Nightcrawler is the directorial debut of writer Dan Gilroy. It is a stunning and bold movie where the strong visuals, slick writing and phenomenal acting makes it one of the finest movies of the year.
The films follows Louis Bloom a persistent unemployed man who is looking for a stable job. He becomes a freelance video journalist in order to make money and increasingly blurs the line between observer and participant. The film stars Jake Gyllenhall as Louis, Rene Russo as Nina the news director, Riz Ahmed as Louis’ employee Rick and Bill Paxton as Joe Loader Louis’ rival.
In narrative terms the story is very straight forward but the most important this is that is was good. While I was expecting some things to happen I was surprised that it was able to present them in a great way. Gilroy’s experience as a writer really shines through and his skills as a director are fantastic as well. What makes the film great is that you can really look into it and see it’s commentary on lots of issues. Nightcrawler shows the ‘other end’ of the publics desire to see every detail all the time. If anything it raises the idea that Louis the product of this desire. Similarly, it shows the way the media can manipulate the news and cause hysteria. The film looks great with every shot being thought out. The best way to describe the visuals of the film is a toned down Drive, which is not a bad thing at all. It feels like its own movie rather than a rip off.
The biggest strength of the film is Jake Gyllenhall’s fantastic portrayal of Louis Bloom. Every second he was on screen made me feel completely uncomfortable but engaged. He manages to sell a believable psychopath that could actually exist in the real world. I really expect Gyllenhall to get an Oscar nomination in the coming months.
Similarly, the performances of Rene Russo as Nina was fantastic as with Riz Ahmed as Rick. Riz was so good he managed to seamlessly blend into his role as Rick and it was only after the film that I realized at this was the same actor who starred in Four Lions, one of my favorite films. I really hope this film opens the door for more roles for him.
Overall Nightcrawler is a fantastic movie that really cements both Gyllenhall and Gilroy’s place in Hollywood. This is one of the best films of the year for sure.
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