WEIRDLAND: October 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween days

Jake and Reese at Kate Hudson's Halloween party.Mary Kate Olsen with a creepy guy.Heidi Klum and kid.Gwyneth Paltrow and kid Apple.Anne Hathaway.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rendition's Oscar caliber

"Best Supporting Actor Oscar Curse aside, my picks are generally accurate. And after seeing Rendition, I need to tell all fellow Oscar Pool Enthusiasts to put your money on Rendition. This is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
Rendition tells the story of a family in crisis. When Isabella’s husband boards a flight home from a conference but never arrives, she must summon every ounce of courage she has to discover what’s happened to him.

Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) plays Isabella. I am a fan of Witherspoon’s; I think she’s absolutely delightful no matter the part. She has a smile that lit up the entire theatre and outstrips her contemporary’s talent level by a mile. As Isabella, Witherspoon manages to be tough as nails and utterly adorable all at once. While struggling to find out what’s become of her husband, she shows a gripping sense of desperation.
Witherspoon’s character’s journey from fear to frustration to anguish is perfectly done and impossible to look away from.

As Isabella, Witherspoon manages to maintain a crumbling façade to strength, barely managing to cover her mounting panic over her husband. There are beautiful moments of Isabella, lost in her own thoughts in her performance. Witherspoon does a spectacular job of capturing the weariness of a person fighting for one she loves.
The power of her character’s passion is astonishing. Witherspoon’s portrait of an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances is remarkable.

Best Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain) plays Douglas Freeman. Gyllenhaal is the master of body language, able to communicate volumes without saying a word. (There are moments where, simply by pacing down a hall, he brings out a character who is wound tighter than a spring. His haunted eyes are mesmerizing. His outer shell of machismo exquisitely covers a man desperately unsure of himself. Gyllenhaal executes some enchanting attempts at uncomfortable humour, lightening some of the movie’s darker moments.

As Douglas, Gyllenhaal perfectly underplays reactions to extreme circumstances, making the moments where he explodes all the more compelling. His moments of guilt and emotional pain are absolutely heartbreaking. As Douglas, Gyllenhaal is cool, calm, and commanding. He blew me away.

[...] It’s intelligent, well written and complex without being convoluted. The subplots are fascinating, the minor characters captivating. The leads performances are Oscar calibre. Rendition is intense, the finale thrilling. It is a literal nail biter of a film and not to be missed. It’s easily one of the best films of the year".

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Daily Mail Interview

-What is your greatest regret?

-I'm too young for regrets. But there was a situation a few years ago which could have become a regret. I was offered a great role by the legendary film-maker Bernardo Bertolucci which required me to do nudity.

In the end I turned down. I came to the conclusion that I didn't really feel comfortable doing the things that were asked of the character at that point in my life.

It was the hardest decision I've ever made as an actor, to say, I don't want to work with one of the best film-makers on earth. I thought I'd regret it later, but it was the best decision I made because I was honest with myself.

-What were your dreams as a child?

-I remember being in college knowing I didn't want to go anymore. I wanted to try and become an actor. There is a something in me, with a risk of sounding cliché, that I just had to do it. I knew from an early age that acting was my path.

[...]-What turns you on?

-I would really love to direct one day. I think there are certain actors who love the character and the performance and that's all they want to be a part of.

I love being involved in the story and I love being involved in how the story moves. It's like, so hot! It's almost sexual. When it works right, it's such a turn on.

-Is there anything you are trying to quit but can't?

-Thinking so much! No, really. I would like to quit thinking. I tend to over-analyze things and decisions, although I end up going with my gut feeling. I was once told by a director to take a year off from thinking. That made me really laugh - and really think.

[...] I think as an actor you have to be open to your emotions - that's how you tap into other characters. Besides, by being so open I've come to terms with how screwed I am!

[...] I pride myself on making interesting films, as opposed to the type that just draws a huge audience of teenagers, so I think they are pretty smart fans. They always have questions for me, something that hasn't been answered by the movie. They'll scream: 'What's the ending of Donnie Darco? I don't understand it!' That is so nice.

[...]-What do you find attractive in a woman?

-Well, probably just an innate quality of being comfortable. That is sort of the biggest thing. Beauty is not always bad. For me, I think it's the comfortable factor.

How does she feel about herself? Is she happy? That is so powerful and sexy to me". Source:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New coupling

Honestly, dear Weirdos, I didn't think this day would come, and now seeing Jake and Reese together it's a satisfactory and a little bizarre sensation at the same time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An alternative view on Darko

"My personal interpretation of Donnie Darko is not related to the philosophy of time travel or any of the other type of science-fiction schemes that are usually associated with the film.

Donnie is a young man who thinks constantly about girls and experiments frequently with sexual compulsions. About that matter, his parents (especially his mother, Rose) are naïve at best. Her mother is afraid and prefers Donnie attend therapy rather than confront him about his sexual growth. She pays another woman (Dr. Thurman) instead. The therapist is friendly and Donnie reveals to her some of his fantasies. It's possible that Donnie is feeling some incestuous impulses towards his sister, since he hasn't had real experience with girls.

If we flash back to the beginning of the movie, we descend upon the Carpathian Ridge, a crescent-shaped cliff that extrudes from the dense Virginia evergreens above a deep rock canyon where a cliff marks the end of a dirt road that winds down from above. There Donnie got used to sleeping at the edge of the cliff. The close-up shows us a bike collapsed next to him, Donnie shivering, curled up in the fetal position, maybe a sign of weakness and a clue to Donnie's search for a meaning.

In the director's cut, Elizabeth asks him about Gretchen while carving a pumpkin and is curious at the Halloween party when Donnie goes upstairs with Gretchen. This may suggest Elizabeth possesses some type of control over Donnie's sexuality in the same way the mother of the family does. Donnie endures all this family control only in his subconscious, but he isn't capable of admitting it. In the first dinner scene he gets rebellious, throwing disdainful comments to his sisters and insulting his mother afterwards. His search for sexual realization is giddy, leading him to a textbook conflicted teenager scenario which creates an alternate world - in his mind - where Donnie becomes an accidental saviour while fighting against a giant bunny monster whom he calls Frank.

The bunny is the real Elizabeth's boyfriend, becoming Donnie's competitor and sexual rival. However, the external form is devoid of human attachments, only a grotesque suit, masking Donnie's guilt. All his virtual TV fantasies and fights against matriarchal repression are reflected by the artificial evil bunny, who causes him constant dreadful visions. Frank is, by this logic, a mirror of Donnie's psyche. This also would explain his rushed demeanor when he asks Gretchen to go out with him, because his desire is owerwhelmingly intense.

Evidently Gretchen is the perfect girl for Donnie, because she comes from a dysfunctional home and hides herself from a violent male father figure. She is an angel in Donnie's eyes due to her romantic behavior but more definitively because of her sexual freedom, which separates her from the other school girls Donnie has met. Gretchen stops Donnie's advances in one scene, showing him that their future sexual relationship must also have an emotional component. She's wiser in this aspect.

In a chat with his friends Donnie uses an example of Smurfettes as asexual beings who scare him because of their lack of sexuality. In another scene from the director's cut we can infer Donnie's bitterness from this dialogue exchange between him and the teacher Ms. Pomeroy:

Karen Pomeroy: Is the death of one species less tragic than another?

Donnie: Of course. A rabbit is not like us. It has no history books... it has no knowledge of sorrow or regret. I like bunnies and all. They're cute... and they're horny. And if you're cute and horny... then you're probably happy that you don't know who you are... or why you're even alive. But the only thing I've known rabbits to do is have sex as many times as possible before they die.

So to sum up: the female figure is Gretchen and the male figure is Donnie. Donnie's lecture to his friends about Smurfettes reveals to us how important sex is for Donnie; for him life hasn't any real meaning without it. When Donnie and Gretchen establish their intimate bonds, they are happy and isolated from society, so society is now looking for a way to punish them. Donnie’s hysteria makes him run away with Gretchen, but the tragedy will appear when Frank - the evil reflection of American matriarchy and its inherent obscenity (sexual repression) - ends up killing her. Donnie prefers awaking dead to suffering a surrender to the dominant point of view of the society".
Published previously on 21th October in

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Reese's Rendition

"Rendition" director Gavin Hood, whose South African drama "Tsotsi" won the 2005 foreign-language Oscar, said Witherspoon's casting served as a Trojan horse to draw people into the movie.

"I don't need this movie to play to the choir," he said. "I need this movie to play to the people who are deeply skeptical to what I'm doing, so that they can be engaged in the debate. Well, who better to help take that out there to that world than the all-American girl?
"Reese is a woman of integrity. She is not a flighty, fluffy person. She's an intelligent woman who's done great work, who is also an all-American girl. This is the reality. It can happen to Reese. And it could. The girl next door who happens to marry a nice Egyptian guy who was at NYU."

Co-star Peter Sarsgaard, playing an old friend of Witherspoon's character now working for a U.S. senator, said the actress subtly captures a woman coping with a nightmare scenario without giving in to one-note anguish.

"She was playing a grieving woman in every scene in the movie. It's an incredibly difficult thing to do, just because it's hard to act like you're in grief or be in grief. It's hard to create variety within that," Sarsgaard said.

[...] Starting acting lessons as a child in Tennessee, Witherspoon broke into movies with the 1991 teen drama "The Man in the Moon." She later turned heads with 1996's "Freeway," a Red Riding Hood black comedy in which she plays an illiterate youth who goes toe-to-toe with a real-life big bad wolf (Kiefer Sutherland).

[...] In next year's comedy "Four Christmases," Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn play a couple rushing to squeeze in holiday visits to each of their divorced parents all in one day.
Thanks to Maria for sending me the first and second pictures.

Mint chocolate flavour

"If you’re thinking of seeing Rendition to get a glimpse of the on-screen chemistry between rumored budding young couple Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, don’t bother. She filmed in the U.S., he filmed in North Africa, and the twain never met. But if you want to see a multi-faceted political thriller with extraordinary, mature performances - especially from Gyllenhaal - it’s well worth the price of admission.

[...] I then asked him what kind of wisdom and experience he gained from the very mature-themed Rendition. “Absolutely nothing; it was basically like treading water,” he replies playfully, with that boyish twinkle in his eye. Then Gyllenhaal went on to explain what he really learned from the film.

“For me, being far away from home is a learning experience,” he explains. “This was shot in North Africa, in a different country with a lot of different rules, and I felt very isolated. It was a very good thing for me. You need to ostracize yourself to learn.”

[...] “You look like a nice mint chocolate chip cookie,” he suggests in reaction to the mint green blouse and a dark brown skirt I am wearing. “I do?” I ask, blushing and feeling like a 14-year-old. At my advanced age, it really does take a great actor to make me feel that way. “That’s my favorite flavor, so I’ll take that as a compliment,” I offer. ““You should – that’s my favorite flavor too,” he replies.

Now I’m totally flustered. As a mature professional, I like to think I can handle any curve ball that’s thrown my way, but Gyllenhaal is looking at me with his adorable blue eyes and incredibly long eyelashes. “Okay, where do we go from here?” I say, stalling for time while I try to recollect my next question. “Let’s just talk about ice cream,” he offers, oozing boyish charm.

Oh yes, Jake Gyllenhaal has arrived. The man has definitely arrived". Source:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Debbie Harry defends Kirsten

"When Hollywood actress Kirsten Dunst was chosen to play Debbie Harry in a biopic there were howls of protests from Blondie fans.

Now the new-wave singer herself has stepped forward to defend the star following reports that she was unhappy with the casting.

"She's (Dunst) a really sweet person. I've met with her a couple of times and hung out with her socially. She's just a sweetie", the Eighties icon told

"She's probably capable of a lot of things she hasn't been asked to do yet, and doing something that's sort of left of centre would be great for her."

The Spiderman actress had previously insisted she had Debbie Harry's blessing for the role.

"Debbie chose me for this role so anyone who disputes this can take it up with her," Dunst said.

"I'll work hard on this character because she is the coolest woman of all time."

Blondie fans hit the internet message boards after Dunst was rumoured to have landed the Blondie singer role last year.
One fan complained on "She (Dunst) is too young and too goofy. They should get an older and more senual actress."

[...] "I cannot imagine seeing Kirsten Dunst belting "Call me!" or some other classic lyrics. The singing scenes from Spiderman 3 were just so painstakingly bad."

The as yet untitled film will be directed by Michael Gondry of Eternal Sunshine fame and shooting is scheduled for early next year. It will be the first time Harry has been portrayed on the big screen.
Debbie Harry has herself starred in over 30 films. Born in Miami, Florida, she worked as a waitress and Playboy Bunny before achieving international fame as the front singer of punk band Blondie in the seventies. Blondie have released eight albums since 1976, selling over 13 million copies in the US alone.

And it is not the first time Dunst has been required to sing in a film. She sang two songs in Spiderman 3 and lent her voice to the end credits of The Cat's Meow, singing Henry Creamer and Turner Layton's jazz standard "After You've Gone".

The Telegraph interviews Jake

"He is talking about how, despite being born there, he is not really a Hollywood person. 'I just don't really buy it. But I do buy London, because there is an appreciation of growth here.'

[...] 'You may be torturing an innocent man,' Gyllenhaal says. 'On the other hand you may be torturing a guilty man and the information you elicit from him could save the lives of 5,000 innocent civilians.

'That is the moral dilemma faced by my character in the film. That said, I think for CIA people in those circumstances, moral imperatives do not come into play. They leave that for the philosophers. All they care about is what is working and what isn't working. Practicality wins over morality. Extraordinary rendition is intended to protect. Sadly, as a policy, it has been over-used and misused.'

[...] Does he feel ashamed to be an American? 'Well, it's complicated, isn't it? There is a lot of fear in America at the moment and some of it is justified. I wouldn't want to lay it all on one political leader.'

Spoken like a politician, or at least a politically engaged Hollywood actor who campaigned for the Democrats in the 2004 American election, appeared in 'Rock the Vote' advertising and is talked about as the next George Clooney, or God forbid, Sean Penn.

[...] So let's get it on the record: is he saying he is open to persuasion? 'No, I am not open to persuasion myself, but the idea of homosexuality is acceptable to me. I grew up in a city where half the people I know are gay. Both of my godfathers are gay.'

[...] OK, having established that he is not bisexual, was he being quite calculating when he allowed people to think he was? 'It was meant as a way of saying it was important for Heath [Ledger, his co-star in Brokeback Mountain] and I to have the movie exist as the movie, but also to have people know it was two straight actors playing those parts.'

[...] What's with this aggression? 'Yeah there is that side. That is a part of me. Part of me would like to know what I would be like in battle. Have my courage tested. Would I be an altruist or a coward? Would I run away or engage? The engaging is what I would want of myself.'

[...] When he experiences genuine emotions in his own life – anger, grief, love – do they feel less authentic because he has had to fake them in films? 'Hmm. Have I devalued the currency? I tell you, when I fall in love in real life it has felt nothing like I have acted it in the movies.'

Recalling the rumours about him and Reese Witherspoon, his co-star in Rendition, I say: just don't fall in love with your co-star on screen, eh? 'Yeah, well?…' He laughs. 'I haven't had many opportunities.'
Fan-Picture in The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.

He must find it difficult persuading women to go to bed with him. 'I don't think of myself as good-looking. Not at all. When I was a kid I had these huge glasses. I once went to a fancy dress as a Crest toothpaste tube with these huge glasses stuck on. That is how I see myself most of the time. A Crest toothpaste tube with bad eyesight.' Source:

Jake and Reese on GMTV

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Jena Malone Video

Is Jena Malone one of the luckiest (and talented) actresses ever? Looking up her resumé we'll see she has worked with Jakey in "Donnie Darko" (2001) playing Gretchen Ross, with Hayden Christenssen in "Life as a House" (2001) playing Alyssa Beckwith, with Ryan Gosling in "The United States of Leland" (2003) as Becky Pollard, with Patrick Fugit in "Saved" (2004) playing Mary, and Jena even was originally set to play Emily (Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character's girlfriend) in "Havoc" (2005), but she was replaced by Bijou Phillips. Hers is an enviable movie career.


Friday, October 19, 2007

The single girl

"With their divorce finalised last week, Reese has spoken for the first time of her heartache and how she is putting her life back together with the help of actor Jake Gyllenhaal – with whom she co-stars in new film Rendition, out today.

“It’s been a challenging year,” admits the 31-year-old blonde. “But I feel I am so lucky to have a wonderful family and great friends. My brother calls me three times a day to see how I’m doing and that’s a real stabilising element in my life.

“You have to focus on the good things, but there are days, of course, when I feel pretty rotten. At other times I feel very hopeful about life. I’m also excited about working – I try and work every day and focus on positive things.”Reese met Phillippe, now 32, at her 21st birthday party. She had previously had romantic flings with actors Jeremy Sisto, Chris O’Donnell and Mark Wahlberg.

They were married on a plantation in June 1999 and she gave birth to their daughter Ava three months later. Son Deacon was born in October 2003.

Then, last year, reports began to surface that Phillippe, the star of Flags Of Iwo Jima,was having an affair with Abbie Cornish, the 25-year-old Australian actress with whom he was filming "Stop/Loss" in Austin, Texas. They were reportedly seen leaving his rented apartment together on several occasions, and shortly afterwards Ryan and Reese issued a joint statement announcing their separation.

A week later, Witherspoon filed for divorce and abruptly pulled out of the film Bunny Lake Is Missing, which she was due to produce and star in.

Recently Reese has been seen out with Gyllenhaal, although she denies there is any romance between them.

“I have known Jake for years through different friends and he is just wonderful,” says Reese. “He’s very kind, generous and funny. It’s been nice these past days to laugh a little bit. Yeah, he’s great and I look forward to maybe making another film with him.”Reese has another film, "Penelope", which she made two years ago, awaiting release and is about to start work on a family comedy, Four Christmases, in which she will co-star with Vince Vaughn". Source:

Rendition's interview & review quotes

TeenHollywood: Well, do you think this is a hopeful movie especially since your character makes the moral choice?

Jake: "It's very simple. I think if he weren't an analyst [for the CIA], I think the decision would be very different. But it comes to this [the rendition policy] doesn't work. This particular situation, it doesn't work. We always say 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' but we never say 'if it's broken, don't use it' or 'if it doesn't work, don't use it'. I think that's kind of the decision he makes. I don't think this is a heroic move. This was a very practical move".

TeenHollywood: Reese, this is pretty serious subject matter based on real happenings. Why should audiences see this movie?
Reese: "I think it's a film that has a lot of different, wonderful elements to it. There is definitely a romance to it. There are thriller aspects. It's not just a film about a message. I think it's a movie that asks a lot of questions and it really makes you think about a lot of the practices that are going on nowadays and whether or not they are legal or ethical or even constitutional".

"For a role deliberately devoid of charisma, the always stellar Gyllenhaal turns in a powerful performance".

"There's some poetic pleasure to be had from watching Gyllenhaal drink and brood his way to a moral awakening..."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nora Zehetner resumé

"Nora Zehetner's looks make her a natural femme fatale. The sloe-eyed 24-year-old actress's lithe neck, winsome lips, and ski-jump nose seem ready-made for film noir, even if she's best known for her role as Laynie Hart, the sweet-natured love interest of Ephram Brown on the WB teen drama Everwood. But while other prime-time players find the transition from tween-TV to dramatic-film roles challenging, Zehetner is starring in the perfect bridge: Rian Johnson's Brick, about a teenage boy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who infiltrates a teenage crime ring in search of his girlfriend's killer. The film, which won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the Sundance Film Festival, is written in noirish period dialogue and features Zehetner as a woman of mystery--albeit one still in high school. "It's a classic detective story," she says, "but with a twist."
Born in El Paso, Texas, Zehetner was raised in Dallas, where she attended the Texas Academy of Math and Science, a two-year post-high school program for students interested in engineering or medicine. She credits her academic adviser with encouraging her to move to Los Angeles to pursue acting when she was 18, but she recently discovered that her desire to act first reared its head a decade earlier. "I found my old journal from when I was 8," she recalls. "There's this entry from when I was sick and my parents couldn't take me to an open casting call. I'd written, 'I hate my parents.' I totally forgot about that. It's strange for an 8-year-old to feel that strongly, but it helps explain where I am today."

A self-confessed movie addict who forgoes cable because, she says, it keeps her couch-bound, Zehetner will also appear in the upcoming postdivorce reconciliation film Conversations With Other Women, playing the younger version of Helena Bonham Carter's character. (Though Zehetner and Bonham Carter share similar profiles, it's The O.C.'s Rachel Bilson for whom Zehetner is most often mistaken.) And then there is Fifty Pills, a college comedy that's more in keeping with Zehetner's personal taste. "I'm a closeted teen-movie fan," she admits. "Not the bad-bad ones, but the good-bad ones. How great is Can't Buy Me Love?" Source:
She starred in the lead role in Beneath, an MTV Films thriller which released in August. She has also completed work on Remarkable Power with Kevin Nealon, but a release date is notlisted and is working on another film entitled "Princess" [(a really fitting title for Nora)].

A beauty in danger

Watch in Wierdland's screen this videoclip:

Pictures of Zaragoza City


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wristcutters: a suicide fantasy

"WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY is the next great American cult movie. At least, it should be; I've been wrong about such things before. I thought BRICK would take off even more than it did, and maybe it still will in years to come, but perhaps I can be more objective about WRISTCUTTERS since I don't personally know anyone involved with it.

You just can't go wrong with teenage suicide, road trips, and Tom Waits". Source:
"Donnie imagines himself a superhero: "What makes you think I'm not?" he teases Gretchen when she comments on his supernatural-sounding name. And in his English class he reads a composition about how he is destined to save "the children"... "because I am Donnie Darko." (Donnie definitely still identifies with kids, even as he tries to set himself apart from them, no matter how much he pines to be a grown up where hormones are concerned.) In the final part of the movie, Donnie the melodramatic, solipsistic teenager (not in a bad way -- he's just a teen) imagines a texbook teen-suicide fantasy in which he saves the world and everybody feels terrible, even though they don't even know of his heroic sacrifice on their behalf. The whole movie becomes a feature-film version of Elton John's quintessential 1970s teen-suicide anthem "I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself," in which the protagonist relishes the idea of sticking around afterwards to see how his death affects others (and the moral flipside of John’s "Ticking," in which the hell-bent protagonist becomes a killer of others as well) -- a classic death-wish delusion of grandeur".

And "Wristcutters" is definitely something different, a dark comic fantasy about suicide victims who awake to find themselves in an afterlife that is far grungier and more depressing than the existence they departed. Fugit stars as twentysomething Ziya, who kills himself after breaking up with his girlfriend.
"It's pretty dark," Fugit said with a laugh," but it's not overwhelmingly dark."

"Wristcutters" is one of 16 films in the festival's dramatic competition and had its premiere on Monday in the Park City Racquet Club. "I hear people really liked it and responded well to it," Fugit said.

His co-workers have nothing but praise for Fugit. "Ziya is such a tricky part. He's the most important person in the movie," said Shea Whigham, who plays his constant companion Eugene, and who originally read for Fugit's role. "He's the one character you relate to and really like, but that's not an easy thing to do with this material.

"Patrick couldn't smile a lot, because his character isn't supposed to. So he had to act with his eyes."

Director Goran Dukic calls Fugit a natural. "It's unbelievable how talented and how centered Patrick is. He could have it all but chooses not to."Fugit also plays guitar in the band Mushman, fronted by his best friend, David Fetzer. The band's name refers to late actor Steve McQueen, who used it as an alias. "He would check into hotels under the name Harvey Mushman," Fugit said. "(McQueen) was pretty cool, and we couldn't think of anything better. So it stuck."

Given his musical aspirations, Fugit was thrilled to see one of his "Wristcutters" co-stars was Tom Waits. "Yeah, that was definitely a perk." Source:


Shannyn Sossamom (the offbeat beautiful Mikal in "Wristcutters") and

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No clues

October 15 - Arriving At The Ed Sullivan Theatre In NYC
At Wednesday's Rendition premiere, Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal offered no clues as to their current status: Friends? Lovers? Former either?
The two did not share eye contact on the red carpet and came together only briefly at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences theater to flank their director, Gavin Hood, for a quick photo before once again going their separate ways.

The two share no scenes in the political thriller, which opens Oct. 19. Witherspoon plays a pregnant Chicago woman who travels to Washington to investigate the disappearance of her Egyptian husband, who is being tortured in the Middle East under Gyllenhaal's supervision.

"It's interesting how our stories intersect even though we don't talk to each other in the film," said Witherspoon, who arrived in a teal Nina Ricci gown. "You're anxious to see what other people do with their side of the movie."Witherspoon's own children never got to meet Knight because "they were in school." The actress, whose divorce from Ryan Phillippe became final last Friday, is trying to convince her kids — daughter Ava, 8, and son Deacon, almost 4 — to dress up like a rock band for Halloween, "but they're not into that."

Because of the various locales, much of the cast did not even meet during the shoot, though they shared other connections. "This is increasingly the way it is with complicated interwoven plotlines," said Meryl Streep, whose ice-cold politician never crosses paths with Gyllenhaal. But Streep has her own personal memories of Jake as a boy. "He was a friend of my son (Henry) in grammar school and would come over to my house to play. I remember … his sister, Maggie, was having a '20s speakeasy party, and the boys were bartenders."

J.K. Simmons' character also shares no scenes with Gyllenhaal, but was nearly his editor (J. Jonah Jameson) when Gyllenhaal was lined up to take over for Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 2. "Tobey is Spider-Man, hopefully forever more in Spider-Man 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, but Jake would have been great," said Simmons, who has heard more Spidey films are in the works.

Gyllenhaal was sporting a beard for his new role in Brothers, playing Maguire's sibling. Both men dated Kirsten Dunst, but that topic, along with their Spider-Man connection, is off-limits.

As for not working with half his Rendition cast, Gyllenhaal admitted, "It's a little awkward not knowing them. I was pretty confident that the film would all come together when you're dealing with Meryl, Reese, Peter (Sarsgaard) and Alan Arkin."

Monday, October 15, 2007