19 November 2012 9:21 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Of all the dark horse Oscar hopefuls this year, none deserves more consideration than Jake Gyllenhaal for his role as an La cop in David Ayer's "End of Watch." It's such a competitive year for leading actors that I hope this performance in a this well-reviewed indie film will be seen. Critics groups may give it some attention. Major movie stars have a hint of danger about them; Gyllenhaal, who hits 32 in December, is one of many boyish American leading men who are earning gravitas as they age. "End of Watch" marks Gyllenhaal's finest and most aggressively mature work to date. Gyllenhaal was raised with sister Maggie in L.A. by director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner in a rich artistic soup of an environment, with people like Steven Soderbergh living over the garage. Gyllenhaal has always embraced theater as well as film, from the 2002 play "This is Our Youth, »

- Anne Thompson

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