Jake Gyllenhaal is a proxy father in "Brothers"

"On the other hand, the movie only hints at Tommy's past, and Gyllenhaal is left to do the heavy lifting.

He pulls it off beautifully.
Consider the dinner scene early in the film, and Tommy's face-off with his father (Sam Shepard), intent on goading and belittling him; there's so much unspoken family history packed into Tommy's increasingly unsuccessful attempts to contain his anger while his dad throws insults. And consider the suggestion, subtly planted, that Tommy is using his brother's apparent death -- and the resulting opportunity to be a "good guy" -- as a self-esteem boost to make up for decades of playing second fiddle to his star athlete, war hero brother. It's a fantastic, troubling performance -- smaller and quieter than Maguire's, to be sure, but more impressive for it". Source: www.cinematical.com

"Grace and her daughters struggle to survive in the wake of the news, and Tommy soon becomes a part of their everyday existence. He serves as a proxy father to the girls, and his relationship to Grace grows from dislike to dependence. But the new life they've begun to build shatters when Grace receives the news that Sam is alive. The man who returns from Afghanistan bears little resemblance to the one who left, and he grows jealous of Tommy's closeness with his daughters and his wife".
Source: www.cinemaspy.com

Jake Gyllenhaal at 78th Annual Academy Awards on 5th March, 2006 in Hollywood. He was nominated as Supporting Actor for his role Jack Twist in "Brokeback Mountain".

"I wouldn't mind seeing Gyllenhaal get a nod for Brothers considering I thought his was the best performance in it… but for what category? Lionsgate has placed him in the Best Supporting Actor category, but in reality all three (Tobey Maguire and Natalie Portman) are co-leads in that film if anything, which could cause voting confusion". Source: www.ropeofsilicon.com