So when I first heard of Nightcrawler I was really excited for the X-Men Spinoff and wondered if Alan Cumming would be making his return to play the iconic comic book character. Sadly I realized the film was not about the teleporting mutant, but it was in deed a dramatic film starring Jake Gyllenhaal. At the time I was not a fan of Gyllenhaal. However by the end of this film I have been converted. I saw him in Prisoners and he began to grow on me, and then a friend showed me Brothers and I began to think maybe I had him wrong all these years. And this film set me straight. The guy is talented. So talented that I couldn’t even see him in the film. All I saw was the character, you completely lose him in the performance.
Nightcrawler stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, and Bill Paxton. It is written and directed by Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut. It tells the story of driven but troubled young man named Louis Bloom, who finds his way into a career of shooting footage of newsworthy accidents and crimes, and then sells them to the local news. As he begins to get increasingly better at it he begins to become obsessed with not just filming the news, but making the news.
The film is creepy as all hell. You walk away completely creeped out to think that this is how we get our news. I believe it is pretty accurate. I’ve wondered how news channels get this footage and it’s crazy to think this goes on. The story is so in depth and is a very slow build. Not slow in the film drags, you spend the entire movie engulfed in this story. The film is shot beautifully, giving its L.A. setting the tough gritty feel you expect from the city.
The cast is perfect. Each of them giving noteworthy performances. Rene Russo as the Morning News Director does a wonderful job towing the line between a respectable business woman, and a sleazy news director. You don’t want to dislike her though you know she is doing things who otherwise wouldn’t approve up. Is it morally wrong? Yes but it’s what is demanded of her position. Bill Paxton plays a sort of rival to Gyllenhaal, and as always is shining star. I have always loved Paxton and ever project he is involved in. Riz Ahmed plays an out of luck intern that Gyllenhaal takes in. He has problems with Gyllenhaal and his methods, however is no position to turn down a job. He is really the most redeeming character in the film. I found him to be the only one I really wanted to root for. And like I said Gyllenhaal is firing on all cylinders this film. He loses himself in the character and it’s not Gyllenhaal you see, not Gyllenhaal you follow, but Louise Bloom, the creepy cameraman.
So I implore you to go out and catch Nightcrawler. It is a riveting, creepy masterpiece of a film. Not only do I expect an Oscar for the film, but I expect Gyllenhaal to get the nom for Best Actor. I scored Nightcrawler 5.5, with a .5 bonus for not only Gyllenhaal’s performance but the overall tone and creepiness of this film. That rounds us out at a smooth 6.0, JEEBUS-TACULAR!