SXSW Film: Gyllenhaal shines in ‘Demolition’

Jake Gyllenhaal as "Davis" in Demolition. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Jake Gyllenhaal as “Davis” in Demolition. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

“Demolition” starts with a horrific scene, a car crash that kills the wife of Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal), a successful Wall Street banker. But strangely, he can’t feel anything.

Then he meets a customer service representative and her young, troubled son, who likes to bang on drums in the garage of their Queens, N.Y., home. And that leads Davis on a journey to finding himself again, partly through demolishing things and partly through finding his inner child.

In one highly surprising scene shortly after his wife’s death, he decides to not really care about anything any more and starts dancing down Wall Street on his way to work. Or as director Jean Marc Vallee says, he’s let himself become a “rock ‘n’ roller” again after following all the rules to get ahead.

“The childlike journey of Davis is really about honesty,” Gyllenhaal says. “And I could finally experience this through him.”

“Demolition” premieres tonight at 9:30 at the Paramount, during South by Southwest.

It has only one screening during the festival, and I recommend you be there.

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