"The City Shines Brightest at Night"
When Louis Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.
Grim, Gritty,Sleazy, right in your face are all good ways to describe the Dan Gilroy Directed, Jake Gyllenhaal starring film Nightcrawler. Its the type of film that doesn't come along to often, but when it does you have no choice but to sit back and watch it all unfold right before your eyes.
Not since the opening shots of 2011's Drive has L.A. night sky has a film drawn viewers into what was to come and what follows is definitely not an normal tale.
Nightcrawler follows the life of Louis Bloom(Gyllenhaal) who is a self educated man, who is desperate for work(some one at first people can relate too) and will do anything to get a job,after failing to get work at a labor yard, Lou on his way home witness a real life heroic scene where two police officers saves a person from a burning car(this has been shown on the news countless times).While Lou is watching everything happen, a van pulls up and two men quickly jumps out with video equipment and hurries over to record the scene.
After the men get what they want, Lou approaches the one who was directing the whole thing Joe Loder(Bill Paxton) and begins asking questions about what he does and tries to get himself hired by Loder, but is shot down.
Louis being the driven individual that he is decides to research as much as he can about freelance crime journalism and starts up his own company, he quickly learns that its not as easy as it looked, but instead of moving on to something else he decides to do better and he gets his break one night where he gets some really good footage of EMTS working on a carjacking victim who was shot.
He takes this footage to a local news station looking to sell it, here he meets program director Nina(Rene Russo) who lives for the bloody and criminal stuff, after an unique conversation with her. The two begins a business relationship.
Louis feelings good decides to hire some one to help him navigate around the L.A. area after an awkward "Job Interview" Rick(Riz Ahmed) becomes his first and only employee.
Nightcrawler doesn't play out like a traditional film and the story is a complex one with a lot of social commentary. On one hand Lou Bloom is just a man who is trying to make a way for himself and live the american dream, He's well spoken, he is career driven and wants an successful and stable lifestyle, but the problem is that Louis is very deceptive, conniving and an shady individual.
There are a lot of themes and motifs that play through out the film one of the main ones being the social commentary of how the media can be very misleading and manipulate the truth for their own gain(ratings) especially during one scene where Nina push News Anchors into using the scare tactic of crime invading the white suburban communities.
The acting here is top notch and led by Jake Gyllenhaal who is in every scene of the film and turns in probably his best performance of his career, the way that he becomes the character Louis "Lou"Bloom can not be praised enough, Gyllenhaal does a perfect job of making you hate him but also being intrigued by him. His performance is very much worthy of any major award nomination. I wouldn't be surprised either if he is snubbed as well because he is just that good and this has happened in the past as well. I can't imagine anyone else in this role.
Rene Russo is surprisingly good here especially since I've never seen her like this before, it was refreshing to see. Maybe only a handful of actresses could have pulled off this role. Russo shows here that she still can give a good performance when the character is written well. The relationship she and Louis have through out speaks a lot about how many relationships not just professionally but personal ones seem to be going these days and a perfect example is the exchange between the two in a dinner scene.
It was nice to see Bill Paxton in this film(any film for that matter) as Career Nightcrawler Joe Loder, sadly he doesn't get enough screen time and seems to only been a plot device for Louis Bloom,even still with limited screen time he is still at his Paxton best, as a fan of his It would have been really good to have seen more of his character in contrast to Louis.
If there are any flaws with the film, it would be what appears to be the major conflict of the third act that seems to come to an abrupt end, with a couple of hints towards weather or not Lou would literally do anything to get what he wants and the Detective that's investigating the case really doesn't bring anything to the table and honestly could've been cut out of the picture since the movie ends the way it does, because of this I do believe it takes away from the movie but not to much to the point that it affects the overall goodness of the movie.
This is really a good film that I could see getting some what of a cult status because of the tone and themes and its real to life approach towards the medias role in today's society. Gyllenhaal's performance alone is reason enough to watch this movie, because he is just that good. so If you haven't seen Nightcrawler yet, I highly recommend it.
Jake Gyllenhaal-Louis Bloom
Bill Paxton-Joe Loder
Kevin Rahm-Frank Kruse
Michael Hyatt-Detective Fronteiri