Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Nightcrawler - Movie Review

Nightcrawler is a psychological thriller written and directed by Dan Gilroy who is also making his debut effort behind the lens. He has previously written movies like Real Steel and The Bourne Legacy. The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Paxton, and Rene Russo.

Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) is an odd sort of person who is driven by the need for employment and is willing to take on any job he can find. After a couple attempts failed thanks in part to his lack of experience but mostly to his brash personality, he sees an opportunity to get in on an industry he has never seen before until one fateful night on the streets of L.A. After witnessing a freelance camera crew turn guerrilla style filming of crimes and car crashes into instant cash at the local network TV stations, he decides this is his best bet at the steady paycheck he has been yearning for. Not only does he succeed at this new venture, but he eventually begins to control the game to the point where he comes up with a master plan that begins to blur the lines between documenting crime and participating in it.

If someone said to give them just one reason why they have to see this movie, my response would easily be, and without hesitation, the acting performance submitted by Jake Gyllenhaal. There is no doubt in my mind he will at least be nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award and has more than a decent chance to walk away with the trophy. Seriously, he is absolutely brilliant in how he completely embodies the character in every way possible. Compare this role to others he has done and you might not even recognize who he is if you didn't already know. There are times when he will give you chills with how creepy he is and part of it is because Lou is just as smart as he is crazy so you end up with a truly psychotic man let loose in a playground filled with blurred lines between what is considered good and evil. By the end of the film, you might have that feeling like you want to take a shower after witnessing what you just saw yet you will have loved every minute of it.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a gore filled slasher movie. What Dan Gilroy has crafted is a story filled with mind games and money motivated tactics that are further fueled by excessive amounts of greed and lust. Gilroy goes so far as having Bloom basically blackmail Rene Russo's character into having a relationship with him and, as an audience, you actually buy into how he presents it to her and it makes total the same time you feel sick to your stomach. The most interesting aspect to this film is how Bloom is sort of the hero of the story yet, in a cast filled with characters who's moral values are suspect at best, he is more twisted and perverted than any of them.

Nightcrawler may be a dark and disturbing journey through the mind of a psychotic man who will stop at nothing to obtain what he desires, it is also a very entertaining and often enlightening piece of film making that should rake in its fair share of awards and accolades. I would have to say it is easily one of the better movies to come out this year and Gyllenhaal provides what might possibly be the best performance of the year so, that being said, this is one movie you really need to right now.


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