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Archive for the ‘Nightcrawler’ Category

Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal is seeking his first Oscar and Nightcrawler is the film that will not only get him nominated for his second, but will most likely win him that Oscar.

Jake plays Louis Bloom, a down on his luck small time thief that does what he can to get by.  He steals chain-link fence, bikes, watches, whatever, just to make a buck He’s smart though, so it’s strange that he’s been living this type of life for so long..  Smart but also creepy, in a Rain Man meets Patrick Bateman sort of way.  Things start to change for him when he comes across a vicious car wreck.  There he sees Joe Loder (Bill Paxton) and his partner who are nightcrawler’s.  They are guys that jump on the scene to capture footage to sell to the local news.  It’s when Louis meets Joe that he realizes that maybe he has found his calling in life.  He sees no reason why, with hard work and dedication, he can’t do this himself as a career.

Louis trades in some stolen items for a junky consumer video camera at a pawn shop.  It’s not the best quality but it will work fine for what Louis is attempting to do.  Louis is someone who never makes a mistake twice.  He learns from his mistakes, and in his mind everything he was doing in the past was training for his new career.  There is something that happens to Louis when he’s behind the lens, especially in extreme and violent situations.  He has control.  He knows what people want to see.  He knows he’s the only one who can bring it to them.

Lou soon finds an ally in news anchor Nina (Rene Russo).  He catches his big break and Nina soon finds herself using his footage time and time again.  His footage is helping ratings spike for the struggling network Nina runs.  Lou’s little business begins to grow, and while he’s in expansion mode he hires a transient named Rick to ride shotgun with him as his street guide.  Lou is killing it, but he wants the whole pie, not just a slice of it.  He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get it all.

Nightcrawler, shot by Dan Gilroy, does a great job of feeling like it doesn’t belong in the present day.  It has this strange disconnected 1980s feel to it, and that’s a big part of how and why it works.  You feel suspended out there with Louis and locked in to his world.  What a strange world it is.  You  have to admire his determination and no fear attitude to get what he wants.  It’s an admiring characteristic to have, and the funny thing is that while you’re sitting there watching this unfold you realize one thing.   I shouldn’t be siding with this guy at all.  He’s a creep, but somehow I still admire him.  He has his own specific sense of humor and way of going about things, and we feel that because of what a magnificent job Gyllenhaal does.  He borders the line of comical, genius, and downright creepy as hell.  Easily one of the best performances of the year.

Grade: A