Strong, creative, writing can salvage mediocre acting.
117 min - Crime | Drama | Thriller
Strong, creative, writing can salvage mediocre acting. A powerful performance often can elevate a non-plus script and make a movie memorable. When you combine the two you get explosive movie making that will stick with you. Nightcrawler does have both and takes the creep factor of a sociopath to epic levels. You can now add Louis Bloom to the list occupied by Anton Chigurh, Norman Bates, and Jack Torrance. The only difference is how nice he is; which is terrifying.
Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal)is a fast learner. He is hard working and focused. When we first meet him he is broke, out of work, and trying to find his true calling in life. Then he discovers the world of crime journalism and begins traveling the streets of LA at night capturing real life tragedies then selling the footage to ratings hungry TV Stations. When he starts a relationship with an envelope pushing News Producer (Rene Russo) they both start crossing lines to get stories that are more and more intense.
What makes Louis so skin-crawlingly eerie is how reserved and in control he is of his sinister nature. His focus on becoming the best transforms into an obsession. He eats, drinks, lives and breathes his business model and stops at nothing. All the while he speaks as if leading a motivational group. He is funny but in that uncomfortable way. You want him to let you off the hook and proclaim he is just preceding. But all the time you know it just won’t happen. This guy is completely unhinged.
The film is gritty and the wee hours of LA come to life; breathing in and out. The lighting, action sequences, and artistic styling create a home that is completely Louis Bloom. When they come upon a traffic accident or violent crime you instinctually want to look away. But the camera, both on and off screen, will not let you. This is the same affect that real life news teams prey upon. They know that shock sells.
We have missed Rene Russo and to see her back in this element is electrifying. Her on screen dance with Gyllenhaal starts slow but escalates into a full on tango. They are so different in theory. One a successful business woman the other a night crawling freelancer. But at the end of the day the feed each other and sate the craving.
Nightcrawler is rated R for violence including graphic images, and for language. The film is adult and not for the squeamish. But those who love unique characters brought to life in award worthy fashion; this is your flick. Jake Gyllenhaal will literally freak you out. I give it 4 out of 5 lens caps. Obviously not for everyone. But oh so perfect for those with an off beating heart.
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