A wildfire is raging through Los Angeles and police officer Joe Bayler (Jake Gyllenhaal) is winding down the clock on his shift at the 911-dispatch centre. He has a court date in the morning for something that happened while he is on the job and is ducking calls from a persistent LA Times Reporter. While the shift has been hectic and trying for his Asthma, it gets a whole lot worse when Joe gets a call from Emily (Riley Keough). She pretends to be talking to her young daughter when really she is telling Joe that her ex-husband has abducted her. Going into fight or flight mode, Joe takes down the few details she gives him and sets out to save her – all while staying behind the desk and on the phone with LA law enforcement.
While there are a few other actors on-screen during THE GUILTY (an Americanized remake of a Danish film from 2018), the majority of the Film focuses squarely on Gyllenhaal’s increasingly manic and psychologically distressing performance as he communicates entirely with the ensemble Supporting Cast (which includes the likes of Keough, Ethan Hawke, Peter Sarsgaard and Paul Dano) over a device. That may not sound exciting, but THE GUILTY ends up feeling like one of the most intense, white-knuckle Thrillers of the year. Director Antoine Fuqua (last at TIFF with 2016’s Opening Night film The Magnificent Seven) gradually ratchets-up the tension to unbearable heights, moving the story in equally shocking and terrifying terrains – all while never leaving the call centre. Fuqua creates a breathless atmosphere that rarely slows down and makes scenes of Gyllenhaal dialing on a keypad be more nerve shredding than you might have ever thought possible.
The Supporting Cast on the phone is great, yet they never have a chance to compete with Gyllenhaal, who is positively electric throughout THE GUILTY’s 90-minute running time. His desperation is palpable and the way he screams into a phone is enough to leave you shaken for days. He says so much with his bloodshot, emotionally dominant eyes and consistently reminds you exactly why he is one of the very best actors working in the business today. He commands the screen no matter what he is doing, and where others might overact their way through this kind of performance, Gyllenhaal pivots to something more nuanced and measured that quickly becomes positively spellbinding. I was sweating and clutching my seat every second I watched him on-screen, and may have been broken some blood vessels in my face during some of the unspeakable twists. It may get a bit outrageous and unrealistic, but the combination of Fuqua and Gyllenhaal here make for a gripping picture you will not soon forget.
THE GUILTY screens at TIFF ’21:
Sat, Sep 11 Princess of Wales 9:00 PM
Sun, Sep 12 digital TIFF Bell Lightbox 3:00 PM
Mon, Sep 13 RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place 9:00 PM
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in TIFF ’21 selection THE GUILTY. Your first glimpse of the Trailer.
The film takes place over the course of a single morning in a 911 dispatch call center. Call operator Joe Baylor (Gyllenhaal) tries to save a caller in grave danger—but he soon discovers that nothing is as it seems, and facing the truth is the only way out.
THE GUILTY arrives in Select Theatres September 24, 2021 and on Netflix October 1, 2021.
Jake Gyllenhaal returns in THE GUILTY, a new Feature arriving soon on Netflix!
This weekend, audiences were encouraged to discover the thrilling mystery of THE GUILTY by calling a phone number and hearing the first heart-stopping phone call between 911 operator Joey Baylor and a cryptic woman named Emily. Whether by looking at the sky in LA and OC, or following clues on Instagram, fans could dive into the world of THE GUILTY.
Best news all year! We’re so excited to hear confirmed today a return to the in-person component at this Fall’s Toronto International Film Festival. Along with that, the first wave of Films to screen at the Festival September 9-18, 2021 have been announced!
Denis Villeneuve‘s DUNE will headline the Festival with a special screening at the historic Cinesphere IMAX Theatre. Other high-profile films to debut at the Festival include: Le Bal des Folles, Belfast (Kenneth Branagh), Benediction (Terence Davies), Charlotte (Eric Warin, Tahir Rana), Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over (Dave Wooley), The Guilty (Antoine Fuqua), Jagged (Alanis Morissette Documentary by Alison Klayman), Lakewood (Philip Noyce), Last Night in Soho (Edgar Wright), Night Raiders (Danis Goulet), Petite Maman (Céline Sciamma), and The Starling (Theodore Melfi) are part of TIFF‘s Official Selection.
What does this mean? With Quarantine rules having relaxed in Ontario, we could be seeing the likes of Melissa McCarthy, Timothy Olyphant, Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet, Anya Taylor-Joy, Catriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Alanis Morissette, Riley Keough, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irvine and several more in-town this September!
In total there will be 100 films premiering at TIFF ’21 plus public digital experiences presented by Bell, with film screenings on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox available across Canada. In Conversation With… talks and interactive Q&A sessions with actors and creators will be hosted on TIFF Bell Digital Talks, available worldwide.
The 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards once again will be returning this year, and will be broadcast nationally by CTV and streamed internationally by Variety.
Digital ticket package sales start June 30, 2021 for TIFF’s Contributors Circle Members and all ticket dates are available at tiff.net/tickets. Ticket sales are serviced online and by phone only.