I found that he and Gavin clearly dominated the conference. Their complicity and mutual respect are obvious. You're right, Jake's take on the subject, his character and other topics is truly interesting. Listening to Gavin Hoods recounting his own experiences in South Africa shed a new light on the film.

I know this will be repeated time and again until October but... I-just-can't-wait-to-see-this-movie! :)

Special K said...


Thank you for the link to the press conference at TIFF.

What great insight to add into the discussion.

orchid said...

I agree the press conference was very interesting. I was particularly impressed with Gavin Hood - he seems to have a lot of integrity. I'm really glad Jake chose to do this film.