Gyllenhaal, Vallée tackle grief in 'Demolition'

Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:53pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Jean-Marc Vallée's latest film "Demolition," is an intimate study of grief and the often polarizing ways people deal with it.

Vallée calls it his most "rock and roll" film to date, both for its pulsing soundtrack in a film otherwise punctuated by silence, and its often provocative and offbeat portrayal of grief.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Davis Mitchell, a New York investment banker coming to grips with his wife's sudden death. But he has been sleepwalking through life for so long that he is detached from the tragedy.

An unexpected connection with a vending machine company's customer service employee, played by Naomi Watts, eventually helps him express his grief. In one scene, Mitchell demolishes the expensive, minimalist home he shared with his wife.

The movie had its world premiere this week at the Toronto film festival.

"I could relate to Jake's character and I guess that's what kept me on. I wanted to direct this beautiful script," the Canadian director said on Friday.

Vallée said Bryan Sipe's script "was something special and unique. It's rare to read something that powerful, where you just turn the pages and you're surprised, you don't know where you're going."

Vallée's last two movies, "Dallas Buyer's Club" and "Wild," brought a slew of Oscar wins and nominations for its stars.   Continued...

Cast members Jake Gyllenhaal (L) and Naomi Watts attend a news conference to promote the film "Demolition" at TIFF the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto September 11, 2015.    REUTERS/Fred Thornhill